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Silent Japan: The Images – Final Part

This is the final part of a series of blog posts on the images that were featured in my Silent Japan photography exhibition. Trees featured quite prominently in my exhibition and I think it is fitting to end this series of posts with the tree images.

The following image titled “Hilltop Tree, Biei, Hokkaido, Japan. 2010” was taken this year in early spring. I purposely composed the image to include a vast expanse of sky or empty space to really isolate the lone tree on the hill. It is one of the cases where I feel that “less is more”.

The following 2 images titled “Row of Trees, Biei, Hokkaido, Japan. 2010” and “Hilltop Trees, Biei, Hokkaido, Japan. 2010” was also taken during the same trip as the above image. The first one “Row of Trees” was taken about half an hour or so before the second one “Hilltop Trees“. When I took the first one, the sky was overcast and provided a white backdrop for the row of Birch trees. Many people have commented that this image looks like a pencil sketch when printed on the Washi paper I used for the exhibition. A Swedish visitor to my exhibition told me that this image reminded her of her childhood. During her childhood, she was taught that one of the first signs of Spring was when the little leaves of the Birch tree starts to bud.  She said that where she came from, the people would refer to the little budding leaves as “mouse ears” due to their size and resemblance to the ears of mice. By the time I took the second image, the weather had changed quite drastically and it was drizzling with dark rain clouds.  It really shows what a difference the weather makes on the look and mood of images. This image is a favorite of my wife, Laura and is one of the rare tree images that did not sell a copy at the exhibition. So if anyone is interested, the 1/5 Limited Edition print is still available for sale at $500 (print alone).

The following 2 images titled “Treebeard, Kanazawa, Honshu, Japan. 2009” and “Tree Patterns, Kanazawa, Honshu, Japan. 2009”  was taken at the Kenrokuen Garden in the city of Kanazawa. The first one is named after the character Treebeard from the Lord of the Rings because of the face formed by the patch of moss growing on the tree stump. When I took the image, I was more interested in the texture of the tree stump and the bright green moss growing in the centre.  In black and white, the image of the face became very apparent. The second image was what I saw when I looked up at a canopy of overhanging branches from a huge tree. I love the simple beauty found in the randomness of the patterns made by the seemingly chaotic arrangement of the branches and pine leaves.  It looks like a chinese or japanese ink brush painting when printed on Washi. “Tree Patterns” was a favorite for a large number of visitors to the exhibition and sold 2 copies. 1 copy was bought by an Australian couple and it is nice to know that my images are being displayed overseas.

The following last two images titled “Tree, Study 1, Teshikaga, Hokkaido, Japan. 2008” and “Sunset, Teshikaga, Hokkaido, Japan. 2008” was taken at a scenic lookout point we stopped at which overlooked a large lake. It was autumn and all the leaves of the trees had already fallen off leaving just the skeleton of the bare branches. I was drawn towards the intricate patterns of the bare branches and took a number of photos of the different trees along the ridge. Some japanese visitors to my exhibition mentioned that the species of the trees looked like cherry blossoms to them. As we were leaving the sun was slowly setting and I took a couple of photos with the trees silhouetted against the setting sun.

I have really enjoyed the Silent Japan exhibition and everything that was connected with it. The 2011 Silent Japan calendars are more or less sold out and the sales of the prints during the exhibition was very encouraging. If you would like to view the exhibition prints, feel free to contact me. The limited edition prints are still available for sale. As Silent Japan is an ongoing project of mine, I hope to have a bigger exhibition in the future featuring many more prints that were not shown this time round.