A few weeks ago I was cleaning out my files and came across some photographs I took in the summer of 2007 at Filoli Gardens. I had printed and colored only “Filoli Gate” from that day, but there were a few more that I printed and attempted to color, but soon got frustrated and put them away.
These were all infrared images and I think when you have a lot of trees and not much sky or a body of water, hand-coloring is more difficult. The truth is, like some of my photographs from Paris, I had a few from Filoli that work better as black and white images – not hand-colored.
Filoli is south of San Francisco and well worth the visit. I went on one of their special “Artist Access Days”. Once a month from April to September, the gardens are open after hours to a very limited number of artists and photographers. You need to register in advance because it usually sells outs.
Filoli was built for Mr. and Mrs. William Bowers Bourn, San Franciscans whose main source of wealth was the Empire Mine, in Grass Valley, California (another great place to photograph) . Mr. Bourn arrived at the name Filoli by combining the first two letters from the main words of his credo: “Fight for a just cause. Love your fellow man. Live a good life.”
The Bourns’ lived at the estate until their deaths in 1936. It was purchased by Mr. and Mrs. William P. Roth in 1937 and donated by Mrs. Roth in 1978 to the National Trust for Historical Preservation. The Filoli Center operates the 654-acre estate which is a California State Historic Landmark and listed on the National Registry of Historic Places.
I plan to attend another “Artist Access Day” this year. When I was there in 2007 I only had my converted Infrared Nikon D80. This time I will bring that camera, as well as my Nikon D300.
Walking around the gardens, free of the usual crowds, is such an adventure. You never know what delightful scene you will find around the corner……..