A sense of order, Tokyo

Today’s image is from my Japan files,  captured in February this year and given the sepia-toned monochrome treatment in Silver Efex Pro.    I often find that I’m drawn to lines, shapes and geometry when taking photographs.  These elements,  and the relationship between them,  help to form our concept of composition in an image.   A carefully considered photograph becomes an exercise in graphic design.

When visiting Japan there is an often noted orderliness, a polite formality and valuing of courtesy.     It’s what we might think of as the “Japanese aesthetic”.    When considering this phrase,  we may think in terms of the visual arts and design,  but when looking more closely at the subject,  we find it is much broader.    It is described in some texts as;   a set of ancient ideals,  heavily influenced by Japanese Buddhism,   including wabi (transient and stark beauty),  sabi (the beauty of natural patina and aging),  and yūgen (profound grace and subtlety).    These ideals underpin much of Japanese cultural and aesthetic norms on what is considered tasteful or beautiful.

And so back to today’s photograph with its formal lines and three carefully placed pairs of shoes.   I hope it evokes a sense of simplicity, order and perhaps grace as well.   ~KD.

3 pairs of shoes, Joenji Temple, Shinjuku