Monday, March 28, 2011

What We Hide, What We Reveal

As a photographer, I know that I can control the ‘depth of field’ of a photo by adjusting the size opening of the shutter (F-stop). In everyday terms, I can make the camera near-sighted, almost near-sighted or I can give the camera perfect vision where everything will be in focus. But even in the most perfectly focused photograph, detail will be lost when the grain of the film can’t keep up with the impression made by the light coming through the lens. If you get close enough to a photo, let’s say with a microscope, all you see are fuzzy strands of photographic paper.
In landscape design we can control how much of the garden is visible in one ‘take’. Do we lay out the beds so that the pattern and color can be taken in with one glance? Do we conceal elements of the garden behind a screen of lace-like foliage that puts the farther garden into fuzzy focus? Do we build walls or fences that entirely conceal parts of the garden creating an album-like effect, a page-turner?
These choices are the ways that you determine the speed at which your garden can be absorbed and appreciated.

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