Thursday, July 26, 2018

Frank Lloyd Wright with a Japanese Vibe


One photograph, two different versions. My first (and so far only) visit to Kyoto was overwhelming. Everything new yet familiar, but mostly new. My photography style was definitely familiar, as I moved past the big scenes and instead concentrated on the more intimate views.

Walking past a building, I was struck by the strong, linear look of the facade. Horizontal bits were supported and connected with sturdy vertical elements. Those straight lines were softened somewhat by the wave-like designs on the overhangs.

So when I was processing this picture, I was struck by how it had a Frank Lloyd Wright “prairie style” feel — all those long horizontal lines.

Then I wondered how the picture would look if I “squarified” it, reduced it down to its bare bones by cropping out what might be the non-essential elements.

Well, hello. When I look at the square version, and soften my gaze, the image brings to mind torii gates, which seems appropriate given that the building is Japanese after all.

Which one do I like more? It’s a toss-up. In a way, the horizontal picture brings to mind tatami mat floors, looking down on them from above. And the right-left movement is languid and serene, which can be considered a Japanese vibe.

The square picture is much more straightforward, no room to dally here, but definitely has a Japanese torii gate feel to it, structured yet elegant.

So there you go. Japanese/prairie fusion.

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