Brian's Photo Blog — Article 424
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April 31st Visit to Portland's Japanese Garden
Monday 11 May 2015   —   Category: Outings
When I wrote about my first visit to Portland’s Japanese Garden, I explained that I had purchased an annual mem­ber­ship, which allows me to enter the Gar­den at 8:00 a.m. — two hours earlier than when the doors open to the public at 10:00. I also stated that I plan on taking pictures at the Garden once a month for the duration of my one-year mem­ber­ship.

As the end of April was rapidly approaching, I was trying to figure out when I would make that month’s trip. The lovely Oregon weather was making things a bit difficult. In addition, my wife and children wanted to go with me, and they were only available on Fridays. I was hoping to go on April 24th, but the weather would not cooperate. And the end of the month was the following Thursday.

So we ended up going on May 1st, which technically is not April. Yet, if you take the 30 from April 30th (the last day of the month), and add the 1 from May 1st, you get 31. So, in a sense, you could say that we went to the Japanese Garden on April 31st. That was close enough for my requisite April outing!

When my wife and two children were photographing the awesome view from the bridge, what was so photo-worthy? As you can see in the second image to the right, it was me — taking a picture of them! There are so many interesting sights at the Japanese Garden!

During my March visit I pretty much had the place to myself during the early members-only hours. Perhaps the time of year and the foggy weather that day had something to do with the lack of visitors. A month later, there were quite a few photographers competing for the best spots from which to take their shots.

From the time the doors opened exclusively to members at 8:00 a.m., there was one photographer after another monopolizing the space under the tree shown in the third image to the right, in order to get some sort of special shot.

I really wasn’t sure what they were so eager to photograph, and I wasn’t going to be able to find out until the last one finally moved on. After an hour and a half of waiting I eventually got my turn, and then I discovered what all the interest was about.

The fourth photo to the right is the resulting shot. As you can see, it was definitely worth the wait! What a difference a month makes! During my previous visit the tree had no leaves — see photo.

I was a bit apprehensive about this outing. After all, I had spent nearly three hours taking pictures at the Garden only a month before, resulting in not one, but two albums of images — see Portland Japanese Garden, Mar. 2015 and Portland Japanese Garden, Stereo 2015. So what more could there be to see?

As it turned out, quite a bit! The weather and lighting were different each time. Many plants were in bloom at the end of April which had not been at the end of March. And there was one or two which had been blooming in March, but now looked much more boring a month later.

Even though Portland’s Japanese Garden is not that big, there were even some parts of it which I had not seen or explored the first time. The fountain shown in the black and white photo to the right is just one example.

All in all, it was a very satisfying outing, and my apprehensions were misplaced. I did not feel forced into creativity at all.

I took a total of 122 photos during the two hours we were there. The best 42 are on display in the new Portland Japanese Garden, Apr. 2015 album — including two sequences (here and here), and a rare (for me) vertical panorama.

I suppose every month will not have the substantial changes which I found between March and April, yet I believe that there will be something unique about each of my twelve visits through February 2016. I’m looking forward to discovering, and photographing, what those differences are.
Brian's Photo Blog — Article 424
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