"Reason is powerless in the expression of Love." (Jalaluddin Rumi)
This is named "Gift of Namaste" and it is a composition of one of the lesser known Japanese maple trees that grow at the Japanese Garden in Portland, Oregon. And this glowing impression is instantly one of my own personal favorites: I love trees, I love color, I love magic, I love romance, I love hidden beauty...this image has all of that and more. I found romance and magic in the color and hidden beauty of this little tree set off from the beaten path. For me, this tree pulls in the resonance of a woman, so I will personify her as just that: a lady in the garden.
I know now that I was destined to find this tree long before I entered the garden on this day in October. I have had visions of this tree in my subconscious...in dreams and deja vu. I knew I would love this tree long before I ever met her. She was placed on purpose in the middle of my path I walk in life to remind me. It was her fate as well to encounter me and engage me in a lovely romance with my camera, and then thus become part of my life forever. This tree stands alone, yet is part of a bigger grove of trees different from her, but protecting her from other elements, showing a wisdom for her growth in her world. This tree is both delicate and majestic at the same time...having a commanding presence but still being able to blend in with of the less noticed background, mingle in away from all the noise of motion and movement elsewhere in the garden. She is a splendid duality of being both assertive and meek...both real and transcendent.
This tree, this wonderful gift to me, is in the middle of her own life's journey, yet more beautiful to my eyes than all of the other younger trees in the garden. I only have eyes for this tree, it is only her that I want to focus all of my adoration. I am amazed at her timeless soul and her patience as so many people just walk past her and pay no attention. Can't they all see that they just missed one of the best things they could ever know? And somehow she knows that I know this truth.
WoW, I have never seen anything so lovely as this tree. This beautiful tree is a gift for whoever meets her, as she is unassuming and humble, yet receptive to spend time with anyone who will just show her honor and respect, in other words, "Namaste." I am truly the lucky one to have stopped and noticed; to have been graced by her presence. I am humbled and honored to have been given the gift of her beauty and soul in this simple photographic composition. (hence the title of this image) Now, she has become part of me through my photography. All I can say to sum it all up is: Namaste.
Btw, this is not that "famous" tree that has been captured at this very Japanese garden in Portland by thousands of photographers. As far as I know, this is a unique composition of a Japanese maple tree that quite possibly has never been captured professionally before. This tree is located in one of the private Shinto temples located on the Japanese garden grounds, one that happened to be open on the date (October 3, 2016) I was visiting.
Here are a few great quotes about tress that compliment this compositon as well...
"I think the tree is an element of regeneration which in itself is a concept of time." (Joseph Beuys)
"Knowing trees, I understand the meaning of patience..." (Hal Borland)
"The tree which moves [one person] to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way...But to the eyes of the man of imagination, [a tree] is imagination itself." (William Blake)
"Every leaf speaks bliss to me, fluttering from the autumn tree." (Emily Bronte)
"How beautifully leaves grow old. How full of light and color are their last days." (George Burns)
"For me, trees have always been the most penetrating preachers. I revere them when they live in tribes and families, in forests and groves. And even more I revere them when they stand alone. They are like lonely persons. Not like hermits who have stolen away out of some weakness, but like great, solitary men, like Beethoven and Nietzsche." (Hermann Hesse)
"Nature's own masterpieces will never go away. If I am able to cast just a few of them in favorable light, and convince you, the viewer, to look at them again with greater appreciation and perhaps a fresh perspective, then I have succeeded as an artist." (Scott L. Christensen)
Camera settings: ISO-64, 40mm at f/8 for 1/2 second using a Progrey .9GND to balance down the brighter upper part of the composition 3 stops AND a Progrey .6GND placed inverted to the other GND to balance down the brighter lower part of the composition 2 stops. Placement of the filters this way also allowed me to better pick up the extra glow happening from the sun on the leaves and moss at the center of the tree. To capture this image, I shot upward into the trees' canopy by being positioned at a very low point of view along the truck of the tree. This tree was just starting to get its fall foliage so I was able to capture a mixture of green along with the myriad of red and soft gray/purple tones of the outer leaves. This is a single composition, and these colors were just bursting like fireworks as the sun back-lit the leaves. WoW! Image was taken at 2:37pm in the low light of a Pacific Northwest late-afternoon on 10/03/2016.
With this being an exposure in need of a steady hold, a good sturdy tripod is a necessity and for me this shot would never have been possible without my friends Daniel and April at Dolica Tripods.
As always, I hope this message and image find you well.