Lasting Impressions from a Bay Island Bonsai Show

Lasting Impressions from a Bay Island Bonsai Show

Bonsai Art Mindfulness show

For a number of years, I served as the photographer of the formal show photos at the annual Bay Island Bonsai (BIB) show. These shots were used by magazines and for the printed show books. We typically shot the entire tree and container and sometimes the entire display. The photos stand as recordings of one moment in time for the trees. 

Moments in time; snapshots; fleeting impressions - these had a great influence on me when I was a beginning bonsai student. In 2016, I took the time to snap some informal photos of the elements of the BIB display. While it’s easy to walk around a bonsai show critiquing all the things that may be “wrong” according to some “rule” you were taught, I find it more productive to walk around and appreciate the unexpected; the delights. Which trees are the most interesting; which are the most evocative of the season; which 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.

Accent plants are often glossed over. Many of them are wonderful little compositions by themselves.

An unusual pot can delight the eye, perhaps because it is unexpected.

Wisteria are most often admired for their flowers, but the hanging seed pods in winter can be just as beautiful.

A suiseki and its accompanying artwork make for an abstract composition.

Woodwork, Black pine branching, and moss.

The colorful, winter-long display of Princess persimmon fruit. 

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