Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #47: Five Elements

Our challenge this week is about five elements: Metal, Wood, Water, Fire, and Earth. These five elements are based on the Chinese theory of the composition of the world. The theory has influenced Chinese medicine, philosophy, etc. for more than two thousand years.

“In nature, nothing exists alone.”

— Rachel Carson

This giant copper sheet is displayed at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. “Dynamic forces, set in motion over a billion years ago, created this copper sheet. Later, hot water dissolved copper from those rocks. The solution seeped into overlying layers of shale, depositing copper in sheets like this one.”


The woods are never solitary–they are full of whispering, beckoning, friendly life.   

–L.M. Montgomery


“Nothing is softer or more flexible than water, yet nothing can resist it.”

–Lao Tzu


“The earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena.”

— Carl Sagan

An ancient Greek concept of earth, water, air, fire, and aether dated from pre-Socratic times. The Buddha’s teaching regarding four of the elements (water, earth, air, and fire) can be understood as the base of all observation of real sensations rather than as a philosophy.


”To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly and compassionately with one another and to preserve and cherish that pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.”
—Carl Sagan


This week you have an opportunity to interpret metal, wood, water, fire, and/or earth with your favorite photos to express “…the only home we’ve ever known”. Feel free to choose one, two… or all five elements.

Note: The above earth image was captured in Peru. Converting image into black&white was inspired by the stunning photo– “Mountains Beyond Mountains” of Mount Everest.


%d bloggers like this: