Bellevue Botanical Gardens
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Deeded by home owners Cal and Harriet Shorts in the middle of the last century, 7.5 acres of a collection of public gardens, streams and ponds, grew to its current state of 53 acres, nestled within the city of Bellevue. A photographer looking for a variety of photo ops is in the right place to capture scenics of looping trail ways and winding paths of woodlands, wetlands, meadows, greenery, budding trees and colorful flowers, both wild and cultivated.
Your Digital Photo Academy instructor will demonstrate and supervise a variety of composition techniques to help you get close up macro photos as well as broader views of these picturesque settings, a number of them including elevated terraces for bird’s eye perspectives and striking outdoor sculptures to add an additional dimension of aesthetic to your photo. This locale is actually compiled of several different gardens, each offering its own visual perspective, allowing you to choose from hearty bushes and trees to rock gardens, native plants, rain gardens, orderly layouts of carefully designed spaces to naturally grown settings left by the randomness of nature. A variety of stories can be told with your camera thanks to the various ferns, creeks, small lakes, a ravine and suspension bridge. Using any of the charming seating areas with wooden benches, your instructor will demonstrate the concept of environmental portraiture, depicting an individual or individuals in the visual context of natural surroundings that project personality and narrative to the people in the photograph.
With Aperture Priority Controls you can channel the Impressionist painters of the 19th century by blurring a background of greenery while simultaneously showcasing a crisp focus on a rich saturated blossom, found in a myriad of varieties. Or focus across a broader expanse and use a Leading Lines technique possible through any of the winding paths bordered by rows of plants and flowers.
The soft and intricate petals of many kinds of colorful flowers can be rendered into a splendid abstraction, by coming in very close and completely filling the frame of your image. Choose from 50 different Rhododendrons, or a fuchsia, from 100 different kinds in the garden. It will draw the viewer of your image to gaze upon the dizzying folds and edges of each petal as they converge and connect together in a complex but delicate parallel universe.
With patience, you can capture various sorts of wildlife found in the habitat, whether birds in flight or perched upon branches, as well as hummingbirds hovering by the flowers. A bee, butterfly or other busy insect can add an element to your visual depiction of the garden. Your instructor will talk with you about how to focus on these bugs at work and where to place them within the frame so a balance is reached that highlights the flower and simultaneously adds the presence of the visitor who darts in and out of the view of your lens. Again, there is an art to this and it requires more patience than one might guess.
Bellevue Botanical Garden
12001 Main Street
Bellevue WA 98005
Call Digital Photo Academy at 1 877 372 2231. Lots of people seem to hang up if our welcome recording comes on instead of a live voice, but we promise to return your message within a day or two if you leave one with your name and number. It would be even better if you included your e mail address as well as the date and city of the class you are considering. If leaving a voice mail message is not your thing, please email us at DPAbooking@digitalphotoacademy.com.