While strolling through the Portland Japanese Gardens on a vibrant spring day back in 2010, Jeremy Reding was struck by the magnificence of this particular maple tree. He halted mid-stride as he passed by, drawn to the tree’s amazing branch structure.
Reding noticed, “the sun backlighting the canopy beautifully,” but he struggled to find a position where he could get enough of tree in the shot. Using his Canon PowerShot SD750, he had to “essentially lay on the ground to capture the canopy and the branch structure.”
His focus was including as much of the canopy as possible while still framing enough of the trunk to ground the image. He noted that it was particularly tricky doing so without a tripod.
Reding succeeded, and the remarkable photo of the Japanese Maple became a finalist in the 2010 Wikimidia Commons Picture of the Year process. The tree has also garnered its share of attention: there is even a special Flickr group called “Under ‘That’ Japanese Maple Tree at Portland’s Japanese Garden.”
In his general shooting, Reding said he is interested in the “banal changes that occur around us everyday.” He often studies the “quality of light throughout the day, the way materials age, or seasonal variations in landscape.”
Reding has had all sorts of cameras as far back as he can remember, but it wasn’t until he spent a semester studying outside the U.S. in 1999 that he began to take photography seriously. Seizing this unique chance to “capture the world” around him, Reding brought along a Canon Rebel SLR, as well as a Sony Mavica, which took 3.5 inch disks. Because he was abroad for an entire semester, he brought along 300 disks in his backpack.
“I use photography as a means of capturing a moment in time, something I can refer back to and immediately be transported back to the place where I took that photograph,” he said.
Reding feels honored that so many people found this image to be as inspiring as he did. He hopes this picture will motivate viewers to “get out and explore the world around you. Go to the same place multiple times to see it at different times during the day, different seasons, etc.”
Story by Jordan Hu, Communications Intern
Reporting by Elaine Mao, Communications Intern
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