Great Trees & Vivid Closeups 9/23/15


It's not that often that you'll find a tall tree like this with great lower branching. When you do, and in the right hands, the result can be striking and quite unique. It's a Subalpine Fir (Abies lasiocarpa) that belongs to Ryan Neil (Bonsai Mirai).

We don’t normally repost from just four months ago, but I’m on my way to the Artisans Cup (with a little stopover in San Francisco), so why not?

Don’t worry, I won’t bug you about going if you haven’t made plans. It’s getting late and the case has already been made. Repeatedly, including yesterday’s post. If you have made plans, I hope to see you there.

One of the things I like about Ryan Neil’s photos are his close-ups. It doesn’t hurt that his trees are phenomenal and so well photographed in the first place. But then to show such vivid close-ups invites you in closer. Like you are there in the studio. BTW, and just in case you missed it, Ryan Neil is man behind the Artisans Cup.



Close up. Here's Ryan's caption: "Sub alpine fir, Abies lasiocarpa collected in the Washington Cascades. The dead top and contorted branches tell of the rugged alpine environment."



Ryan's caption: "Colorado Blue Spruce. Picea pungens. Collected from the Rocky Mountains. This tree is nostalgic for me, having grown up in Colorado. Spruce are part of the landscape of my childhood."



A piece of trunk, a piece of pot. A different kind of close-up. Here's Ryan's caption: "Bon-sai means "tree in tray" in Japanese. The container is just as vital to a composition as the tree itself. When a tree and container are well-matched, the union is transformative, as with this pot by Austrian ceramicist Horst Heinzlreiter and its Colorado Blue Spruce."



This one is a Douglas fir. Ryan's caption is below.



"The Douglas Fir is hypothesized to have been the tallest tree in the world, even taller than the Redwood. But no one knows for sure because the old growth Douglas Firs were all cut down before anyone had the tools to accurately measure. This stunted Doug Fir likely lived back when those Giants stood tall."



That's Ryan posing for a professional photo with a one of the most amazing root-on-rock plantings I've ever seen. Here's his caption: "In the studio today with @hornbecker shooting for the Artisans Cup promotional material." He doesn't say what the tree's are.


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Because you probably didn't read the text (above) here's an Artisans Cup graphic to catch your attention.

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One thought on “Great Trees & Vivid Closeups

  1. I’ve noticed recently that Ryan Neil’s pot selection has become quite avante garde, for lack of a better word. I’ve seen several of his trees recently (mainly on this blog) due to the Artisan’s cup, and my initial, gut, knee jerk reaction to the majority I’ve seen is “that pot is too small.” And I don’t feel like I’ve had that reaction to his compositions in the past. This is not a criticism of course, I have so much respect for Ryan Neil he can do what he likes, but I would say that I would love to hear his views on his own pot selection, because they’re very provocative recently and imagine he’s got a good justification for it.

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