Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #47: Five Elements

Amy finds her inspiration for this week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge from the ancient Chinese who believed that 5 elements (wood, fire, earth, metal and water)contain different types of energy, which constantly interact with each other and are in a perpetual state of motion.  The Chinese name for the elements (wu xing in some Chinese translations) is translated as “the five changes.”

Even though Western science has identified other elements in nature, I think we can all agree that these 5 elements perpetually interact, creating serenity or drama in our observable world.

This week, I’ve chosen 4 images which highlight the interaction between these elements.  Most shots are new;  one is reprocessed.


Touch the earth, feel the earth, her plains, her valleys, her hills, and her seas; rest your spirit in her solitary places.~Henry Beston

My first image was shot in Sedona, Arizona, where the cliffs are a fiery red and stunningly beautiful.    I love how their color contrasts with the blue sky to create a magnificent panoply.

Sedona Earth and Sky. Sedona, AZ

Metal and Wood

Wood is universally beautiful to man. It is the most humanly intimate of all materials.~Frank Lloyd Wright

I saw this wooden door on a walk one evening in Florence.  I love its story hidden in the peeling layers of paint.  I wondered what I’d find if I slid open the bolt.  Maybe a Vespa or a Fiat?

Wood and Metal. Florence, Italy


Fire is never a gentle master~Proverb

These candles burn in The Shrine of the Little Flower in Royal Oak, Michigan.  Although they create a gentle and soft light, they mask the sad history behind this church built by the once-famous “Radio Priest,” Father Charles Coughlin.  In his weekly radio talks in the 1930’s and 1940’s, he incited millions of Americans to believe his message of hate.


In one drop of water are found all the secrets of all the oceans.~Khalil Gibran

This image, shot in Hollywood, Florida, reminds me that the beach is where many of us find serenity and happiness.

A special thanks to Amy for her Elements challenge this week, which helped me “break down” my shots into these 5 categories and look at them in a new light.  This made me realize that I need to take shots of fire more often!  I appreciate that insight, Amy!

Next week, it’s Tina’s turn to post challenge #48.  Stay tuned.

34 replies »

  1. I love that photo of the aged wooden door with the rusted latch. The most beautiful thing about that is the light. Photographers cannot do without light, and shouldn’t that be the element of fire in this classification?

    If yes, then you everything you do has fire!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I, too, love the shot of the aged door. Sedona is magnificent, and so much joy in the beach. And, so sad about the history of the Shrine. All are beautifully captured, Patti!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Amy! I’m so glad you like these shots. It’s true. The Shrine is a sad story, but the current parishioners are trying to improve the reputation of the church. And thanks for your inspiration this week!


  3. Wonderful as always Patti – I saw that same view in Sedona, beautiful wasn’t it?! I see you found people too – good job!! And your beach shot is exquisite. Perfect job rising to the challenge!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Tina. It’s very kind of you to say that! I love Sedona, as I’m sure you do too. The walks/hikes there are magnificent. I think we’re going back there next year… Maybe we’ll see you there!!


  4. Amazingly beautiful gallery, Patti! As so many others write, I love the shot of the old door, but the light in your exquisite shot from Sedona is my favorite.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Ann-Christine. Thank you! The light in Sedona is amazing, as well as the landscapes. You’d love the nature there, I’m sure. I hope you’re having a calmer week, post elections!


      • Yes, I think I would have loved it, Patti! And yes, life is calming down – somewhat – now I am only working in the garden. ;-D Hope you are still enjoying your trip!

        Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Sally. Thank you! So true. The challenges give us a way to frame our thoughts and our images, so to speak! I’m so glad you stopped by. I hope all’s well.


  5. I enjoyed the light and texture in your picture for “metal and wood;” that alone could be an entire theme or series. You’re also correct in stating that these themes push us to think about our archive of photographs and to push us forward to new themes for future photography.

    Liked by 1 person

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