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.


Have you seen these:

A Delicate Waterdrop Umbrella “Colliding waterdrops create a delicate umbrella — here for a brief instant, then gone forever.”

Janet’s This, That and Other Thing “Outside the rain is pouring down, putting drops on my mind, although those outside are anything but delicate. “

fotosbykarin “I love it to search delicate things in nature. They are beautiful, tiny, extraordinary….”

We look forward to seeing your responses to this week’s challenge. Be sure to link to this post and to use the LensArtists Tag so that we can find you in our reader section. Be sure to stay tuned for Tina’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge next week.


183 thoughts on “Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #47: Five Elements

  1. Pingback: Earth & wood – Alive and Trekking

  2. A wonderful theme, Amy! A theme with a history and many possibilities. Beautiful choices, love especially the shots of fire and earth! Thank you for the inspirational gallery –

    Liked by 3 people

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  12. That last image is my absolute favourite, Amy, and I’m sorry that I don’t have time to join you this week. I’m sure I could make a link to t’ai chi, but meantime, thanks and take care! 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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  18. Beautiful photos. That landscape is amazing in B&W, such a marvelous range of tones, almost as if it was taken on one of the old silver iodide plates.

    That’s a very hard topic. Since almost everything we see is composite, one really has to think hard here. Let me see: a cat is 90% water, just like us, and it must be fire and metal because of the temperament and sharpness. Stone must be earth in this classification. I’m missing wood, but my prose about the photo adds that element. So here’s my photo of a cat and old stone: https://blackbodyblog.wordpress.com/2019/05/26/cat/

    Liked by 2 people

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  20. Amy, a beautiful and powerful subject you chose… and I learned about the 5 elements, that makes a lot of sense. A lot of what the old Chineses saying often is. Beautiful quotes and … images. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment, Viveka! Happy to share these with you. I agree, a lot of what the old Chineses sayings often make sense. Glad you enjoyed the post. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Amy, love … your subject and post. The old Chinese were so far ahead the rest of us. When I visit Georgia over Christmas I found out that they have been make wine for 8000 year??? Their wines ware superb. So … we “westerners” are far behind in many ways.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for sharing your thoughts. There must be a common origin. Some of the Chinese philosophies were influenced by Buddhism 🙂
      Glad you enjoyed these photos.


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    • Thank you for your comment, Isadora! I’m happy to see your entry for this theme. 🙂
      The pinkback can be late, and sometimes I have issue with it. It’s good to send the link. Thank you so much for joining in!

      Liked by 1 person

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  24. I’m considering the challenge ! This reminds me of Tibetan Prayers flags strung along climbing paths in the Himalayans. The colors are meant to represent the elements: “Blue representing the sky and space, White representing the air and wind, Red representing fire, Green representing water, and Yellow representing the earth. All colors are used on a string in order to bring harmony through a balance of the five elements.”

    Liked by 3 people

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  46. Even with the diversity of people and their experiences, what this week’s LAPC has shown me is that we all tend to have similar ideas when it comes to the “five elements.” To that, I like mountains: I like them a lot!

    Liked by 1 person

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    • I love how you sharing your fascinating travel to India through this theme. How clever! Besides,there is no right or wrong to express these elements.
      Congratulation to your son, what a great achievement!! Thank you so much for sharing the wonderful news with us. 🙂 🙂


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