About a twenty minute walk from where I live there is a protected natural area called Idaka Ryokuchi Koen. It is surrounded by city and not very big. In fact, for years I didn't even know it was there. But, once you enter, you find ponds, rice fields, bamboo forests, a lake--perfect for a quick "get away" from the city chaos. So, last Friday I had a day off school and decided to head over. Normally, I would try to get an early start to catch "the magic light" of early morning, but this time I wasn't able to. By the time I left the house it was already 9:30 on a bright, sunny day. Usually I avoid taking photos in the middle of the day because the light can be so unforgiving and boring, but I decided to see it as a challenge. I've been trying to be more deliberate about my photography lately, leaving less to chance. When a "scene" catches my eye, I ask myself what it is about the scene that appeals to me, and how can I emphasize that aspect through camera angle, exposure, depth of field... My goal is to communicate to the viewer what it was that appealed to me about the scene, so that they can see it the way I saw it. On this particular day, everything in the direct sun was washed out, colorless and lacking in detail, so I headed into the bamboo forest to get a more even, less harsh light. Looking up, I could see the sunshine filtering down through the green leaves, and that filtering light was the salient feature, the thing that spoke to me, and what I tried to convey in how I chose to shoot the scene. For some photos, black and white seemed to more powerfully convey the drama of the light, whereas for others, the unique green of the bamboo seemed to be the salient feature. At one point I left the main path and discovered a wonderful old oak tree growing amidst the bamboo. The dichotomy between the sturdy dark branches of the gnarled oak, and the tall, elegant bamboo trees was another point I hoped to photographically convey.