Wabi-Sabi Material Qualities


  • The suggestion of natural process
  • Irregular
  • Intimate
  • Unpretentious
  • Earthy
  • Murky
  • Simple

Reference:   Wabi-Sabi by Leonard Koren

I was exploring the limits of the Canon SL1 with the 40 mm F2.8 pancake lens when I took some pictures as close as possible in low light with ISO = 6400.  As I was crop-zooming into one image, it occurred to me that the image fit the definition as defined above.  I had just gotten the 40 mm lens and a copy of Leonard’s book:  Wabi-Sabi for Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers when I took the above picture.  The picture might not excite you, but I encourage you to read the book if you are interested in photographing old and simple objects.  “Wabi-sabi is a beauty of things imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete.  It is a beauty of things modest and humble.  It is a beauty of things unconventional.”

This style isn’t something I would desire to pursue all the time, but it does give me another concept to think about.  It is also an expansion of an earlier idea I had for a project which I referred to as entropy.   I might revive that project using my new understanding of Wabi-Sabi.