Task 2:

Produce 2 photographs which embody the ideas of Wabi Sabi.

  1. A pinhole image
  2. An image which can be taken with any camera, but represents the ideas portrayed in this philosophy

Pinhole Photography: I’ve made two pinhole cameras using card (and lots of black tape!), several energy drink can pinholes and a pinhole ‘lens’ cover for my Holga (which never worked – the hole needs to be closer to the film but it was worth a try!)

home made pin-hole cameras & Holga mod (which didn't work lol)

home made pin-hole cameras & Holga mod (which didn’t work lol)

2 home made pinhole cameras & 1 Holga mod

I was very doubtful about whether it would work as I’d seen several sights giving information on how to mod the Holga but I don’t want to remove my lens and break my camera as I can’t really afford to buy another – might give it another go when I can afford to. Think I’ll try making the matchbook pinhole camera that uses film. you’ll find instructions at matchboxpinhole.com

Pinhole Camera made from Cat Food Pouch box - Elephant & Castle

Pinhole Camera made from Cat Food Pouch box – Elephant & Castle

The first try with the smaller pinhole camera – Over exposed!

1st go – over exposed so there isn’t much detail (approx exposure 55 seconds) This was taken with the rectangle pinhole camera. I also added a photographic sheet of paper to the side of the box and got this following image.

paper placed on the side of a Pinhole Camera - Elephant & Castle

paper placed on the side of a Pinhole Camera – Elephant & Castle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

side exposure from box pinhole camera

paper placed on the side of a Pinhole Camera - Elephant & Castle

paper placed on the side of a Pinhole Camera – Elephant & Castle

I had one piece of photographic paper at the back and one at the side (to see what would happen! The paper at the back either came out blank (?) or was lost in the confusion of the darkroom (lots of other students adding theirs at the same time)

Pin hole camera - pringle tube - Faraday Memorial Cube in Elephant & Castle

Pin hole camera – pringle tube – Faraday Memorial Cube in Elephant & Castle

Faradays Memorial taken with a energy drink can Pinhole Camera – which is the easiest as you create the pinhole with a size 16 sewing needle which you poke straight into the can itself – you don’t need to make a separate lens plate as you do with the cardboard boxes (the card has rough edges because of the nature of card/paper fibers and unless you want a fiborous edging to your photograph it is best to poke the hole in a small piece of aluminum (ie: coke can metal) and then stick this to your card pinhole camera).

This image needed a longer exposure (I took this approx 25 seconds but I think I counted rather too quickly – didn’t include any bananas!)

Wabi Sabi – An acceptance of transience.

Teaism is a cult founded on the adoration of the beautiful among the sordid facts of everyday existence. It inculcates purity and harmony, the mystery of mutual charity, the romanticism of the social order. It is essentially a worship of the Imperfect, as it is a tender attempt to accomplish something possible in this impossible thing we know as life.

THE BOOK OF TEA By Kakuzo Okakura

Wabi Sabi is a term used for objects that are imperfect or shows signs of decay (signs of life?!), from a dried up leaf, rust on a car or a crumbling building; being able to see beauty in something that is old or worn; accepting the natural cycles of growth, decay, and death

Today’s society has a preference for shiny brand new things and anything with a little ‘character’. For example, the signs of age on the human face belies a person’s characteristics, are seen as old and should be ignored or dismissed in some way. (Photographic retouchers are often told to remove wrinkles and lines from portraits but, I always leave some behind or lighten them just a little, otherwise I find that the person becomes unrecognisable).

Those who cannot feel the littleness of great things in themselves are apt to overlook the greatness of little things in others

THE BOOK OF TEA By Kakuzo Okakura

Battersea Power Station

Battersea Power Station

Battersea Power Station with moody sky!

This photograph was taken using a modern entry level Digital SLR (Pentax K100D) and features the Battersea Power Station. (Something new and something old)

The 75 year old Battersea Power Station is the biggest brick building in Europe (some say the world), (Battersea Powerstation.com).

This building is apparently loved by all despite it’s early days of the public saying it would be eyesore and promises of it being re-built has yet to materialise so it is slowly crumbling – The image below shows scaffolding on the chimneys but it’s seems that only basic repairs are done. (Not another Brighton West Pier situation!). Let’s hope that Rafael Viñoly‘s plans will be completed unlike the other numerous failed redevelopment plans (one of which removed the roof of Battersea leaving the building open to the elements).

Battersea Power Station

Battersea Power Station

Battersea Power Station from another angle

You can find some fantastic photographs taken from inside the building (and from the chimneys here: 28dayslater.co.uk

Wabi-Sabi as a user experience – borrowed from Without Thought blog *NOTE: graph now taken down as didn’t credit the work of the writer Leonard Koren – which meant I had linked it wrong as well! oops –  you will Mr Koren’s book on Amazon*.

“Text is from Wabi-Sabi: For Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers by Leonard Koren.”

Books for Artist, Poets, and even interior design covering Wabi Sabi can be found on Amazon

An example of Wabi Sabi Kitchens can be found here on the Apartment Therapy website

References & sources:
Okakura, K. THE BOOK OF TEA (1906), [Internet], available from
<http://www.gutenberg.org/files/769/769-h/769-h.htm>
[accessed March 2010]
Battersea Power Station, [internet], available from <http://www.battersea-powerstation.com> [accessed March 2010]
Without Thought blog, [Internet], available from <http://withoutthought.wordpress.com/> 
Wabi-sabi as a user experience design approach for Web 2.0 graph - Text is from Wabi-Sabi: For Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers by Leonard Koren
[accessed March 2010]
Wabi Sabi [Internet], available from
<http://www.wabisabi.org.uk/googled7ac3efe0c1c8055.html>
[accessed March 2010]

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