ComEd’s Buffalo Grove Prairie doesn’t look like much from a distance. In fact, from most angles, it's impossible to see from a distance. But this high quality, 10-acre remnant prairie is the last remaining strip of a natural area that was bulldozed decades ago; it stands as a testament to time and human development—a glimpse into the ecological past of Illinois.
Guided by Weiss, the students got an overview of native plants and the history of the site as they patiently pushed through the trail-less prairie, paying special attention to lighting and symmetry—the focus of the day’s lesson. “Light is everything!”, boomed Michael Kardas, an Air Force vet, professional photographer, and the instructor for the day. One veteran focused on the contrast between the prairie and the Metra trains passing in the background. Another honed in on delicate stalks of goldenrod, pausing as clouds shifted overhead, waiting for the right light to strike. Kardas focused on capturing candids of the students themselves. After an hour or so of full immersion in art and nature, the group adjourned for coffee, and to look over the shots of the day together.