As minimal as possible.
As minimal as possible.

Since the flower didn’t seem to help yesterday, I thought I’d move to more Japanese style of work in honor of the people who died or were wounded in Tokyo.

Yes. This picture is very minimalistic. Very Japanese. Very Asian.

I don’t say that without knowledge. I spent some nine years of my life — six years total — commuting back and forth to Hong Kong. Six years total refers to the time I actually lived in the city.

Since I worked to various deadlines, I often had small chunks of time free. Not enough time to go home to The United States. But enough time to travel all over the Asian continent. I absorbed many of the differences between Eastern and Western design style. You see that sometimes in how I photograph buildings. For example. In the West, we approach composition in one way with the corner of the building being the fulcrum between a long and short side. You can see two sides of the building. It follows the Rule of Thirds. In the East, often the building is photographed head on (from the front or side) and placed in the lower end of the composition. Or, sometimes to the far right, far left or even the top. It too follows the Rule of Thirds. In a different way.


The subject is placed in the extreme third of a picture if you follow the Rule of Thirds or Golden Mean. Why? The Golden Mean may have a mathematical formula but it is based on nature. For lack of a better word, it’s natural. And, flowing. Your eye is comfortable moving from place to place in the picture. Both Eastern and Western styles are valid design philosophies. Just a different way of seeing.

Design nerd enough for you?

Me? You see it in my pictures. Main subjects often placed towards the bottom or side. With stuff going on in the background which is out of focus or a kind of bokeh. Another Eastern term. A Japanese one.  It’s well overused now. It’s a description of an out of focus background area, not a photographic style.

Yes. Those years living in Hong Kong and traveling to many places in Asia influenced me greatly. I’d like to think I’m better for it.

Published by Ray Laskowitz

I am a visual storyteller. I've been making pictures for some 40 years. I travel the world in search of the right image. in the right light at the right time. You can reach me by phone at 505.280.4686, or by email at or For a quick look at my work please go to

4 thoughts on “Minimalistic

  1. Very interesting composition and post. Over the last 15 years, I transformed my backyard into a Japanese water garden, and continue to practice the art of bonsai. I believe the knowledge gained thus far has influenced my photography. Particularly around asymmetry in compositions.


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