Ben's Photo Blog

Photos from my various adventures

  • About this site

    I use this site for several purposes. It serves as a very convenient way for me to share my photos with other people: family, friends, and strangers alike. It also gives me a place to critique my own work to try to learn what works and what doesn't as well as getting feedback from visitors.

    That being said, I hope you enjoy my pictures and tolerate my occasional ramblings. If you would like larger scale versions of any of these pictures, just leave a comment or shoot me an email.

    If you are looking for pictures from Switzerland or Rome, click on "The Trip" in the navigation bar above

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Garden Shadows

Posted by Ben on August 5, 2009


This shot comes from the garden outside Virginia Tech’s Villa Maderni in Riva San Vitale, Switzerland.  We had a little bit of free time on our last day there between breakfast and our morning lecture, so I decided to go out into the gardens to take some pictures.  This was taken from atop a small hill actually overlooking the main gardens.  You can make out a little bit of the Villa in the top left corner of the picture.  Thankfully, we had beautiful, sunny weather almost the entire time we stayed in Switzerland.

The colors in this picture came out wonderfully.  The leaves of the tree in the foreground (and I have no idea what kind it is) are a nice bright red and the other trees are a good shade of green.  The grass is a little faded, but not too bad.  I think the red tree in the foreground, and its trunk as well serve as a nice frame for the image and also provide some nice contrasting color to the predominant greens.  One of my favorite things about this picture is the shadows cast by the row of trees.  The fairly early morning sun gives them nice long shadows.  The perspective distorts the shadows somewhat as they don’t quite appear parallel here, at least in the center of the image.  I like that you can see the corner of the Villa on the left side and the church across the street on the right.  They do make the picture a little more crowded though.

I don’t have much experience with photo editing software, and all but one (can you figure out which it is?) of the pictures on my blog are in their original form.  Recently though, I’ve been experimenting with some of the tools on  It’s not nearly as powerful as the standalone version of photoshop, but is fun to play with.  Below is my modest attempt at “enhancing” this picture.  I’ve cropped it a little to add to the framing effect of the red tree and tweaked the colors slightly.  Let me know what you think.  I may try to do this more often, pairing an original shot with a slightly modified version.




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