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Tip 6: Provide a visual baseline

The eye is accustomed to seeing natural forms in the context of a full landscape. Trees and flowers and grasses are all grounded by a visual baseline that is provided by the horizon. Under most circumstances, bonsai and kusamono photography will be more successful when they too provide a visual baseline to ground the subject.

Look at the picture below: the (already unattractive) hosta appears to be floating in a black void.

Hosta `Shining Tot'

Adding a stand or base helps a little bit. But the now that stand, along with the planting. appears to be floating.

Kusamono with stand

Here I've allowed enough light to fall on the cloth under the stand that it provide a baseline. I prefer this look. A tatami mat - as is the standard in the Kokufu show albums - would probably be even better, especially if the backdrop was other than black.

White pine on stand

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Last modified December 29, 2004
Copyright © 2004 Carl T. Bergstrom