Every year for the past few years, I shoot the formal show photos at the Bay Island Bonsai show. They are used by magazines and for the show books. The setup is really nice, and the photos are recordings of the moment in time for the trees. We typically shoot the entire tree and container and sometimes the entire display.
Moments in time, snapshots, the fleeting impressions that we get from bonsai shows – they had a great influence on me when I was a beginner. This year I took the time to snap some informal photos of the elements of the display. While it’s easy to walk around a show thinking about all the things that may be “wrong” according to some “rule” you think you understand, it’s more productive to walk around and find the delights. Which trees are the most interesting, which are the most evocative of the season. Which trees spark your imagination or remind you of a moment in your life you had forgotten? It’s these details and these moments that make bonsai really magical to behold.