After years of uncertainty and neglect the garden found new stewards who are mindful of the historic nature of Western Hills and have worked diligently to restore it .You can read a very nice retrospective on the garden in this article from Pacific Horticulture .
On this Sunday in June horticultural photographer Saxon Holt conducted a class for a small group of photographers. We had the opportunity to get into the garden early and to spend a day there with our cameras.
I had hoped for a bit of June gloom but it never seems to show up when you want it to and the day was sunny and cloudless. With Saxon as our guide we were at least able to learn a few strategies for foiling bright contrasty garden light .There were places in the garden where you just had to give up trying to photograph unless you were extremely gifted in the post-processing department.
In spite of the light conditions Saxons workshops are always fun and informative, and most importantly plant-centric.
You'll have to trust me when I say this plant-clad building is a classic example of redwood forest bohemian architecture , and the photo below it is the greenhouse.
I feel certain this peice of garden art was there when I visited in the 80's although the hanging may have been different.
I kept to the shade, and zooming in close can exclude the harsh sunlight.
Still, I wanted to capture full garden views ; I used my exposure compensation but ultimately there was a lot of tweaking in Lightroom.
Many of the images from that day were overexposed and had to be discarded, nevertheless even those had something to learn from. Bad photos can often be just as instructive as good ones.