My friends Deigh and Dave came up from Eugene to spend some time in Portland with a variety of purposes in mind. Our tentative schedule got turned upside down a bit when the foggy/hazy weather did not provide much to shoot at the first stop – Pittock Mansion. The gardens there have been reduced to allow a lengthy and needed restoration of the outside terraces on the building. Age takes a toll and the building deserves a good facelift. I am really hoping that who ever does the work respects the history and that the renovation does not detract when complete. Honestly, I can’t imagine it any other way and expect that the contractor(s) will do well.
We moved downtown to ProPhoto to shop for a variety of things. Each of us had our own interests and we all added to the daily coffer at the store as we left. I’m the owner of a new Nikon 50mm f/1.4 lens to replace the one I had but which has come up missing. Di and I are sure that it was in the house the last time we saw it and we’ve scoured the place to find it. No luck. It’s been about 3 weeks since we noticed it gone and I’ve given up the chance of stumbling on it. Hence, the new one.
The next stop was the Japanese Garden. Followers of this blog and guests in town have seen the Garden in photos or in person. We used to be members of the Japanese Garden but I dropped the membership when they implemented what I consider a poorly crafted “photo policy” which requires anyone who may entertain the idea of selling a photo taken in the Garden to be a Photographic Member at a cost of $150 per year. Plus, they (the Garden) has words in the policy that imply, or state, that they would take license to any photo sold and control any language used to describe it. Plus, they state that there is to be no “portrait” photography in the garden. Given that they don’t define “portrait photography” in the policy I have to assume that they mean any situation in which a person is purposefully placed in a location with the specific intent to take a picture of that person with some portion of the garden as a background. Clearly, most people with family or friends who visit the Garden violate the “no portrait photography” portion of the policy. Yeah… their policy irks me. Yes, I hope that they have a way to discover this post and read my discontented words. Yes, I have ideas on ways that they can improve on the policy to protect their ownership and rights.
Whew… I feel better. Well, almost. As we started to enter we all read the photo policy which is posted near the ticket booth. Like the Garden’s website, the poster clarifies that there is a $2.00 fee to take a tripod into the Garden if you are not a member. I was surprised by the sign on the ticket booth that declared that the tripod fee was $5.00, not $2. Not understanding the contradictory information placed within 20 feet of each other I asked “why?” “We had to update the cost” was the answer. I explained that their own signage and website lead us to believe that it was $2.00. Nope, it was going to be $5.00 each, no wiggle room. I can not understand how the cost of tripod entry could go up since there is no service or enforcement provided by Garden staff in relation to my use of the tripod. But, after a bit of huffing and puffing over the costs and the policy (mostly by me) we entered the garden, 15 legs between us we set out to see what was photographable. As usual, there is no shortage of things to look at, appreciate and photograph. At one point I purposefully violated the “no portrait photography” and took a photo of a mother and daughter with Mom’s iPhone. No staff tapped me on the shoulder to reprimand me… big surprise.
The last time I’d been to the Garden they were reconstructing the pool area in front of the main waterfall in the Garden. Now that the construction is over the pond once again delights visitors. It really is a grand view. I plunked my $5.00 tripod down (I’m not quite done ranting yet) and set up a long exposure. The pool bottom now has structure within it… looks like a sunken pool within the pool. Adds another dimension to the scene. Someday I’ll ask about the design purpose since I know there has to be one. Everything in the Garden is purposeful and well executed.
The photo below involved 4 minutes of exposure (please click on the image for a larger view). I like the effect on the waterfall and how the pond surface smooths out. Unfortunately, the long exposure also means that the koi will be invisible. I’ll probably return in the fall when there are leaves in the pool to repeat this shot. Previous attempts worked out “ok” but I know better now and expect better results.
We parted ways as we left the Garden. Deigh and Dave left to find some lunch downtown and then to visit a local gallery before returning to Eugene. It was a nice, albeit short, visit. I’m hoping their images are what they hoped for.