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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