Another Collected RMJ - Gnarly, This One

grouper52

Masterpiece
Messages
2,173
Likes
2,756
Location
Baguio, The Philippines
USDA Zone
8
#1
Got this a few years back collecting with Dan Robinson. Can't recall if it came from Wyoming or Montana. Eric may remember, if he was there.

New to this pot this year after bouncing back nicely the past two seasons. It probably has some lime sulphur and some styling in its future, but if I never do another single thing to it, it will still be one of my best trees.

Enjoy.
 

Attachments

Messages
1,515
Likes
424
Location
Central Virginia, US
USDA Zone
7a
#3
I have to note that the black background is the deepest black I've ever seen! hah. I have to know if that is shopped!?
edit* Upon closer inspection you actually went in there with a "fine toothed comb" and blacked out the background. Wow man. Great presentation.
 

grouper52

Masterpiece
Messages
2,173
Likes
2,756
Location
Baguio, The Philippines
USDA Zone
8
#4
I have to note that the black background is the deepest black I've ever seen! hah. I have to know if that is shopped!?
edit* Upon closer inspection you actually went in there with a "fine toothed comb" and blacked out the background. Wow man. Great presentation.
Thanks. The black is 0-0-0, and yes, depending on how much time I might want to spend, I magnify and bucket each spot between the branches/leaves/etc. LOL!

In the formal, black background photos in my book I used HDR (High Dynamic Range) techniques, which created a huge amount of artifact that needed cleaning up in this way. I often went down to the individual pixel level to create a clean 0-0-0 black background around the edge of each individual leaf or needle around the outside of the tree - and often all the internal spaces as well. Between this and other tweaks, I spent 5-15 hours in such post-production processing on each of my black background photos in the book - probably over a hundred of them. A labor of love, but the photos speak for themselves.

I have almost never used HDR on my posts to this forum, so the clean-up goes fairly quickly (I'm good at doing it quickly after the book!) but I still take a little time with each one - depending on need and time and stamina. I'm glad you noticed and appreciate it. :)
 

JudyB

Queen of the Nuts
Messages
10,875
Likes
13,027
Location
South East of Cols. OH
USDA Zone
5
#5
Now I understand why the book photos look so 3D for a paper page! Not that the trees don't get in your head, but the way they jump off the page always captures me. I look at that book every couple weeks or so. This tree would be worthy of inclusion in a tome like that. Astounding.
 

grouper52

Masterpiece
Messages
2,173
Likes
2,756
Location
Baguio, The Philippines
USDA Zone
8
#7
Now I understand why the book photos look so 3D for a paper page! Not that the trees don't get in your head, but the way they jump off the page always captures me. I look at that book every couple weeks or so. This tree would be worthy of inclusion in a tome like that. Astounding.
I'm pretty sure I was the first, perhaps still the only one, to use HDR on bonsai. When I sent the first few such photos off to Wayne Schoech at Stone Lantern, who was initially interested in publishing the book (I ultimately did that myself), he wrote back with great enthusiasm. That, and my own eye, told me that was the way to go. Lotta work, but the lighting effects and depth of the HDR, coupled with the drama of the 0-0-0 black background and the beauty of Dan's trees made quite a compelling incentive. I used a few blue screen shots as well, but that rendered poor images whenever the leaves were too small, and trees with needles were entirely out of the question. The black and whites, BTW, were also color HDRs first. I taught Vic how to shoot HDR as well, and helped her by post-processing images where she had used it. Lotta work, but I'm still impressed with the images whenever I open the book. The printers in China over-saturated the colors on a few of the gallery shots - the proofs I was sent didn't make this clear, and this somehow varies from one copy of the book to the next anyway - but overall I'm very happy with the photos, and very glad to hear you appreciate them.
 

october

Masterpiece
Messages
3,444
Likes
278
Location
Massachusetts
#8
Beautiful tree....This tree reminds me of some material that Steve Tolley worked with. However, Steve had to do the technique that Victrinia posted recentley involving wires in the channel of the tree than wrapping and bending. Here is the Steve Tolley tree.

Also, if you are interested, here is the link for the work he had to do to get the tree to this point. It is the first tree on the page. You are very lucky to have a tree that looks like this naturally..Once again..Very beautiful tree.

Rob

http://stevetolleybonsai.com/before_and_after.htm

 
Last edited:

jkd2572

Masterpiece
Messages
2,060
Likes
40
Location
Plano, Texas
USDA Zone
7
#10
Grouper
Sorry if this is a stupid question, but what book did you write. I want to make sure I get it if I already do not own it...
 
Messages
4,414
Likes
2,272
Location
Virginia
USDA Zone
7A
#11
Grouper
Sorry if this is a stupid question, but what book did you write. I want to make sure I get it if I already do not own it...
He wrote Gnarly Branches, Ancient Trees and it's one helluva good book. Highly recommended.
 

grouper52

Masterpiece
Messages
2,173
Likes
2,756
Location
Baguio, The Philippines
USDA Zone
8
#14
Well, there’s been a bit of spiffing up since I last posted this tree. It still lacks focus - too busy with "small energy". The Chinese would look at it and admonish, "Bu xiao qi" - no small energy - similar to Dan Robinson's "Focal Point Bonsai Design" treatise. Some day I might have gotten around to dramatically making something out of it, rather than just slowly moving it forward, but it sold today, so I'm glad I took these photos yesterday. Hope you enjoy the pix.

True story:

A fellow arranged weeks ago to come over today to meet me, see my trees, maybe purchase some since they’re for sale. A quarter century as a shrink, however, has honed my intuition a bit too sharply, unfortunately. Just little things, so minute that no one else would even begin to notice, but they gave me a strong sense, a certainty really, that he’d cancel on me. And do so at the last minute.

Still, in good faith, I held today open for him when other opportunities presented. The past two weeks I tidied up the yard and my trees a bit in preparation. Yesterday I went into town to pick up an assortment of snacks and drinks in case my guest and I got on well enough that he wanted to sit and enjoy the view and/or sunset on the back porch together, looking out over the Hood Canal at the entire spread of the Olympic Mountain range to the west. My wife left before dawn for a twelve hour shift in the emergency room where she works, so she stayed up a bit last night to clean the house for our guest before she slept.

With the first ring of the phone mid-morning, before answering it, I knew the entire conversation: He couldn't make it; his excuse - plausible, I suppose, predictably so; "Maybe in October?" [His question] Yawn. [Mine]

And yet, as luck would have it, some other guy called a short time later! He’d also heard about my trees, asked if he could come by later in the day to meet me and have a look-see. We set it up. My intuition told me he’d be there like he said. He was.

He really liked this tree pictured here. I told him it was a favorite of mine, and that I wouldn’t let it go for anything less than $10, but he said he couldn't pay that much and he just wouldn’t let it alone - he insisted he could only afford to pay $5 for it. We bartered back and forth for the longest time and finally, since I liked the sort of man he was, I offered him a deal: he could have this tree for $5, but only if he paid me another $25 for my entire collection.

He put up a mighty fight over it, but I held firm. Finally - bruised and bloodied from hours of truly vicious bartering - we shook hands: he gave me the $30, and drove off with all my trees.

I went and sat on the back porch with the snacks and drinks, enjoying the view, and marveling at the way things always turn out for the best: you see, now there was no need to waste my time planning anything with that other fellow in October.

The sunset was spectacular!
 

Attachments

Messages
783
Likes
44
Location
San Deigo, CA
USDA Zone
10
#15
Wow! All your trees - gone just like that! You had a really great collection. I'll miss seeing your updates.
 

Poink88

Imperial Masterpiece
Messages
8,968
Likes
46
Location
Austin, TX (Zone 8b)
USDA Zone
8b
#17
Well, there’s been a bit of spiffing up since I last posted this tree. It still lacks focus - too busy with "small energy". The Chinese would look at it and admonish, "Bu xiao qi" - no small energy - similar to Dan Robinson's "Focal Point Bonsai Design" treatise. Some day I might have gotten around to dramatically making something out of it, rather than just slowly moving it forward, but it sold today, so I'm glad I took these photos yesterday. Hope you enjoy the pix.

True story:

A fellow arranged weeks ago to come over today to meet me, see my trees, maybe purchase some since they’re for sale. A quarter century as a shrink, however, has honed my intuition a bit too sharply, unfortunately. Just little things, so minute that no one else would even begin to notice, but they gave me a strong sense, a certainty really, that he’d cancel on me. And do so at the last minute.

Still, in good faith, I held today open for him when other opportunities presented. The past two weeks I tidied up the yard and my trees a bit in preparation. Yesterday I went into town to pick up an assortment of snacks and drinks in case my guest and I got on well enough that he wanted to sit and enjoy the view and/or sunset on the back porch together, looking out over the Hood Canal at the entire spread of the Olympic Mountain range to the west. My wife left before dawn for a twelve hour shift in the emergency room where she works, so she stayed up a bit last night to clean the house for our guest before she slept.

With the first ring of the phone mid-morning, before answering it, I knew the entire conversation: He couldn't make it; his excuse - plausible, I suppose, predictably so; "Maybe in October?" [His question] Yawn. [Mine]

And yet, as luck would have it, some other guy called a short time later! He’d also heard about my trees, asked if he could come by later in the day to meet me and have a look-see. We set it up. My intuition told me he’d be there like he said. He was.

He really liked this tree pictured here. I told him it was a favorite of mine, and that I wouldn’t let it go for anything less than $10, but he said he couldn't pay that much and he just wouldn’t let it alone - he insisted he could only afford to pay $5 for it. We bartered back and forth for the longest time and finally, since I liked the sort of man he was, I offered him a deal: he could have this tree for $5, but only if he paid me another $25 for my entire collection.

He put up a mighty fight over it, but I held firm. Finally - bruised and bloodied from hours of truly vicious bartering - we shook hands: he gave me the $30, and drove off with all my trees.

I went and sat on the back porch with the snacks and drinks, enjoying the view, and marveling at the way things always turn out for the best: you see, now there was no need to waste my time planning anything with that other fellow in October.

The sunset was spectacular!
The tree is really very nice. Not all yamadori are worth the "title", this one definitely does.

If the story is true...you probably missed several zeroes on your numbers, ;) otherwise...I will kill you if we ever meet (if V won't do it first)...or at least advise you to see a shrink. :eek: LOL
 

october

Masterpiece
Messages
3,444
Likes
278
Location
Massachusetts
#18
I am not sure what is going on. There was debating and haggling and the culmination was him purchasing this tree for $5 and all your trees for $30. Can you tell me which other trees were sold? You had some really nice, unique trees and pots. I realize that this is not about money. However, the guy that bought them got the deal of a lifetime. Do you think the guy realizes what he has bought and the deal he has got. The soil alone in the pots was probably worth 5 times more than what he paid for, collectively, for all the trees.

Rob
 
Messages
783
Likes
44
Location
San Deigo, CA
USDA Zone
10
#19
I am not sure what is going on. There was debating and haggling and the culmination was him purchasing this tree for $5 and all your trees for $30. Can you tell me which other trees were sold? You had some really nice, unique trees and pots. I realize that this is not about money. However, the guy that bought them got the deal of a lifetime. Do you think the guy realizes what he has bought and the deal he has got. The soil alone in the pots was probably worth 5 times more than what he paid for, collectively, for all the trees.

Rob
Ha ha... well, I'm pretty sure, since it doesn't make sense that $5 dollars would be un-affordable for anyone, that the numbers were bogus and the relative ratios between them are loosely relevant to the actual numbers, because he doesn't want to put that kind of specific (and personal) information online for anyone (i.e. big brother) to see...
 
Messages
394
Likes
21
Location
Petaluma CA
USDA Zone
15
#20
Ha ha... well, I'm pretty sure, since it doesn't make sense that $5 dollars would be un-affordable for anyone, that the numbers were bogus and the relative ratios between them are loosely relevant to the actual numbers, because he doesn't want to put that kind of specific (and personal) information online for anyone (i.e. big brother) to see...
Or he could have simply fabricated the story entirely for shock value for us all to gasp, "OMG!! Will, What have you done!!"

...or this is a way of snubbing the "fellow" (I believe we all know which "fellow" this story is referring to, don't we? *HINT* His name refers to a certain part of the male anatomy.) for standing him up and wasting his time.

As stated in his story previously, "Yawn..."
 
Last edited:

Similar threads