Photography and photojournalism in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest

Portland’s Favorite Japanese Maple

I took a journey up into Portland’s South Hills last week to photograph the city’s most beloved Japanese Maple, which can be found at the city’s Japanese Garden at Washington Park. It’s an iconic tree and location for Portlanders, and on a typical fall day this time of year it’s easy to find dozens of photographers at a time wandering the grounds. In the week since I shot this photo the tree has since turned more red and I’m finding more and more photos online each day as this week progresses.

I don’t have a lot to say about this photo, other than I shot it with an ultra-wide angle Tokina 11-16mm lens, which really makes the tree appear much larger here than it really is. It’s striking, actually, because from where this is shot I am kneeling next to my tripod looking up into the tree’s canopy at roughly a 45-degree angle. If the only view one has seen previously is the one above, it’s easy to walk right past and miss the tree entirely if you haven’t been to the Garden before. It’s a must-see spot for visitors to Portland, however, and is open year-round. It’s also photogenic year-round, with some of the nicest photos I’ve seen of this spot coming with snow on the ground.

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