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15 minutes of fame - bonsai in the spotlight

Richard Kernick
18 March 2013
Blog team: 
Last year Liam, Tom and Lee from 'The Journal of Wild Culture' visited Kew Gardens to photograph the bonsai collection for an article in their debut issue. Now the issue has been published and we can all enjoy the results.

An interesting project has recently come to fruition with the publication of the “The Journal of Wild Culture”. In July of 2012, Liam, Tom and Lee from the Journal visited the collection to take some pictures of Kew's bonsai trees for their debut issue. An impressive amount of technical gear was wheeled in, with bonsai receiving a “supermodel” level of attention. Powerful flashes were triggered, highlighting the trees and darkening the background.

Below are a few snapshots of the process!

First the expensive photographic gear has to be unloaded...

Lee, Liam and Tom unpack the photographic gear.

A raffia screen is set up to show the trees to their best. First onto the catwalk is Juniperus chinensis (Chinese Juniper)...

Juniperus chinensis (Chinese Juniper) under the spotlight

Once you start paying attention, it's fascinating to realise that light and shadow are coming from all directions; getting a good, clean image turns out to be much harder than you'd think...

Lee and Tom adjust the set-up

Even when the creative part is over, there's still the tidying up to manage! Luckily I have a bonsai truck all of my own to lend a hand...

Lee borrows the bonsai truck to ship the gear off site.

After all the fussing with lights I was quite surprised to see the results which are rather dark - very dark - very very dark, in fact! See what you think in The Journal of Wild Culture: Training Beauty. Thanks to Lee, Liam and Tom for showing me my trees in a whole new light - or shade! It was a fascinating experience. 

- Richard -


20 April 2013
I tried to find the interview with Richard Kernick at WildCulture

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