Wabi Sabi

Question:  What the heck is it?

Next question:  How do I photograph it?  It was so much fun to learn a new phrase, and think differently about how to portray a “sense” of something that is not literal.

The below description of the weekly theme challenge is taken directly from the 52Frames website:

This week the 52Framers was inspired by “”Wabi Sabi”” which is a combination of two Japanese aesthetic concepts:

Wabi refers to simplicity, modesty, asymmetry and can even rustic beauty. It can be anything – made nature or by man – that has some type of flaw or irregularity. The presence of this “flaw” gives a unique elegance to the whole, for example, a glaze pattern on a ceramic object that can never be exactly replicated, or the unfinished turning of a screw in an old piece of wood.

Sabi refers to the beautiful finish that comes from age and wear. It states that the use of an object, and the changes the objects undergo by that use, make the object more beautiful and valuable. This can be the fraying of a garment or the crack in a wall. This value extends to an appreciation of the value of the cycles of life – the younger as well as the older – and seeing a unique beauty in experience.

The challenge was to look for and show the beauty in imperfection, the purity in flaw, the elegance of age. Life is ephemeral and fragile and crooked and the 52Framers captured it beautifully.”

….my own interpretation of the theme was to gather weeds and sticks in various degrees of aging from my own yard, arrange them in a vintage milk bottle from my collection, and put the bottle in a rusty basket.  Beautiful?  Elegant?  Not sure…but I think I understand a little bit about it now.  There is a simplistic and natural aging element to the photo.  Do you find it appealing?  Wabi Sabi


4 thoughts on “Wabi Sabi

  1. Wow….love this shot. Simple but elegant. Love your composition from bottom to top….the mat, basket, bottle and flowers, lighting and color all blend perfectly.

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