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July 1, 2011
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Koi 5 by 3feathers Koi 5 by 3feathers
In addition to my work as a photographer I also design and install koi & lily ponds for clients around the country. In the spring of 2007 I did the impossible - I created a koi & lily pond for my friend Steve in his gardens in Arizona. Against the odds we created a paradise, at the heart of which is one of the most beautiful ponds I've ever had a hand in. Rather than start with large expensive koi we shopped for and found some beautiful youngsters; each one of them chosen by me and Steve together. Four years later virtually all of them are still alive and measuring anywhere from 12 to 30 inches in length.

Very soon after introducing them to the pond they became accustomed to my constant presence and responded as most koi do to the daily feedings. I had never photographed any of my client's koi before but this time with a new digital camera in my life I decided to get down into the pond and see what I could do. The results still surprise even me; thigh deep in the water with a camera in one hand and the other in the water my buddies came to play...

The images in this collection have been adjusted for levels but have not been manipulated in any other way.
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:iconpyraqua78:
pyraqua78 Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2011   Traditional Artist
Some of my reoccurring dreams that I have yet pt illustrate involve very large (monstrous is a good word) koi. In my dreams I'm both in awe and terrified of them and they are often the fancy finned variety in brilliant golds and yellows.

In real, waking life, I have a fascination with the white/silvery koi. I find them mesmerizing.

Beautiful photos, Tom. And you continue to amaze.
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:icon3feathers:
3feathers Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2011  Professional Photographer
Thank you. That's quite a dreamscape you have going on with giant koi! Eeeeeeks. These Ogon koi are so stunningly beautiful - shimmering whites and yellows and golds. And they're the ones in the pond who have grown to be the largest of all the different varieties, so they really stand out. One of my favorite parts of creating a pond is choosing its residents. I always choose each fish individually. Losing them is difficult so I invest a lot of time in making sure the get established well before moving on from the project.
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:iconpyraqua78:
pyraqua78 Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2011   Traditional Artist
They are beautiful.
When I do a garden design, I design my plants the same way.
I never did water feature design. Here in Ga I am not a huge fan of how they do water features. Most designs mimic nature out of proportion. "I want a waterfall," a client would say. So my designs would have a stream that started out from behind a thick ferny planting, run a bit through the garden following natural contours, make a few drops and end in a sunny pond. Southerners LOVE turf grass and my water features were always cut in half to make way for more lawn (not to mention 1/3 of my trees removed). When the job was said and done, the water features always amounted to regraded mounded dirt with rocks embedded in it and a collection pond at the bottom. yuck.
This is beautiful work, handsome. I love it.

Yes, you should make a visit to my dreams sometime. :)
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:icon3feathers:
3feathers Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2011  Professional Photographer
I usually go into projects making it very clear that I need to be given a lot of artistic latitude. It's not ego, it's just wanting the gardens to be right. It's my name and reputation attached to it after-all. :-) When I go into a project I'm looking as closely at the clients as I am the garden itself. LOL!!
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:iconpyraqua78:
pyraqua78 Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2011   Traditional Artist
Yeah I can appreciate that. I should send you pictures of my garden designs. I worked for a company when I did mine so they have rights to my designs. After some of the changes they made, I'm actually pretty ok with it. lol. There is way more to life than battles of egos.
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:icon21stcenturydamocles:
21stCenturyDamocles Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2011  Professional General Artist
awesome Hikarimono Gin Matsuba they are some of my favorits i have a water color of them maiting in my gallary
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:icon3feathers:
3feathers Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2011  Professional Photographer
My favorites too!
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:iconandanar:
andanar Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
Is there any limit to your talents my friend?
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:icon3feathers:
3feathers Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2011  Professional Photographer
There are many limits Mark. One of them appears to be making lots of money with my artwork. :-) If making money were a talent then I'd probably be rich by now.
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