I've taken some time off to consider a lesson plan. Looking at nature photography from a beginner's perspective. I very much enjoy sharing what I know so below you will find a lesson plan overview. I've divided my thoughts into two general concepts: compostion and exposure.
A common misconception: "great photos require expensive cameras and editing software." Simply not true. Great photos are achieved with a solid foundation of knowledge. High end cameras are nice, and software is fun, but neither are required.
Excellent photos require only two things: composition and exposure. Compose a picture then learn how to capture the moment. Most anyone can take excellent pictures using an entry level snapshot camera.
If photography requires both sides of the brain I would say: Composition can be thought of as the artistic side, while exposure can be thought of as the analytic side. The following is a lesson plan overview.
A well composed photo should make a statement, tell a story, attract attention. When done really well a photo can evoke an emotion. Photography requires training your mind to see details. The details are elements of compostion. How elements are arranged in a photo is another facet of compostion.
the art of seeing
shoot what you see
rule of thirds
depth of field
Exposure control is a very important function of compostion. Capturing the moment is all about understanding proper exposure. Learning exposure control requires an understanding of light and reflection. A well composed photo is incomplete if its improperly exposed. After compostion is chosen a person must then choose how to expose the picture. Controlling exposure requires a basic understanding of how your camera buttons work. Camera mechanics known the following subjects need to be discussed and understood.
color temperature, what is it?
what is white balance?
ISO? what's that all about?
F-stops and shutter speeds
halves and doubles
inverse square rule
exposure control: use ISO, F-stop and shutter speed