This was shot at The Japanese Garden next to the Donald C. Tillman Water Treatment Plant in Encino, California. It’s a nice secluded refuge smack dab in the middle of the San Fernando Valley. It’s not really visible to the public when driving by so it never gets overrun with tourists like the Huntington Library does in San Marino.
They have very limited hours during the week of 12-4pm so in summer the light is terrible because the sun is so high in the sky. Wintertime works better as the sun sets around 5 o’clock for part of that time. As I mentioned in another blog there is a down side to being next to the water treatment plant because that is just a nice way of saying it is a sewage facility and stinks badly. Just hope the wind is blowing the stink away from you when you visit.
Another bonus of winter is a lot of migratory birds visit when they see the lush garden and water features. They are usually very shy and wary of people so a little stealth is required to shoot them sometimes. I crouched down behind some bushes for this shot with a Nikon D100 and 80-200mm lens at 200mm. One of the downsides to shooting there is that they do not allow tripods for those of us who like to use them and especially difficult for large format view camera users which pretty much shuts them out from shooting there.
Photo © Craig Brewer