Sunday, October 23, 2016

A Photo Story

Reflections, Japanese Gardens, Gibbs Gardens

I am a self taught photographer. I studied Adam Jones, a well known nature photographer here in the States, and James Archambeault, a well known Kentucky outdoor photographer, whose specialty is landscapes and historical settings. I practiced shooting the light using 35mm slide film. I was actually quite good at it to my amazement. When I switched to digital it was frightening. The best thing I did was purchase Adobe Lightroom. Lightroom brings out detail in the shadows which is one of its best features. I love detail and I especially love bold, rich color. It comes from working too many years in the advertising industry. However, I seldom tweak the color, yet at times I do tweak saturation.

I wished I could have captured a crystal clear reflection in this image, but Mother Nature was blowing wistful breezes that day at Gibbs Gardens. I was thankful for them as it was hot. I used my 200mm lens. I had stopped using it so much, but recently I have noticed I am switching back and forth from the 200 to 300mm. This is one of my favorite images from that outing. The contrast in the green foliage and trees is fantastic and the detail, I love it. I took three portraits of this setting, working more on landscape views. I didn't linger when I took the portraits, yet I did on the landscapes. Turns out I love the portrait setting best. Isn't it amazing how that happens.

I appreciate your comments from my trip to Gibbs Gardens and Old Car City, and again to Cheekwood. I do have another post on Old Car City I will share soon. Fall is upon us here in Tennessee. Have a great week. ENJOY!

Friday, October 21, 2016

Colorful Fall Arbor

As luck would have it, I happened upon the Arbor in the Robert Ellis Color Garden at the perfect time. All of the beautiful Elephant Ears and Cana Lilies were in bloom. Rows and rows of purple and yellow and deep Crimson Chrysanthemums lined the Arbor walkway at Cheekwood during their annual Cheekwood Fall Harvest Festival. Whether you are knee deep in snow high in the mountains, walking along the seashore, down at the lake shore, at the river's edge or rustling through the falling red, orange and yellow leaves of Fall deep in the valley, have a great weekend. ENJOY!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Pumpkin House & Patch

What a fantastic idea to craft a small house completely out of pumpkins and a thatched straw roof. The kiddos loved it as they ran in and out at Cheekwood. There were piles of pumpkins laying all around it in a pumpkin patch fashion. It was a popular area for everyone. It just occurred to me one could make a smaller version of this for a Fall decor display. Oooohhhh! ENJOY!

Linking to Foodie Friday & Everything Else

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Black Magic of Autumn

No doubt Cheekwood is well known for its magnificent floral displays throughout its gardens. Yet, as I walk under the Arbor in the Robert Ellis Color Garden, my senses were overtaken by the enormous deep purple leaves of the Black Magic Elephant Ears. They were stunning and they attracted me much like bees are attracted to honey. But it isn't just the Elephant Ears, the bright purple Salvia which grows behind the Black Magic is simply gorgeous. The color contrast like no other. And I am certain Cheekwood gardeners planned this combination just for this exact reaction.

With Autumn comes the red, orange and yellow colors that delight us all and bring us out of our houses to tour the woods and forests and countrysides. However, at Cheekwood you can find a setting like none other. Here reside the deep purplish blacks and vibrant, stunning lavenders that emit a warmth that adds a whole new dimension to the term Autumn. I can never walk past the Black Magic Elephant Ears without capturing a few images. These beauties are surrounded by our customary red, yellow and orange Chrysanthemums planted up and down the entire length of the Arbor. Did you know that Black Magic Elephant Ears unfold in bright green, then slowly turn to purple and finally give way to the blackish purple I share with you today. ENJOY!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Scarecrows, Cheekwood Fall Harvest Festival

It's time for Cheekwood's Fall Harvest Festival here in Nashville. 
These are a few of my favorite scarecrows featured in the Turner Seasons Garden this year. 
As you descend the steps to the Turner Seasons Garden, you meander through an area of dense foliage and trees.
 Scarecrows are posted all along the walkway to the delight of the visitors and this year's display was fantastic. 

First up is my absolute favorite scarecrow. Love the happy painted face on this 'Pumpkin & Pigtails' Scarecrow with her fancy hairdo complete with pigtails and her patchwork jean overalls. Do you see the black Crow perched on her straw hat. I'm afraid if I saw her in a field, I wouldn't be the least bit scared. How about you?

Next up is the infamous 'Country Singer' Scarecrow. Where else but Nashville, the Country Music Capital of the World, could you find such a colorful musician complete with a jewel encrusted guitar, striped short, blue jeans and a star studded straw hat. I think he could definitely use a facial though. Don't you agree?

My third favorite in the Turner Seasons Garden has to be this dude who I refer to as 'The Pirate'. All chained up with nowhere to go, although you have to admit he is prepared for a fight with his sword ready for battle. His skeleton buddy resting on his shoulder is a sight too. He is quite the stylish pirate in his swatch buckling bright red shirt and black leather vest and black pants.

There was some serious work involved in creating these dudes. I really enjoyed walking the garden to check out all of the scarecrows. I'll share more images from my walk around the Fall Harvest Festival at Cheekwood soon. The flowers were beautiful this year in the Robert Ellis garden. ENJOY!

Linked to Foodie Friday & Everything Else

Saturday, October 8, 2016

The Manor House, Gibbs Gardens

With late afternoon approaching, I traveled via shuttle to the Manor House, James Gibbs personal residence, to visit the Koi Pond at Gibbs Gardens. The house itself sits high up on a hill overlooking the Georgia mountains. Limestone steps lead up to the house with Elephant Ears and other ground cover growing in abundance around the trees.

The Koi Pond was situated adjacent to the Manor House with sculptures surrounding it, not to mention a beautiful limestone wall with a waterfall that spilled over into the pond. I read that 20 to 30 year old plants and trees were planted around the Manor House when it was built to add instant age and character. Amazing.

What I did see of the Manor House was beautiful with huge windows spanning almost the entire front of house. Just outside the front door was a huge veranda overlooking the hillside. Would you believe there's a veranda behind all the bushes in this image. Rocking chairs sat idly waiting for visitors to use. What a host to allow his own veranda to be used by visitors.

Earlier in the day, attendants had mentioned a large Rose Arbor off the Manor House, so off I went down the hill in search of it. Sure enough there it was with benches sitting along the walkway and sculptures along the parameter. Flowers were blooming everywhere with Bees and Butterflies buzzing. The Arbor was beautiful with its vines draped off of it.

To capture an image of the length of the Arbor I walked down the hillside on the lawn. By this time the light was absolutely awful, but I persevered. To see such a mansion up close surrounded by a beautiful pond and gorgeous gardens was a treat. Every bit of it was stunning. I hope you enjoyed this walk with me. ENJOY!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Monet's Bridge at Giverny

In the Waterlily Gardens at Gibbs Gardens' in Ball Ground, Georgia, sits an exact replica of Monet's Bridge at Giverny. You know the one. That famous bridge he painted in watercolor and no doubt hundreds, if not thousands, of copies have been made.

How does one do justice in an attempt to photograph such beauty. After several exposures in one setting, I moved about the pond attempting to take different perspectives. Yet as I culled through my archive, I realized my initial perspective was the best. I especially like the tree in the far left background. I also like the hint of Fall in the tree behind the bridge. It added just the right depth and dimension.

James Gibbs, the architect of this beautiful landscape, delighted in the original Monet's Bridge in the Gardens at Giverny that he decided to replicate it in his own gardens. The bridge, with its steel beams, rails and arbor, was measured and reproduced with the same radius. The island was built over the pond to support the span of the bridge. Gibbs also chose Monet's same color choice. The bridge's Wisteria vines drape over the side of the arbors casting dramatic shadows on the water throughout the day. What a setting and such a peaceful one. I hope you enjoyed my perspective. ENJOY!

Linking to Our World Tuesday

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

European White Waterlily

The star of the show. That is the only way I could describe this beautiful European White Waterlily as it sat afloat on the pond's surface with it's huge green Lily pads surrounding it. The reflection in the water was almost as beautiful as the Lily itself. Amazingly, every photographer around was at some point standing post with their tripod near the water's edge capturing image after image. Hence, the 'star' of the show.

I don't know what my favorite Waterlily would be should I choose one from all of the images I captured on my journey to Gibbs Gardens. There were such gorgeous varieties everywhere. The blues and purples, however, were the most stunning. Warm colors always are, don't you agree. On another note this weekend is supposed to be stellar and I have decided to plan a trek to Cheekwood to take in their Mums display. The word on the street is they have a cottage made out of pumpkins and I surely must photograph it, not to mention the S

Linking to Foodie Friday & Everything Else