Have you ever misplaced something, looked everywhere and drove yourself crazy because you were unable to find it? How frustrating, right? And how many have misplaced a file on your computer, or worse forgot to save it then the computer crashes? I am sure this has happened at least once to everyone. Even for a veteran on the computer, it happened to me; I hate it when it happens. Only this time, I didn’t forget to save the files, I save the files, only they did not end up where I saved them. Rather the files disappeared. Poof! I saved them and off they went for a vacation in Cyberspace. The strange part in all of this, is half of the files were in the directory, while the other half was missing. I still can’t figure out while only half went partying in cyberspace somewhere. How does that happen? Half the files? Really, did they decide it was time for a party in cyberspace? Half the files. Not even in any given order. Random. Vanished.
A couple of days ago, the files miraculously returned from vacation. They were in the file directory where they belong, only dated. Imagine my surprise and delight. Strange. I now save all my images on three separate hard drives. I was lucky these image files were not a clients photos. That would have been disastrous.
I check on them occasionally to make sure they haven’t decided to go off partying again. I even checked the triplicate copies, in case the little files decided to go party after I put the computer to sleep for the night.
The files, were images were some that I took in June of last year while at the Japanese Gardens in Portland. Lloyd and I have been back to the gardens on several occasions since, for which I saved the image files in the same place as where they reappeared. Strange.
The gardens are located in a wonderful part of Portland and are a part of a large park system. You can read all about the Japanese Gardens and the other parks including the Portland Zoo, the Rose Gardens, and others by clicking on the links I have provided. Both Lloyd and I love venturing out to these fascinating places. They are generally peaceful, and make for a wonderful place to walk, hike on the trails, or take photographs. I highly recommend this area for anyone visiting Portland and those who live here. If you ever find time or are looking for something different to do around Portland. They are that wonderful to see and photograph.
I have placed some of the new images of the Japanese Gardens on our website in the gallery – Around Portland, Japanese Gardens. This gallery also has images from last fall, and were also featured in a blog back in November, if your interested in seeing more of the gardens. Also, all our images are available for purchase from our website or by contacting us directly via email. While I have no idea what happened to the images or why they suddenly reappeared, I’m delighted to no end they managed to find their way back to where they belong.
Simple. That is what is see when I look at the image – ‘Tiers’. This image was one that I had printed out, before the files went missing. I only printed one image. I am not sure why this particular image was special to me, whether it is because it was one of the first images I took with the new camera, being at the gardens for the first time or a combination. The image is nothing spectacular, it is merely, simple. It sat matted on my work desk, until recently when I decided to sell it.
The mini gardens were on exhibition during early June last year; they were extraordinary, some even exceptional and each created by local artists. These mini gardens were for sale as well, but one would need a credit card ready, as the pieces would really cost you. they were soothing to see and great objects to photograph.
The image above, ‘Colored Tiers’ was recently developed after locating the missing images.
The image of Mt. Hood, was taken from the gardens, along a hedgerow, intended to serve as a lookout to the majestic beauty. It was a beautiful day in June, sunny and clear skies. Nothing but blue skies all the way to Mt. Hood. I would imagine that all the surrounding Mountain peaks were revealing their tops as well. How fortunate we had such wonderful weather. I was a great afternoon. Mt. Hood practically screamed at us to take its photo. Standing their, looking out at the majestic mountain, it was if you could reach out and grab a handful of snow. It was very special to see how much snow remained on the mountain.
The above stone pathway is but one of several types of paths that lead one through the intricately designed gardens. The stones represent the bones of the landscape and are one of the three elements used to create the gardens and what separates a Japanese garden from other lush gardens. Appropriate stone composition is one of the most important elements in creating a well-designed garden.
The gardens, as I mentioned, sit quietly within an urban area and incorporate the natural beauty of the landscape into the design of the gardens. If I recall the gardens occupy roughly five and half acres, and represent one of the most authentic Japanese gardens outside of Japan. Quiet, tranquil, and beautiful the gardens are a haven nestled in the scenic west hills of Portland. Seeing is believing. A photographers dream.
Water is the second element, the life giving force of the garden. Walking through the gardens you will find several ponds with Koi and surrounded by specific plants, which represent the tapestry of the four seasons.
A true Japanese garden is asymmetrical in design and reflects nature in idealized form and has both primary and secondary elements. The primary elements being water, stone, and life, while secondary elements include pagodas, stone lanterns, water basins, arbors, and finally bridges. The image ‘Water Lantern and Stones’ includes both primary and secondary elements. The next image is practically a mirror image, taken last November. I wanted to show the difference the seasons make.
which is why I have two similar photographs. The first taken in early June, while and the second was taken toward the end of October. What is apparent, is the second image is more lush, the water is clear, the image crisp and beautiful. The first image while beautiful, the colors are more greenish-yellow, the water more murky and of the same color. What I wish to convey is that you can visit the gardens many times and at variable times of the year and never see the same image twice. In other words, one never tires of the Japanese gardens because the scenery is always changing. You never know what you will see when you go to the gardens.
The above image is a path leading to a water basin with a wheel. It is neatly tucked away beautifully under the grand foliage which is so clear from every aspect.
The ‘Water Wheel’ is the prize at the end of the path. This wheel transports water from the stream up through the wheel and out a spout which conveys water to the pond below.
The tall pagoda is actually not a great photo as it aligns with the tree. The shot would have been better had the image been shot at more of an angle. People often make that mistake; trying to align oneself or an object with another object. One can actually offset a photo for a more dynamic photo or searching for angles which will make the image pop, when developed. Photographers often refer to the rule of thirds. And if you note most of the really great photos one can see how well the objects are framed within the picture and how the eye follows the line. Framing the image more to the side, or when looking through the view finder you shift the focal point to the side, to angle or include possibly another object, or cutting out an object or zooming in to capture a more detailed photo. Try it. You will be surprised how effective this little trick is and much it will improve your photos. Truly.
As one wanders along any given path inevitably they find themselves glancing upon the hillside where ones eyes capture a nearly ethereal waterfall, described appropriately as ‘Heavenly Falls’. As one’s eyes follow the graceful spillage of water, it is truly as if the heavens turned on one of their magical faucets. In this image, the lower part of the photo was cropped to avoid the image of the water in the pool below. This manipulation was necessary to the expression I was trying to convey. This photo of ‘Heavenly Falls you will note, that the falls the focal point of the image, are off to the side of the photo. It makes for a more dramatic photo while still capturing the image of the falls. taken.
‘Enchanted Dreams’ was developed in black and white with a subtle hint of red for dramatic effect. The darkness of the photo, required a subtle yet dramatic touch to make the photo pop. Hence the touch of red in the flowers. From ‘Enchanted Dreams to ‘Mystical Forest’ below, we are taken through a part of the gardens that were kept in their natural condition. To reach this area, one must cross a Japanese style bridge. Another element important in Japanese gardens. I apparently did not take a photo while standing on the bridge. I am unsure why I didn’t take a shot from here maybe I did and the files continues its ‘Vacationing in Cyberspace.’ Standing on the bridge one finds a pond on one side the other, a stream channel which flows toward the ‘Heavenly Falls’.
Crossing the bridge, one finds themselves in a world of natural beauty. Undisturbed forest allowed to stay in its natural beauty upon creation of the gardens. Beneath the grand trees and darkening over story canopy is an environment comprised of moss and darkness and other special creatures and foliage.
I chose to develop ‘Mystical Forest’ in black and white mostly for effect. From my eye, the black and white gave the photo a mystical aura as the canopy cover was so dense and uniquely beautiful.
‘A Thicket in Nature’ was an interesting little fence that seemed out of place, for no particular reason, perhaps to keep people out. I found it interesting because it gives the eye the illusion that the fence is extending up slope, which in fact it does.
Nestled under Japanese Maples and under other deciduous trees one can find little lanterns perched on a cement hearth. What is a Japanese Garden without seeing the unique stone gardens – so zen.
The ‘Stone Garden is one of two, the other a the base of the long hill that was impassable then.
One last look at Portland and Majestic Mount Hood from a slightly different vantage. Regardless of where you stand along the hedgerow the view of downtown Portland and Mount Hood in the background is breathtaking. On a day like June 4, it was a lovely day for an outing to the Japanese Gardens. I am really glad that I located the images. While some were the same or similar to those I presented in the November blog, it was nice to see what the garden offers in early summer.
As one makes their way toward the exit we find the tall pagoda like lantern standing tall under a Japanese Maple tree.
This photo takes in one last look at the gardens. Regardless of where the images had spent the last several months, I am glad they materialized and was able to share them with you. I hope you enjoyed the show. Until next time.