Category Archives: Long Exposure

What I Am Trying to Achieve (Continued)

“Lower Waterfall in Early Morning Sun”
Heatherwood Japanese Garden

Continuing from my prior post, this image illustrates the design opportunities that we have to create my vision for the stream, waterfall, and pond. We have laid the foundation for the stream’s surrounding areas with a few conifer trees and shrubs. To compliment these, we need to add contrasting shapes and textures along with a lot of ground cover. I hope to achieve this with interesting evergreen and deciduous shrubs and a few more deciduous trees. I am looking also for fast-growing ground covers to keep the bark in place. When we have a strong wind, the surrounding bark is blown into the stream and pond, causing quite a mess and a lot of maintenance work. While adding framing plantings, we need to make sure that we allow “windows” for morning and afternoon sun to highlight the flowing waterfalls. Plant placement will be critical.

What I Am Trying to Achieve

“Japanese Maple & Waterfall”
Heatherwood Japanese Garden

My vision of our Heatherwood Japanese Garden stream and waterfall is to have the stream encased by green trees, spreading evergreen shrubs, and ground covers flowing over the stream edges. I want to create a feeling that the stream and surrounding plants and rocks are a single complementary element. In this image, the Japanese Maple flows into the stream. What is missing is something to cover the ground beneath the maple that will spread over the rocks.

Over the past year I have been gazing over the stream to define the “vignette” that I am looking for. I feel that I am ready to start moving forward. We are currently in the planning process to develop the specific plant selection for next year’s Heatherwood project. The stream bed and surrounding area will be our top priority.

A Start

“Yukimi and Waterfall”
Heatherwood Japanese Garden

In the summer of 2019 we built a stream, waterfall, and pond for our Japanese Garden. We also added several Japanese lanterns and small trees. This year we added a little ground cover. Our vision is to have the pond and stream lined with lush evergreen shrubs, trees, ground cover, and textured perennials that will cascade over the stream and pond’s edge. Additional trees will be planted to create a shaded environment. Time, a little work, and patience along with nature’s care is all that it will take to fulfill our vision. Our enjoyment will be to watch it evolve over time.

Spirit Clouds

“Emerging Spirits”
The Palouse, SE Washington

What a wonderful gift was given to me while meandering along some back roads north of Walla Walla in the Palouse. Layers of clouds were moving above. It was breezy and fairly dark. It felt like a storm was about to come in. I had an eerie feeling around me. My partner stayed in the car while I ventured out.

I took a long exposure to capture the movement of the clouds. I looked at my image and got excited as I saw rays emerging from the barn almost fighting with the clouds moving across the image. Two different air streams were layered on top of each other. One set of clouds was moving easterly while the other was moving south easterly toward me.

It is time for me to go to the Palouse to wander again. The rolling hills, old homesteads and clouds are calling. Hopefully some local travel will be possible in the relative near future.

Slowing Down Time

Kotoji and Waterfall
Heatherwood

More long exposure practice … For this image, I tried to create a feeling of slowing down time. I wanted the water to have a distinct character as opposed to being a soft blur. Time is a continuum. Each element in motion has a unique flow. Small streams of splashing water have their distinct line as opposed to being combined in a blur with others.

Silky Smooth

Japanese Garden Waterfall
Heatherwood

I wanted to practice my long exposure techniques. What a better place to work than our Japanese Garden waterfall. My target was to create a soothing feeling of a small segment of our stream as it falls into the pond. I liked how this section of the stream flowed over the edge and bounced off an intermediate rock before it scattered over a rock in the pond.

Creating a Feeling

Onomea Falls
Hawaiian Tropical Botanical Gardens

Over the years, I have visited the Hawaiian Tropical Gardens on the big island of Hawaii four times. Located near Hilo, it gets around 160 inches of rain a year. It is a tropical RAIN forest. Every visit has been on a brilliantly bright day, no clouds and no rain. This visit I was hoping for at least a cloud cover to help darken the gardens like it typically is … no such luck!

Onomea Falls is one of the special beautiful places in the garden that I enjoy most. My intent was to create an image of the falls in a dark setting as it typically is in. It was dark, but bright hot spots from open spots the canopy were located all around the area. I was not going to leave disappointed again. I took my time, worked my way around the area, played with filters and exposures and left with something I could work with. Back at home I combined images to reduce the hot spots and keep the shadow details. I converted to B&W (as was my intent when I took the images) and did a little selective dodging and burning.

The result to me was well worth the extra time!

Beauty of Moloka’i 8

Moloka’i High Cliffs from Mo’omomi

Waves peacefully swirl
Against protruding cliffs,
Inspire wonder inside me.

This is a long exposure perspective of Molokai’s high cliffs shown in my previous post.  My workshop associates were all around me.  I was totally engulfed in the moment and scene in front of me.  I felt completely alone with Mother Molokai’s  wonderful gift.  I long to go back.

Beauty of Moloka’i 6

Palm Grove – Moloka’i

Warm, calm, relaxed
Eyes first close, then slowly open
A new perspective appears 

I set up to photograph the sun setting over the horizon.  I anxiously waited as the sun descended slowly.  Every so often I would shoot a set of exposures for a HDR combination later.  I started to relax and just enjoy the scene.  Then the idea came to take a long exposure.  This resultant image best depicts the peaceful feeling I had watching the sunset.

Working with Long Exposures

Bandon Beach, Oregon

Part of what intrigues me with Black and White long exposure photography is the ability to really work with tones to create different moods.  I shot this image underexposed to present a deep calm mood.  In post-processing a dodged the sky slightly around the center sea stack and burned the corners of the frame slightly.