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View Full Version : Japanese Garden - any suggestions?


NightLightingFX
09-18-2007, 04:55 PM
Here is a japanese garden I might be doing. This picture gives you basically the veiw point of the lighting portrait. What is really neat about this garden is that the living room has a huge window that veiws basically what you see. When you enter the front door. This garden is the first thing you see. I really want to BLOW AWAY the customer with AW on this job. I am working on an approach. One big challenge on this project is creating depth. I would love to hear any kind of suggestions. How would some of you guys approach this? I figured while I am trying to figure my approach I thought I would throw it up for grabs and see what you guys think. Thanks
~Ned
www.nightlightingfx.com

Lite4
09-18-2007, 06:35 PM
Ned, no doubt the lantern and the lace leaf need to be the focal point of this picture. I would definitely put a bulb in that lantern if you can and then put 3 mr-11s uplighting the foliage inside the canapy of the maple. I would not direct light the foliage from outside the tree, but rather inside to make the leaves glow a translucent red and in the winter it will show the structure very well. I would definitly downlight from the birch on the left to the flowers and the boulder below. Downlight from the weeping white pine on the right to the prostrate black pine creeping over the rocks. Again very soft on this so as not to compete with the focal point of the maple and lantern, but rather to frame it. If the 2 western red cedars behind the jap maple are on the property I would probably uplight for depth. Oh, also you will need to uplight the lantern from the outside. Crosslight from the base with 2 mr-8 or 11 - 5 watters. It looks like there is a little waterfall the the right of the maple, but can't really tell. Any closer images of that area?

Pro-Scapes
09-18-2007, 07:45 PM
as tim said thoes would make great focal points... without seeing it or close ups its hard to say where and how many fixtures.. Is there alot of ambient light or is it pitch black ? Whats the water like ? hard to see from the angle you show us. I like tims suggestions on the lantern and lace maple but what about lighting the waterfall if there is one and illuminating the pond then do some other soft uplighting and then place a few downlights in that tree to the left?

I realize there is alot of depth there but its hard to say. Is there a walkway going out behind it ? I know Kichler has a ZEN line with the jap style to it but not really sure if they would mesh well with the project at hand.

NightLightingFX
09-18-2007, 09:41 PM
Here is another pic. I may be over thinking it, but this is what I came up with. Focal point is the Japanese maple. It is immediately framed by the lantern and a little waterfall. I will use a flicker device inside the lantern. (I did this before – it turned out awesome). I will illuminate the waterfall, so that the maple will have two movements beside it. The flicker and the water trickle. Tim, my first thought was to cross light the lantern also, but on second thought it might look interesting as a dark silhouette with a flicker flame inside it, since it is already very dark. Then I will front light the cedar and what ever is behind the lantern . I will then front light the other evergreens to the right. Trying to make it very soft maybe use a blue lens. It is hard to tell from the photo, but the birch is a small flimsy tree. It would be hard to down light from. However, I still may try it. By front lighting the evergreens on the right, and not lighting the grass on the right. I am thinking I can create an interesting silhouette that is circular. It can balance out the circular shape of the illuminated waterfall??? I will accent the swirly pine on the left. I am thinking between the trees and bamboo, (the swirly pine, the maple, maybe lightly accent one middle bamboo, and it is hard to see but one of the evergreens on the right is like Lebanon cedar where the trunk is exposed) I might be able to create some kind of rhythm with the vertical wood of the trees??? I am planning on lighting the inside bowl of the pond. I would really like to lightly light the big rock with the grass on top. I not sure how to do it, I somehow need to accent the front lip of the pond also??? Probably 70% of what I am thinking might work? Does that make any sense??? I welcome criticism.
~Ned
www.nightlighitngfx.com

Lite4
09-18-2007, 09:52 PM
Fx makes a very small hanging downlight its called the vitelume. Horizon in spokane can ship it to you. Or whoever you have in Pasco maybe. What is your source for the flickering light. I would like to find those. You may get enough ambient light from the Maple to not light the exterior of the lantern but will have to play with it. The flicker light wont show the deep reds in the lantern or the unique shape. Backlight might work ok for that.

NightLightingFX
09-18-2007, 10:22 PM
I will look into the FX fixture. Regarding the flicker device I made it out of a candelabra christmas light fixture where I put in a 12 volt candelabra lamp. I got the flicker device from www.northcountryradio.com. So far I haven't had any real problems with it or the lamp. I had to figure out some kind of flicker effect. The client insisted on something like it. It was a Zen Garden I did for a Hospital. Here is pic. The large dark concrete lantern & the pyrimid (sp) lantern in the background both have flicker devices. The Pyrimid lantern was easy I used a small mr11 direction fixture. I don't know if the pic will comethrough or not. This same pic was in my "Photo Geeks" thread
~Ned
www.nightlightingfx.com

niteliters
09-18-2007, 11:24 PM
what are the poles and buildings behind the fence? road back there? industrial park? strip mall?

niteliters
09-18-2007, 11:26 PM
what's to the left of the birch? does the garden just stop and then to sod? how about to the right? do you have any pictures of that?

NightLightingFX
09-19-2007, 12:44 AM
A small strip mall behind. There is one parking light in the backround. The owner said there is some light from it. I will have to look at it at night. At this point I can't worry about anything other than the pond area. That picture is basically what you see from their porch and living room, and that is what she wants addressed for now. I don't even know if she is going to be willing to pay for what it will take to do the pond area right.
~Ned
www.nightlightingfx.com

niteliters
09-19-2007, 07:27 AM
your ideas sound good to me. it seems you need to go meet with the client go over some numbers so you'll know what kind of picture you can paint. you might go back, some quantity's and #'s written down on paper... no formal contract (if you do one). meet with them, tell them in round #'s where you're at and ask them "what do you want me to do?" don't show them your plan, they will say or you will get a vibe on whether or not your # is in their comfort zone. if it's not, it won't matter what you have to show them. If they can afford that # you probably will have some expaining to do...they need to see the value. you're the artisit, I don't think you are going to get any better advice than what's above, get over there and find their comfort zone. bring that flicker device to aolp conference.

Pro-Scapes
09-19-2007, 07:48 PM
well said Chris!!!! This is like buying a car almost. If they are shopping for an econo box and your comming in with the BMW its gonna be a REAL tough sell unless you prove to them and show them the real value in it.

I couldnt see how someone would spend obviously 10's of thousands building an incredible garden and not lighting it right.