The Exotic Places, So Close To Home ~

Being semi-retired (which means I really don't want to work very hard anymore, but kinda need the money) I try to get out and wander with my camera whenever and wherever I can. And just this week I visited one of my favorite Portland landmarks, the Lan Su Chinese Gardens. My good friend and co-conspirator Richard joined me there with his new iPhone, and after a weekend of fairly intensive rain we were happily surprised by the fair weather.

The Lan Su Gardens are considered among the most authentic outside of China, and while I can only assume that to be the case, I can certainly attest to its beauty and charm. I've been there many times all throughout the year, and each visit shows something new, something previously unseen, something so etherial it takes my breath away.

And of course, no visit there is complete without going to the Tea House. I don't know how many varieties of tea are offered there: white, green, smoked, herbal; the list is long and utterly confusing but we settled on a ginger-infused black tea that was pretty amazing.
But yes, we went there to do some photography, and you probably are expecting a little photospeak here. I brought my Fuji mirrorless and three lenses. I could have left two of them at home, the very wide and the very long. I had just picked up the 55-200 Fujinon and was so keen to use it too, but the close confines within the garden made that tough to do, so I used the little 18-55 throughout.  I took the image of the gate at the top with my iPhone 5s, and worked it Snapseed to get the result you see here. These other two were with the Fuji; both were imaged using onOne Photosuite 9, and the tea-pourer was blended with an Autopainter layer in CS6.

I'm anxious to see what Richard got; he has an artist's eye, a poet's heart, and an iPhone 6. It's impossible to wander around here and not see something breathtakingly beautiful at every turn.
It's what I love about Portland, too. So much variety, so much to see, to do, to photograph. Just park downtown and see the world.

Bring your camera.

Don't forget the tea.