Summer Heather Garden

Summer Heather Garden

20×24 prints are $2,000
30×40 prints are $4,000

In the first week of September 1998 I had a gallery opening in Gualala, California at the Alinder Gallery. Ruth and I drove there for the gallery opening and stayed with Jim and Mary. As usual, I brought my camera equipment with us “just in case” an image would present itself to me. Little did I know.

The day of the gallery opening Jim suggested we take a look at a private heather garden close by. He had received permission from Jim and Beverley Thompson for us to privately photograph their landscaped grounds. Jim and Beverley welcomed us with great hospitality and Jim gave us a tour of the property. Jim hybridized many of the heathers in this scene and he’s the artist who sculpted and designed the paths and mounds of heathers and conifers. He was especially proud of this viewpoint.

It was a sunny afternoon and I went around busily photographing and with Ruth’s help was able to make five photographs. This is not one of them. When we were done, we thanked the Thompsons, went back to the Alinders and rested up for a busy gallery opening that night.

Early next morning we loaded up the car and prepared to drive straight back to our home in Oregon, a 13 hour trip. The day was foggy with no wind and Ruth was driving, as usual. In about 1/2 an hour into our trip we drove past the Thompson’s place. Ruth had a flash of inspiration, pulled the car over and told me we were going back for more photos. I was whining that we had a long trip ahead of us and that I’d already photographed what I saw there yesterday. To no avail, we were stopping.

She was right. OK, she was very right. I looked around and took only this one photograph of one of the same scenes I had photographed the day before. The soft light was perfect and the artistry of Mr. Thompson was on full display. I purposefully left a bit of the rough wooden fence in the top right corner of the image to indicate we are looking at a masterfully designed landscape. I used my Rodenstock 360mm Apo-Sironar-S lens at f/45-1/2 for a 2.5 second exposure on Velvia 50 film.

This is the only image I have that shows a manicured, carefully crafted landscape. To me, the artistry and skill of the Thompsons has a natural feel and flow to it that reflects and embodies much of what I see in nature throughout the world. You can’t get better than that.

Format: Large (horizontal)
Location: California
Reference key: shg