“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.
Shin Deshojo Japanese Maple Heatherwood Japanese Garden
How fast things change. The initial color of the first emerging leaves of this Shin Deshojo is a light pinkish red. Within a week they had turned to this brilliant red. Now, a month later, the leaves are a greenish-red color. Soon they will be a medium green. And then in the fall, they will be a brilliant red again. What a wonderful show this little tree gives us over the year.
The different and changing colors of our 26 Japanese Maples consistently catch my eye. Every time I walk through the garden, I look for something different. It is easy to find.
This view of the Kotoji Japanese lantern and the spring-colored Japanese maples is just one of the several focal points that we can see from our view point shown in my previous posting. The afternoon sun makes the reds of the Japanese maples glow as well as highlights the Kotoji. Spring at Heatherwood is brilliant. A glass of red wine goes well with the red Japanese maples. Here’s a toast to Spring!
Hoarfrost is amazing. The small ice crystals build up on each other as the frost forms. Here, the hoarfrost continued to build up over a two day period. The frost looks like multiple sharp spikes on the exposed Japanese maple branches.
I was prepared for a sharp prick when I touched a branch. As soon as I got close the frost melted. No pain!
The weather continues to be warm. It almost feels like spring. I need to remember that we are just starting the third week of winter. I am sure that the real winter weather is yet to come. So to keep things in perspective, I reflect back several weeks ago when a cold spell hit and we had two days of hoarfrost. It was beautiful but very cold. It was too cold for me to mess around with a tripod, thus my images are not as crisp as I would have liked.
A walk in garden always prepares me for a beautiful day ahead. My eyes wander all about me. They jump from directly in front of me to the hills and valleys surrounding our garden. Then something clicks and draws me closer. I see a little treasure. I love the morning, afternoon, evening, or whenever I am walking in the garden.
How can I make a simple branch covered with frost pop out from its surrounding??? Just move around to position something interesting behind it. I found a faded clump of Japanese Forest Grass for a background. Using a shallow depth of field caused the grass to look like a radiating energy force field. I could feel the energy emerge as I recorded the image.
Today is an overcast dark day. I need a little brightness!
Yesterday I visited the Portland Japanese Gardens. Even though the day was overcast and a bit drizzly, the bright fall colors of this Japanese maple brightened the surroundings and captured my eye. The fall color was past its prime. But, there was still quite a bit of color patches. I thought the gardens were beautiful and can just imagine what they were like during their prime color. Next fall I will return during the peak.
P.S. I was practicing working with light and found this brilliant reflection.
My photography has not been very creative lately. When I get this way, I like to walk around and just practice. I do not have high expectations and just stop to photograph what catches my eye. I usually do not carry a tripod with me during these practice shoots. I use them as a scouting inspiration/exploration endeavor to come back and shoot at a better time. This image was taken in mid-day light at the Washington Arboretum Japanese Garden in Seattle. I spent 2 to 3 hours just walking around and enjoying the beautiful garden. I shot for less than an hour.
Once home, I just started playing around with different processing techniques on a few images. Again, more practice. This was one of the images that caught my eye. The original image was full of bright yellows, greens, and some oranges. I almost did not even try black and white processing. I wasn’t happy with the standard B&W images either, so I decided to experiment (play) some more. This sepia with a reverse vignette was the result.