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Wabi Sabi Photo Collective
Old 12-19-2015   #1
nikonosguy
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Wabi Sabi Photo Collective

Some really neat talent involved with this project...

https://www.facebook.com/wabisabiphotos/
http://wabisabiphoto.com/

It's a group of international photographers... including a few forum members here

Just posting as a "thought you might enjoy this"
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Old 12-19-2015   #2
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Wabi Sabi is a cool concept for photography.
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Old 12-19-2015   #3
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Yeah, I dig this philosophy in all things, and like the idea of embracing it in photography. Thanks a lot!
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Old 12-19-2015   #4
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thanks the group is 7 photographers all with styles that intersect -- some of the guys are well known, but it's not about any individual or personality.

this keeps egos out of the equation ---

also, damned good to see bmattock here again
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Old 12-19-2015   #5
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yes, good concept for photography. I fail to see Wabi Sabi in the photos shown though, or just in a very few, if trying really hard
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Old 12-19-2015   #6
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It's not perfect.
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Old 12-19-2015   #7
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nothing ever is, Frank
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Old 12-20-2015   #8
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my earlier response was not meant to be off putting, in the contrary, to push to explore what 'Wabi Sabi' is. How about we tried right here, to show or express Wabi Sabi through our photos?



......
a quote: "The words wabi and sabi do not translate easily. Wabi originally referred to the loneliness of living in nature, remote from society; sabi meant "chill", "lean" or "withered". Around the 14th century these meanings began to change, taking on more positive connotations.[2] Wabi now connotes rustic simplicity, freshness or quietness, and can be applied to both natural and human-made objects, or understated elegance. It can also refer to quirks and anomalies arising from the process of construction, which add uniqueness and elegance to the object. Sabi is beauty or serenity that comes with age, when the life of the object and its impermanence are evidenced in its patina and wear, or in any visible repairs."
taken from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wabi-sabi

a good article on Japanese aesthetics:
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/japanese-aesthetics/

the Wiki take: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_aesthetics
and a quote from there:

"In Zen philosophy there are seven aesthetic principles for achieving Wabi-Sabi.[7]
Fukinsei: asymmetry, irregularity;
Kanso: simplicity;
Koko: basic, weathered;
Shizen: without pretense, natural;
Yugen: subtly profound grace, not obvious;
Datsuzoku: unbounded by convention, free;
Seijaku: tranquillity.
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Old 12-20-2015   #9
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While not exactly relevant to photography I do enjoy wabi sabi as a concept. So much so that I recently decided to make a repair to a piece of (inexpensive) Asian porcelain of my wife, using a technique the Japanese call Kin-tsugi.

The idea behind Kin-tsugi is that instead of trying to hide a repair the piece can be can be enhanced so the damage and the repair becomes a part of the history of the object. This is a very wabi sabi idea. The repair is traditionally made with Japanese lacquer mixed with gold dust (or in my case bronze powder from an art store).

I enjoyed the process so much that I have also taken on a few other "commissions" for clumsy friends who have also broken pieces. :^)

I have attached a link to a Pinterest collection of kin-tsugi pieces for those who are interested. My pieces a OK but pale into insignificance beside the masters of wabi sabi

https://www.pinterest.com/marjokedeh...pair-kintsugi/

Now I must look for wabi sabi style photos I have made.





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Old 12-20-2015   #10
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There is perhaps a touch of wabi sabi in these. Or at least a sense of the impermanence of things...

Bamboo by Life in Shadows, on Flickr

pluie sur lily by Life in Shadows, on Flickr

Lotus eaters by Life in Shadows, on Flickr

Blossoms on Black by Life in Shadows, on Flickr
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Old 12-20-2015   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peterm1 View Post
While not exactly relevant to photography I do enjoy wabi sabi as a concept. So much so that I recently decided to make a repair to a piece of (inexpensive) Asian porcelain of my wife, using a technique the Japanese call Kin-tsugi...
great stuff, thank you for sharing Peter!
definitely very much a 'Wabi Sabi' idea, very well done, I am sure it's much fun and the results are very pleasing

Quote:
Originally Posted by peterm1 View Post
There is perhaps a touch of wabi sabi in these. Or at least a sense of the impermanence of things...
Most rather qualify, I'd say. However I believe that it must have been the misunderstanding of the people who started the Collective to think that if one or the other characteristic of Wabi Sabi can be identified than it already is Wabi Sabi.
Wabi Sabi in Japan, I believe, mostly, or at least more commonly, is seen in man made objects. Often in pottery, tea cups. Of course the idea spans wider than that and I hope that Japanese or somebody who have studied Japanese aesthetics will help us out, enlighten us a bit. I am sure somebody must be around
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Old 12-20-2015   #12
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At first glance (lunch time here) it seems interesting. I have to study and learn a little bit more about Wabi Sabi aesthetic, thanks for the links.
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Old 12-20-2015   #13
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My interest is primarily Japanese architecture and landscape, where the principles are old and well established. A few quotes from around the web on Wabi-Sabi:

"Taken together, Wabi-Sabi is a worldview that perceives beauty in roughness, elegance in imperfection, and serenity in the natural process of decay."

"the natural melancholic beauty of things imperfect and simple"

"an intuitive way of living that emphasises finding beauty in imperfection, and accepting the natural cycle of growth and decay"

The photo gallery of the Wabi-Sabi Photo Collective didn't seem to have much resonance with those concepts, to my eye.

My view of Wabi-Sabi is more like this:


(edit: two unnecessary photos removed)

I wish the Collective every success - just not sure that the label accurately reflects the style of work!
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Old 12-20-2015   #14
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Are the photos they present supposed to BE wabi-sabi (what I was hoping to see there) or are they supposed to be OF wabi-sabi? They don't give much info there. The pix certainly aren't the first, at least, and the second idea seems a bit of a precious project of westerners, right down to the idea of an "international" and anonymous committee.

In terms of BEING wabi-sabi, wet plate/collodion, for instance, fits better and effortlessly, in my mind.
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Old 12-20-2015   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lynnb View Post
My interest is primarily Japanese architecture and landscape, where the principles are old and well established..
Japanese aesthetics and philosophy are intertwined, permeate Japanese culture, right?

A good article where Wabi Sabi is contrasted to 'modernism' resp. typical western concepts: http://hermitary.com/solitude/aesthetics.html

a quote from there:
"The term wabi-sabi suggests such qualities as impermanence, humility, asymmetry, and imperfection. These underlying principles are diametrically opposed to those of their Western counterparts, whose values are rooted in the Hellenic worldview that values permanence, grandeur, symmetry, and perfection. ...
Wabi-sabi is an intuitive appreciation of a transient beauty in the physical world that reflects the irreversible flow of life in the spiritual world. It is an understated beauty that exists in the modest, rustic, imperfect, or even decayed, an aesthetic sensibility that finds a melancholic beauty in the impermanence of all things."

note the mention of the spiritual world


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Old 12-20-2015   #16
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Maybe everybody needs to take a breath. A bit stuffy in here.
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Old 12-20-2015   #17
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Kuuan, thanks for the link.
bmattock, not trying to be stuffy, just trying to understand the apparent disconnect between the Collective's name and their work.
cheers,
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Old 12-20-2015   #18
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I don't really see anything in these photos that would bear resemblance to the "wabi sabi" idea. There is some great work out there in this style, for example "Findings" by Hiroshi Watanabe:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=52ja...8CD2F5&index=2
or Masao Yamamoto:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rFz91cuOh6o
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Old 12-20-2015   #19
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The idea of wabi sabi shows up time and again in the Japanese aesthetic. This is a link to photos of a Japanese sword guard (or tsuba) from a Katana. Its new but has been deliberately patinated to make it look aged. I like it very much indeed.

https://www.facebook.com/27758369228...type=3&theater

For other like me who is interested in such things here is a link to a video by an American sword and knife maker who is here making a tsuba from a very old reclaimed piece of rusty and corroded wrought iron. He retains the corrosion so the end product has a wabi sabi effect.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_kpa0uxSuOU
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Old 12-20-2015   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mfogiel View Post
I don't really see anything in these photos that would bear resemblance to the "wabi sabi" idea. There is some great work out there in this style, for example "Findings" by Hiroshi Watanabe:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=52ja...8CD2F5&index=2
or Masao Yamamoto:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rFz91cuOh6o
thank you very much for the links, very inspiring the beautiful photos by Yamamoto. Are they, most of all, "Shibui"? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shibui Watanabe's

I am curious how much, in Japan, photography has been accepted as a medium for Wabi Sabi.


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Old 12-20-2015   #21
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we know --- it's all good

Quote:
Originally Posted by kuuan View Post
my earlier response was not meant to be off putting, in the contrary, to push to explore what 'Wabi Sabi' is. How about we tried right here, to show or express Wabi Sabi through our photos?



......
a quote: "The words wabi and sabi do not translate easily. Wabi originally referred to the loneliness of living in nature, remote from society; sabi meant "chill", "lean" or "withered". Around the 14th century these meanings began to change, taking on more positive connotations.[2] Wabi now connotes rustic simplicity, freshness or quietness, and can be applied to both natural and human-made objects, or understated elegance. It can also refer to quirks and anomalies arising from the process of construction, which add uniqueness and elegance to the object. Sabi is beauty or serenity that comes with age, when the life of the object and its impermanence are evidenced in its patina and wear, or in any visible repairs."
taken from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wabi-sabi

a good article on Japanese aesthetics:
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/japanese-aesthetics/

the Wiki take: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_aesthetics
and a quote from there:

"In Zen philosophy there are seven aesthetic principles for achieving Wabi-Sabi.[7]
Fukinsei: asymmetry, irregularity;
Kanso: simplicity;
Koko: basic, weathered;
Shizen: without pretense, natural;
Yugen: subtly profound grace, not obvious;
Datsuzoku: unbounded by convention, free;
Seijaku: tranquillity.
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Old 12-20-2015   #22
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we are all damaged, imperfect, and still functional -- there's no pretentious art talk, no bs - just images.. no more, no less -

not trying to get high falutin art world sniff your farts esoteric
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Old 12-20-2015   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kuuan View Post
yes, good concept for photography. I fail to see Wabi Sabi in the photos shown though, or just in a very few, if trying really hard
Agreed. I think of Wabi Sabi as 'beautiful decay'. Most of the shots seem to be a random collection of images.
I think it's a great idea, but watered down by some of the participants.
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Old 12-20-2015   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huss View Post
Agreed. I think of Wabi Sabi as 'beautiful decay'. Most of the shots seem to be a random collection of images.
I think it's a great idea, but watered down by some of the participants.
the images are not identified to the specific artist - no ego, just images.
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Old 12-20-2015   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huss View Post
Agreed. I think of Wabi Sabi as 'beautiful decay'..
right, that's a good way to put it, time and decay are very central. Even a newly made tea bowl could be Wabi Sabi though, however it would have seeming imperfections that are associated with aging. In Japanese art I find very fascinating that usually the actual art work is very refined, materials used are very particularly chosen, refined techniques implemented in very particular processes with much attention to detail, but that the final product may look simple and 'natural'. In Wabi Sabi simple, basic, rustic, unpretentious, 'original' meaning free of or beyond conventions, subtle, 'behind', also intimate, melancholic, homely, often even 'useful'
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Wabi Sabi Photography
Old 01-04-2016   #26
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Wabi Sabi Photography

I am a passionate photographer from Germany for half a century.
Zen aesthetics are fascinating me. If we want to see the things from a new viewpoint, we only succeed by integrating the quality of Zen and its method of world experience in our lives. The practitioner of Zen penetrates to the essence of things and life. This experience can create a certain serenity and grandeur in the life of a Zen photographer and his Zen-influenced images. The catharsis comes from the experience of the own original self by Satori and the concomitant freedom from insecurities and fears. Vanity, pride and glory as the drives for excellent achievements die away like the flower in the field and turn into nothing. They are not permanent; so they even do not have existed.

Summer grass ...
From all the dreams of glory
the last hint
(Matsuo Bashō, Japanese poet, 1644 -1694)

What is the fascinating of the philosophy of Wabi-Sabi for me? How does this attitude of mind enrich my life? How does this concept change my photography?

My life enriches not by displacing the transience of life but by realizing it as a theme of my art. I exist in the here and now in the awareness of the transience of life more intensively. I exist at the moment mindfully and watchfully.

- I realize that things and my life are imperfect, not finished and always in flux. This knowledge frees me from the folly of perfection, which overwhelms the people of the Western industrialized nations and burn them out. Since many years, the photo equipment industry trains photographers to fetishists of technique in the interest of maximizing its profit. It always promotes fresh perfect photo apparatus with sharply capturing lenses and so sells new cameras consistently. A sharpness craze is spreading in the countless photo forums on the Internet. We yield to the illusion that the world and the reality can be captured by photography sharply and accurately.

The simplicity as a principle of Zen design educates me to abstract the contents of my pictures. Credible and strong photos are the result.

Freedom from habits and dogmas claimed by the aesthetics of Zen grows the creativity in my expression.

Photographing in the sense of Zen also means to identify the essentials of our limited lives and of ourselves ultimately. We deal more carefully with our lives.

The things tell us of the eternal truth. We only need looking at the things carefully and listen without distraction. We do not have to realize anything mentally or to penetrate it theoretically.

Some examples of my photography: www.photoartfolio.com
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Old 01-04-2016   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nikonosguy View Post
Some really neat talent involved with this project...

http://wabisabiphoto.com/
Any idea when they will have photos?
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Old 01-04-2016   #28
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I am in over my head on this topic.
I understand (and appreciate) the imperfect beauty of objects. The "repaired" pieces that peterm1 shows are, I think, even more beautiful now than they were. Imperfections are almost always beautiful in objects.

I don't quite get how the concept translates to photos.
Is a perfect image of a broken/repaired piece of artwork what you call "wabi sabi"? I mean does the *photo* have "wabi sabi". It seems to me that the photo itself must be imperfect (from a connventional POV) in order to have wab sabi. ? ? ? A perfect photo of a wabi sabi object ....... I am so confused.
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Old 01-04-2016   #29
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Originally Posted by Lss View Post
Any idea when they will have photos?
last time there were quite a few, but they are no more, must have been removed since..
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Old 01-04-2016   #30
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There are some cool photos in that collection, thanks for the link.
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Old 01-04-2016   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daveleo View Post
I am in over my head on this topic.
I understand (and appreciate) the imperfect beauty of objects. The "repaired" pieces that peterm1 shows are, I think, even more beautiful now than they were. Imperfections are almost always beautiful in objects.

I don't quite get how the concept translates to photos.
Is a perfect image of a broken/repaired piece of artwork what you call "wabi sabi"? I mean does the *photo* have "wabi sabi". It seems to me that the photo itself must be imperfect (from a connventional POV) in order to have wab sabi. ? ? ? A perfect photo of a wabi sabi object ....... I am so confused.
a quote from the very interesting and beautiful book linked above by 'photoartist', quote:
"In the concept of Wabi Sabi we find two initially shared Japanese and Chinese characters: Wabi, dependence and Sabi, solitude and loneliness. These term express feelings. They describe not the appearance of things. The melancholic sensibility was part of the ancient Chinese art and literature. ...

which is similar to what I had written in response to "Are the photos they present supposed to BE wabi-sabi (what I was hoping to see there) or are they supposed to be OF wabi-sabi?":
Quote:
Originally Posted by kuuan View Post
Though this is an important distinction to make in the end imo it's the feeling of the perceiver that counts. Any characteristic of the photo that is conducive for creating the atmosphere, perception and feeling, if I may say, the spirit of Wabi Sabi, is important.
and thank you for coming 'photoartist' and most welcome here!
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Old 01-04-2016   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daveleo View Post
...
I don't quite get how the concept translates to photos.
Is a perfect image of a broken/repaired piece of artwork what you call "wabi sabi"? I mean does the *photo* have "wabi sabi". It seems to me that the photo itself must be imperfect (from a connventional POV) in order to have wab sabi. ? ? ? A perfect photo of a wabi sabi object ....... I am so confused.
I feel it's something difficult to describe, something we must feel...
Hmmm, I'm confused as well...
Trying to understand it...
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Old 01-04-2016   #33
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Whichever way Wabi Sabi is defined by words is incorrect because an aesthetic is not a description, its an experience.

Wabi Sabi in western sense comes close to tragedy, but tragedy without sentimentality, and there is no tragedy without sentimentality in western art. All traditions of tragedy in western art are sentimental from ancient Greeks to Shakespeare.
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Old 01-04-2016   #34
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The first sentence of the Wikipedia article on Wabi Sabi, quote: "Wabi-sabi (侘寂?) represents a comprehensive Japanese world view or aesthetic centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection. The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of beauty that is "imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete".[2] It is a concept derived from the Buddhist teaching of the three marks of existence (三法印 sanbōin?), specifically impermanence (無常 mujō?), the other two being suffering (苦 ku?) and emptiness or absence of self-nature (空 kū?)."

an understanding of Buddhist concepts, specially of Zen will be very helpful, almost required for developing a taste of Wabi Sabi. Wabi Sabi is an expression of the Zen mind, awareness of impermanence, imperfection and decay and overcoming the resulting suffering through acceptance and substituting it with a private, a bit melancholic appreciation. It's less to be merely understood, more something that can be acquired.
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Old 01-04-2016   #35
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I'm one who appreciates the concept without fully understanding it. One of my photos on Flickr was once invited to the wabisabisuki group.

It's gone now. Wish I could remember which one!

But that was what introduced me to the concept. Certainly it seems peoples' personal definitions vary. That's ok....in the end our opinions will also be dust...
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Old 01-05-2016   #36
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I checked and it is all wasabi to me. Photos and concept doesn't seems to match.
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Old 01-05-2016   #37
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I feel my digital photos embrace wabi-sabi, since they won't last the test of time, and are also far from perfect.

This thread reminds me of the "Nudes" thread over on Large Format forums - too many words, too little pictures.

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Old 01-05-2016   #38
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Interesting thread. This said, I have to agree with Ko.Fe that most of the published photos on this site
https://www.facebook.com/wabisabiphotos/ have little to do with the concept.
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Old 01-05-2016   #39
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I think this aged clown pic conveys characteristics/concepts of wabi sabi:

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Old 01-05-2016   #40
robert blu
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Location: Italy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Wijninga View Post
Interesting thread. This said, I have to agree with Ko.Fe that most of the published photos on this site
https://www.facebook.com/wabisabiphotos/ have little to do with the concept.
I have not yet understood what wabi wabi is, I think it's something we feel more than understand or explain in words.

Anyway for what my feeling of it is I agree with both Ko.Fe and you about the photos showed...
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