Time Frames

July 3, 2008 | By Andrew Delaney | Creative

Stephen Schauer/Getty Images

We are all really busy right? There’s never enough time in the day to get stuff done. We are always rushed to meet that impossible deadline and it all seems to be moving faster and faster. Most of us have projects with time frames of a few hours to a few days. Some of us deal in weeks and months, and a handful of us may have a five year plan.

Recently, I was on a shoot with photographer Stephen Schauer at the Fuji Bonsai Gardens in Sylmar, California. We had had an idea that needed beautiful shots of Bonsai trees to be used as components in a composite image that will also rely on precise 3D imaging skills. But that’s another story…What struck me about Roy, the owner, was the fact that his business depended on foresight, planning and patience. Lots of patience.

Stephen Schauer/Getty Images

Imagine planning and working in ten, fifteen, twenty year cycles. He has trees that were planted when his father started the business 59 years ago. He has trees that are seedlings that will need to be clipped, bent, moulded and controlled for decades before they can be sold as Bonsai’s. Perhaps the most poignant aspect of the day was noticing a sad, gnarled, dried out specimen tucked away in a corner.

Stephen Schauer/Getty Images

“What happened?” I asked innocently.

“I killed it” Roy replied. “I was repotting it and the main root twisted slightly and cracked.”

“How old?”

Roy shrugged “Oh, it was about 30 years old.”

I cannot imagine investing thirty years in a labor intensive project and having it die. That has got to hurt.

The flip side to this is what happens when we rush.

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