Jonathan P. Williams, RLA

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    I was always taught rise over run. 


    Edward I think you touch on a good point. I have passed all sections and although I feel the test does not always match up to what a LA really does/ or needs to know I think it is there for testing the basics. 

    The biggest area I think people are having issues is that they think they just have to study the material. This is a big mistake! You must also study how to take the test. Watch all the videos on the test, understand how it is put together, understand that most questions have simple answers… 

    Just because you know how to be a LA doesn’t mean you can pass the test if you don’t understand how it is put together and what is begin asked for. 

    In my opinion at least half of those who fail do so because they over think it.


    We have found that wash out can be a problem even if well compacted. Proper Drainage is important. 

    As for 20 years…not without maint.


    As the test as been switched over to the computer for over a year now I would be curious to see if people still have the same impressions on all this.

    I agree with you Andrew on some of your reasoning why licensed professionals don’t really care about it. The older LA’s in the office did not even know what CLARB was much less that the test was now on computers. 

    It has always been my impression that the LARE is not based on the profession but is a test to be studied for and passed. Once that is done you can get on learning what you really need to know to do this job.

    I don’t think the LARE is the best at testing what is needed to know but I think it does at least test minimum competency, which is all the test is supposed to do.


    First I love your picture…GO Rams. 

    Second what is your reasoning for wanting something different than Photoshop? It is a very robust program that has served me well. What are the end results you are going for? Are you painting, just doing collages, want to have shadows and perspective capabilities, layers, and so on. 

    I would think having a better understanding of what you are looking for in a final product will allow you to search for alternatives better. 

    The true honest answer is nothing will be the same as Photoshop. Each program has its own possibilities and quirks. 


    Well put. Never thought about it but I try to put the house/buildings in most of my renderings for scale and most all done by others I admire have buildings. 

    This is partly due to the fact that most all landscapes are a part of a much larger project that includes buildings and so you want to make that connections visually. 


    I agree. I have found I use my skills I learned in my Site Design class way more than I ever thought I would.


    I think this is true on some level but all this talk really should be about at what scale each time of representation is needed. If it is a larger project you are selling to a community of 1000’s then perhaps a 3d computer fly over can make it seem real. But if you are updating planting in an existing landscape or even a complete new construction 3d computer models seem over the top. 


    I agree it is not real at all. What really sells is your past work. Your built body of work. Walking a client through a past project that is well maintained sells more jobs than a perspective ever could. 

    With that said many a client will do the opposite of what you are saying and hold you to the artistic representation as being real and what it should look like in the end. 


    Luke it takes me about 5 hours to complete a perspective like that. From blank page to signature. I don’t know about talent. I think most all of it can be taught if the person is willing to learn. Granted everyone learns at their own pace and confidence is key.

    The best way to ruin a perspective is not having confidence. Beyond that it is practice…lots of it. 


    I have found from experience that the time it takes me produce a good rendering by hand is faster than can be done in a computer 3-d program.

    The clients we work with really enjoy seeing the work we put into the hand drawings. If I where to present my clients with a 3-d computer rendering chances are they would not put much value into it because they do not see the time and effort behind it. 

    Lastly I just enjoy drawing by hand and going home with pencil smudges on my jeans. Can’t say I would get he same satisfaction from a computer graphic. 


    Having gone through the process recently I agree. I have learned, or remembered, many things throughout the process that has made me better at my job. More than just a stamp for sure.


    This is an awesome article. I especially like;

    Such challenges are likely to make the fine art of landscape architecture the most exclusive field of all for super collectors.”

    Landscapes are not cheap that is for sure.


    I agree with Calico on the pdf format. It is not stable and creates funny issues across platforms.


    I have dealt with

    We did not end up completing the project but the dealings we had with them were professional.

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