Yu Garden 豫园 Shanghai, China (Rework 2)

Yu Gardens 3

The original is at the bottom, Rework 1 middle, and 2 at the top.

Another of my projects is photographing plants in relation to human-created architecture.

This image is from a body of work based on multiple visits to Yu Garden in the Old City of Shanghai at Huangpu Qu. Pan Yunduan first built the garden in 1559 during the Ming Dynasty.

Yu Garden occupies 2 hectares (5 acres) and is divided into six general areas laid out in the Suzhou style.

The floral motif of the doorway, with the small clump of bamboo, was interesting with both being utilitarian, simple, and ubiquitous.

Specific Feedback Requested

I’m most interested in the objective of the image.

Technical Details

Is this a composite: No
Rainy day, Nikon D 850, 35-70mm. I note the lens since that is my go-to lens when traveling. I want to keep it simple and light. The camera isn’t so easy to slip into a pocket, but I can keep it under a jacket to be less conspicuous. I try my best to blend into the background while in other countries. Not so easy to do in China with long white hair.


Darn, I can’t get this to expand to large size and I want it to. From what I can see I like it. The hint of pavers on the ground, the gentle way the light is brighter in the back against what looks like a wall and then the tree…standing in what might be a corner. Emotionally it feels isolated and shunned by the society of other trees. The shape of the doorway is so full of whimsy and elegance. You could try lightening the pathway a little more and see how you like it.

1 Like


Thanks for pointing out the path. It is a little dark and that lowlights the texture and pattern. I’ll give it a try.

The whole garden is full of these little niches and various doorways. I love the place and it’s perfect on a rainy day. First the light is soft and the walkways glossy, but second, there are very few tourists.


I ran up the primary tone of the path adjusting the lower end of the curve. That lightened the whole of the image.

My first reaction is positive since it makes the niche less ominous, less forbidding. I’ll let that rework stew in my eye for awhile to see if is works.

What’s your thought(s)?

I think it’s too much…I like the ominous quality and think the dark works, but just a little hint of path would give it a little depth. Know what I mean?

1 Like

Yes, I know what you mean. I don’t want to convey an ominous quality, but the darker version is more …… how about mysterious? Yes, I like mysterious. Where does the path lead? What’s beyond?

I give it another try by leaving the curve alone, and using an adjustment brush on the stone path.


Love the second image! It is a man made structure but is battered down by nature that has created a wabi sabi effect. More I look at it, more I see it. The second image emphasizes the wabi sabi effect much better than the first. Agree with Kristen about emotionally isolated feeling, but that is where I see the beauty of the imperfect.

1 Like

@ravi Thank you for that, it opens a new exploration.


1 Like

The top image, rework #2 is the light at the end of the tunnel. It is positive and hopeful with warm welcoming light, lovely colors and a clear path leading forward. For me of the other two one seems flat and the other seems dark.
And if the objective is to showcase the bamboo framed in the doorway, it stands out better in the top version.
Well done.

1 Like

Thank you @David_Leroy and all the others weighing in on this image. It’s one of my favorites, as is the garden.