Frost and Japanese Gardens

The first assignment was posted last night on Digital Photography School.  It is titled "Seasons."  Whatever the season looks like or means to you in your area of the world.  The author of the post is in Melbourne, Australia so January is grilling time for him.   As soon as I saw the topic I immediately had my idea for the assignment. Here in Seattle November through April generally means mid 40's and drizzling rain.  Lately though it's been colder, mid 20's at night, and lost of frost in the morning.   I hope all of the weeks are this easy for me to get an idea.

After I dropped The Boy off at daycare I headed to our local japanese garden, Kubota Gardens.  To say that Kubota is beautiful is an understatement.  In the spring and summer it is often used for wedding, engagement, or quinceañera photo shoots.  My family goes to Kubota year round and are aways amazed at the variety of beauty throughout the year. Given the heavy frost we've been having I thought there might be some great opportunities for shooting. 

After I dropped The Boy off at daycare I didn't have much time, maybe 45 minutes to an hour, before I had to head back home and work (ah, the joys of working from home).  So I made sure I had everything ready and worked quickly.  I mainly used my 17-50 lens with a few shots with my 50 1.8 using an extension tube to capture some macro shots.  I worked my way around the main areas of the garden, shooting as I went. Both during shooting and post processing I found that I was more drawn to tiny details than large subjects. I am often drawn to small details such as shots of The Boy's hands holding Christmas Ornaments. (I am also drawn to overhead shots such as this one.) 

The first thing I was fascinated with was all of the decorative grass that was covered in frost.

 Frost on Grass I

 Frost on Grass I

 Frost on Grass II

 Frost on Grass II

I then worked my way around to one of the main ponds, the Spring Pond.  This pond is always popular with people taking snapshots, though I've struggled with taking a picture that I've really been happy with.  I was able to capture the fog rising off of the water this time and the greenery that is always present here in the Pacific Northwest. 

 Spring Pond fog

 Spring Pond fog

 Frost on moss.

 Frost on moss.

 One thing I did not realize is that it was cold enough for some of the ponds to partially freeze over. The ice formed beautiful patterns in the water and the low sun reflected nicely on it.

Frozen Pond Reflection

Frozen Pond Reflection

 Finally I got this picture of the Moon Bridge covered in frost.  

 Moon Bridge in frost.

 Moon Bridge in frost.

I wish that i had enough time to get up to the Heart Bridge.  It would have looked really spectacular.  Next time I'll head straight for it.  I'll also try to get there in time to set up for sunrise.

 Heart Bridge in Summer.

 Heart Bridge in Summer.

 In the end I'm only able to submit one photo for the challenge.  I love the first photo I took of the grass covered in frost though I've decided to go with the fog rising from the spring pond.  The assignments for the next several weeks were announced along side this weeks.  

They are:

  • 6th Jan - 20th Jan : Seasons
  • 13th Jan - 27th Jan : New Beginnings
  • 20th Jan - 3rd Feb : Angles
  • 27th Jan - 10th Feb : Water

Lots to think about for the upcoming themes.  I'm sure I'll come up with something.