Brian's Photo Blog — Article 451
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A Disappointing Evening At the Japanese Garden
Saturday 25 July 2015   —   Category: Outings
Yesterday I went on my fifth monthly photo outing to the Jap­a­nese Garden in Portland, Oregon. For more details about my past visits, and why I am doing this monthly, check out these previous articles: During the month of July the Garden offered special members-​only hours from 7:00 to 9:00 on Friday evenings, in addition to their standard members-only hours from 8:00 to 10:00 each morning (except Mondays). Because my four previous visits were all during those morning hours, I knew that I had to take advantage of seeing the Garden in the evening. Unfortunately, the experience fell WAY short of my expectations.

From images I had seen by other photographers, like those shown here, it seemed obvious to assume that the numerous stone lanterns (tōrō) scattered around the Garden would be lit during the special members-only evening hours. When I arrived at 7:00, I spent half an hour walking all the trails of the Garden, but not one of the dozen or two lanterns were lit.

However, it was still early. Because I had already taken hundreds of pictures at the Garden during previous morning visits, and because the evening light was so uninspiring for photography, I sat down on a bench to read my latest Star Trek novel. At 8:00 I quickly toured the Garden again, but still no lights.

With growing frustration and dis­ap­point­ment, I sat down again for another half-​hour reading session. At 8:30 I inspected the grounds once more. The only lights I found were the ones at the restroom doors! In disgust I left the Garden, frus­trat­ed that I had driven all the way from Albany for nothing. It was a total waste of time, effort and money. But it was my own fault, for I should not have made my false assumptions.

I suppose I should have contacted the Garden first, to verify that it would be lit up in the evening. But it seemed so ob­vi­ous (to me) that it would be lit up that it never entered my mind to imagine it wouldn’t. Hopefully I’ve learned my lesson!

I  e-mailed the Garden this morning to ask them this question: If the Garden is not beautifully lit during the special summer members-only evenings, then when IS it lit like the above photos, so that members can take their own pic­tures? Once I have a reply, I will be sure to report on it — see A Second Chance For Illuminated Stone Lanterns.

In the meantime, I will have to settle for admiring the pictures of other pho­tog­ra­phers rather than having the satisfaction of being able to take my own. Some­times life just doesn’t turn out how you want.

To see the photos taken during my previous outings (during the day), check out these albums:
Brian's Photo Blog — Article 451
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