More than three centuries ago, when Kyoto was the capital of Japan, three magnificent gardens were created there for the imperial court . Today these three gardens—those of the Sento Imperial Palace (Sento Gosho), the Katsura Detached Palace (Katsura Rikyu), and the Shugakuin Detached Palace (Shugakuin Rikyu)—are among the most celebrated in the Japanese garden art.
In 1996, I was invited by the Japanese government to spend four months photographing the three Imperial Gardens, the first photographer ever given the privilege for such an extended period of study. I chose to photograph with an ultra large format 8×20 camera.
The rectangular shape was consistent with the scroll-like composition these gardens seemed to demand and the large film made it possible to portray the spaces with the fidelity they deserved. The arresting visual perspective led me to emphasize unusual and bold composition as the central motif for the entire series of work. All photographs are available for purchase. Sizes up to 4 X 10 feet.