Another highlight of my Oregon trip was the Japanese Gardens in Portland. This place is a photographer’s paradise. I’ve never seen so many tripod-mounted cameras in one place; for a minute I thought I was witnessing the summer solstice at Stonehenge. The abundance of foliage combined with Portland’s typically overcast day makes for many low-lighted scenes, and a tripod allows the photographer more flexibility in his shooting. Unfortunately, I didn’t have my tripod with me so all of these photos are “hand held”, as they say in the trade. The sun broke through the clouds to back light this scene, which helped a little.
The area around this footbridge was my favorite part of the Japanese Gardens. It must be well known by the local photographers, or maybe I just happened to be there when serious photographers make their once-in-a-lifetime “pilgrimage” to this mecca of beauty and tranquility. Even though the area was crawling with people, it was very quiet. There was a sense of peace, order, tranquility, solitude — maybe reverance is the best word to describe it.
Near the footbridge is this small waterfall and pond, which provided the relaxing sound of running water, the only sound that could be heard by the many tranquilized visitors.
Technically, this is a crummy shot, but I like the way it came out — pretty artsy-fartsy for me. I was trying to get a close-up shot of the fall-colored leaves that had collected in this pool, but I couldn’t hold the camera steady enough for the long exposure time I had to use. The shot is titled “Soft Focus” to make you think I was trying to do this. Hmmm, so that’s why all those other guys are using a tripod.
This shot turned out much better, technically. The colored leaves in this shot aren’t as dramatic as in the previous photo, but there was better lighting for me here — the dufus who wasn’t using a tripod.
The Japanese Gardens are built on a hillside overlooking downtown Portland, and I was lucky to be there on a day clear enough to see the top of Mount Hood. I call this a “Chamber of Commerce” shot.
Other photos from the Japanese Gardens are shown below. Click on any thumbnail to see it full size:
Thought for the day: Suppose you were an idiot … and suppose you were a member of Congress … but I repeat myself. Mark Twain