For the last year I’ve been planning on trying to go and visit the Portland Japanese Gardens for photos during the Fall when the leaves are bold and colorful. This season has been so busy with travel and events that we had to plan the trip about a month ago to do over this past weekend. As luck would have it I think we made it right when many of the trees were peaking with their colors.
One of the images I especially wanted to create was what I consider their famous Japanese Maple tree. This tree I’ve seen photographed so many times and each time it’s amazing and beautiful. I really wanted to have an image of my own in my landscape portfolio. When I got to the tree a crowd of 5 photographers were busy firing away so I decided to walk around with my wife Casey and explore the other areas of the garden. It was quite beautiful and I would recommend everyone in the area try to make it in the coming week as the colors were spectacular. I eventually got my turn at the tree and spent a good 20 minutes trying to work a couple of different perspectives.
A couple things I learned from this trip:
- Bring something to sit on, the benches were wet and for the tree photo I ended up having to sit on the wet path.
- Bring extra cloths and if possible find ways to block drops from landing on your lenses
- Plan on taking a while. This Garden had so many things to look at and photograph that I felt like a kid in a candy store and there wasn’t enough time to shoot everything I wanted. So I tried to focus on a couple of my favorite things, colors, leaves, drops, and the theme tranquility.
- I wish I brought a heavier duty tripod. I brought my travel tripod because it is crazy light and there was not very much wind so I thought it would suffice. It worked out but made working a bit slower as I had to wait for the camera to stabilize from vibrations longer! Especially when I shot up close with my 70-200