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In May of 2016 I was traveling with a small group of photographers along the coast of Oregon in the US. Upon arrival in Portland, OR we decided to visit the Japanese Rose Gardens where my fellow travel companions had spent time on a previous trip west and said "it was a must visit" location.
It was the second week of May and the weather was perfect so we spent a few hours shooting images of the incredible variety of roses as well as the Koi Pond, Zen Gardens and myriad other beautiful spaces in this magical location.
The roses were truly exceptional, especially as I was using my new Lensbaby Velvet 56 which is an extraordinary and interesting lens. I love it, many do not but I thought it wonderful for taking photos of flowers in these conditions and I have many images that I am proud of from this day of shooting.
Though I love many of the rose images I took that day, the Koi Pond, shown here, was among my favorite with it's zen-like feel, running water and multi-colored Koi fish swimming lazily about as people fed them and children ooh'd and aaah'd over these beautiful and mysterious fish that hold special meaning in many cultures. Feng shui, a spiritual form of organization and placement of objects, says that having the spirit of the koi near you will attract good luck, fortune, and spiritual benefits. Sitting quietly in this peaceful location between bouts of tourists and their children ogling the fish and waterfalls, the reader will find an almost eerie sense of calm and understanding of what the garden designers are interpreting and presenting to the viewer.
If you are ever in Portland (with or without your camera or family) I highly recommend a visit. If you choose to bring your camera, bring a mix of lenses as you will want everything from Macro to a long lens in the 70-200 range. Bring the family and they’ll have a blast on their own wandering the paths without you as you stop every ten feet to shoot something new and amazing. Have Fun!