Thoughts from the Garden

My first post for this blog was Simplicity. It was the beginning of the year, and I was minding my new year resolution to simplify everything. Now it is less than three months going into another year, and I am still fighting to reduce my clutter. I am still carrying a big to-do list.
There were days that I went over my photo library and simply could not find anything to put into use.  On other days, I have taken much and ended up with many favorites that I could not let go of; consequently, I am swimming in my photo pools.  I have tried to establish my editorial calendar and plan ahead, but I have not been able to catch up.  Too much going on and not enough time to do it all.  Photography is meant for pleasure but I am catching pressure.  However, whenever I am onsite to shoot, I am relaxed and easily wandered away.
On a photography project to shoot some outdoor home spaces for the representation of Oregon outdoor living, I aimed at two friends’ houses with the intention to capture some outdoor shots.  I purposely did not choose new and large houses, for I like the established houses with a down-to-earth kind of ambiance.  I meant to shoot outdoor space, but I found myself kept being side-tracked by garden decors. So I launched my treasure hunt….
These garden decors become so interesting to me because they represent the found mind behind, my lady friends in the houses.  Meanwhile, I discovered an interesting contrast between vegetation and metal.  Tender and fragile vegetation (nature) actually gets along well with metals (artificial), the solid, and the unbendable. I realized that harmony does not have to result from the same cord, when the extreme notes collide, they are neutralized and harmony takes place.

As the garden grows, so grows the gardeners‘, it is so true. I love it. Below this gardener’s sign, there is an S which is the initial of my friend’s family name. Instead of a factory-made letter, I believe that she made it with some small rocks. This small handwork has the signature of the gardener’s heart who takes pride in her work in the garden.
As long as the door handles of the greenhouse are being used often, the garden remains thriving. These are the coolest door handles I have ever seen. What a creative and fitful door handle for a greenhouse!  I have been in this house so many times and this is the first time that I actually noticed this.  If not for my camera, I would not see it either this time.
Fall is here. The ever-changing fall leaves have brought us colors after colors. We are so fortunate to live here in Willamette Valley. The greens stay with us almost all year round till it frosts or even snows. Frost and snow barely stay more than 2-3 days. By the time frost is lifted and snow melts, the green acre shows up again.
If it is not the maple leaves, you may think this image (below) was taken in spring or summer. The tin flower hanging vase is attached to the tree in fine strings. The pointed shape goes so well with maple pointed leaves and the star gives a nice touch-down (thinking football? no) to the ground while bell fuchsia is dancing around it.
This is what I am talking about, a slight touch, a bit of artistic flair, and loads of colors. Spring and summer are gone, and we still embrace fall regardless of falling leaves and inactive growth in the garden. Nature provides in all seasons: I took flower close-up shots when flowers are blooming, I chased fall colors in the wind and I love to photo frosty leaves and twigs on snowy days.
It is quite unusual that I was manufacturing solid brass home decorative hardware for my previous business. Metals were what I touched every day and my office was often filled with raw casting pieces, semi-finished products, and finished new products. I did not choose metal products for my business, they landed on me when initial business opportunities surfaced. I enjoyed the work because I built the entire product line and the creative process kept me interested. But I am certainly glad that I don’t have to get my hands rough and dirty again.
How would I ever imagine that I am now enjoying these metal decors?  I can tell you exactly how these products are made and if I know the cost of the materials now, I can give you the price to manufacture in the offshore factory, too.  But what a luxury that I can now just kick back and relax in the environment where I am living.  Oregon living is simple and yet stimulating because we are constantly nurtured by nature and our mind is being purified at all times.
The other garden has a large collection of metal decors. There are metal flowers, leaves, bugs, pots… all the bells and whistles.   The pieces are all so dramatic that I felt challenged to take them all in and be able to create some artistic shots.
It took me a while to figure out how to shoot this large windmill with the lens I have. I have tried different angles, but it did not work till I finally decided to break the rule – shoot two’s instead of three’s. And, instead of the rule of thirds, I chose the diagonal balance.

At 6 years old, I have never been in a country and seen an owl. I was shocked by their large eyes on a dark night when I was first brought to the countryside. That shock still remains in me to this day and I am glad that they are now just metal castings, immobile and I can stare at them to my content. I have broken the rule of 3, why not more? But I focused on the little ‘one’ and blurred the other just to take ‘two’ out of your mind:-)

It was close to the end of my shooting, I was metal out and looking for something where I can get some fresh air and call it a day.

The wood gazebo structure is always nice. Hanging flower baskets with coconut fabric has always been my favorite because they look natural. Though there is wrought iron framework, I seemed not to mind because I was led to the skylight, the nice wood structure, and the blue sky beyond.

What can it be better to have a warm sunny day while fall leaves are falling and sunbathing? The metal flower is guarding the fence, keeping the deer out.  (The last image was shot AS IS. I was surprised to see how beautiful the fall colors are.)

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