WPC: Japanese Beauty From Every Angle

Yesterday, I just wrapped up a huge project for work.  (Just imagine pouring over 150 pages of single spaced text for the past few weeks and you’ll get the idea.)  After days of working at my desk, I needed to go out and clear my mind.  So, I took up guest editor Shane Francescut’s photo challenge this week to explore a place from a variety of angles.  Where did I go?  The new Japanese Gardens at the Frederick Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids.  The gardens opened earlier this summer and they are stunningly beautiful.  The project, which cost $23 million, took several years.  The result is an 8-acre garden with a Japanese tea house, ponds, waterfalls, and winding paths.  The garden also features pieces of sculpture that blend with or highlight the natural beauty of the surroundings.

Images #1 and 2:

As you can see in these first two shots, every detail adds to the impression that you have been transported to Japan.

Japanese Maple with Crosshatch Filter. Shot with a Canon 70D.

Japanese Maple with Crosshatch Filter. Shot with a Canon 70D.

 

Japanese Lantern Guarding the Entrance. Shot with a Canon 70D.

Image #3:  Some of the plants are native to Japan.  I had never seen such a gorgeous flowering bush like this before.

Blooming Pink Bush. Japanese Gardens. Shot with a Canon 70D.

Blooming Pink Bush. Japanese Gardens. Shot with a Canon 70D.

Image #4.  Every where I turned, I saw something beautiful.  I took this shot looking down at the water lillies in the pond.

Looking Down at the Water Lillies. Shot with a Canon 70D.

Water Lillies in Meier Gardens. Shot with a Canon 70D.

Image #5.   The guard said that staff rake the rock garden once a week.  As they work, they say that they feel a wonderful calmness.

The Serenity Garden in Meijer Gardens. Shot with a Canon 70D.

The Serenity Garden in Meijer Gardens. Shot with a Canon 70D.

Image #6.  Some of the bonsai are decades old.  This tree is relatively young–around 15.

Bonsai with Crosshatch Filter copy

Image # 7:  The Japanese tea house is open several times a year for demonstrations of the tea ceremony.

Japanese Tea House. Meijer Gardens. Shot with a Canon 70D.

Japanese Tea House. Meijer Gardens. Shot with a Canon 70D.

Image #8:  The Philosopher’s Steps are appropriately named.  As I climbed the winding path, I was struck by its simple yet intricate design.

The Philosopher's Steps. Japanese Gardens at Meijer Gardens. Shot with a Canon 70D.

The Philosopher’s Steps. Japanese Gardens at Meijer Gardens. Shot with a Canon 70D.

 

Image #9.  I saved my favorite for last.  Some of you may remember this sculpture from an earlier post.  This time I took a close up of the “Long Island Buddha” by Zhang Huan.

Sculpture. Long Island Buddha. Shot with a Canon 70D.

Thanks for joining me on my walk through the gardens.  For more information on their location and other features, click here. If you’re ever in Grand Rapids, I hope you stop by and visit.  You won’t be disappointed.

Technical Note:

All the shots in this post were taken with a Canon 70 D with a 17 to 70mm Sigma lens.  They were processed in Photoshop.

Are any of you waiting until the end of the summer, to take some time off?  If so, what are you going to do?  I’m going to the beach.  🙂   Whatever you do, enjoy!

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24 replies »

  1. Hi Amy. Thanks! I realize I didn’t completely follow Shane’s directions, but I had fun getting close to the objects and shooting them from different angles. I’m experimenting some more this weekend. Are you doing some photography this weekend too or do you have other plans?

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  2. There is a Japanese garden at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, but it’s nowhere near as lovely as this one. I like the many different textures in the lanscaping. There seems to be a surprise around every corner. 🙂

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