Sycamore Shadows

third in the wabi-sabi set

third in the wabi-sabi set

Greatness exists in the inconspicuous and overlooked details. Wabi-sabi represents the exact opposite of the Western ideal of great beauty as something monumental, spectacular and enduring. Wabi-sabi is about the minor and the hidden, the tentative and the ephemeral: things so subtle and evanescent they are invisible to vulgar eyes. ~Leonard Koren

A different way of seeing an Arizona Sycamore tree. Shadows. Leaves. Bark.

Another photograph from my archives, taken in October last year, at Montezuma’s Castle National Monument, north of Phoenix.

About Bo Mackison

I'm a photographer, book-artist, traveler, naturalist, and creator of the Contemplative Creatives Journey, An Online Workshop and Community and Desert Wisdom Cards and Workshops. Though often not well known, I find the desert a welcoming place - a healing space. Its mysteries and gifts transformed me several years ago. Since that first encounter, I return again and again to fill my well in what most people think of as a desolate region. I'd love to share my desert discoveries and wisdom with you. Please subscribe to receive my five part mini email course The Gifts of the Desert. It's my gift to you.


  1. Well seen shot. The play of light and shadow on the bark is very interesting.

  2. Shadows, how they lay and play, attract me, and are hard to capture. This is a lovely capture, Bo, because of the light and dark along with the patterns. Very pleasing. I really like the quote, indeed, especially the last part: “…the minor and the hidden, the tentative and the ephemeral: things so subtle and evanescent they are invisible to vulgar eyes.” 🙂

  3. suehenryphotography says:

    Oh how I agree with the previous comment — shadows are hard to capture.

    I think I want to read more about “Wabi-sabi;” a new concept for me.

  4. I love this series, Bo. I had not heard of the tradition of Wabi-sabi, but it strikes me as a perfect practice for writers and artists.

  5. Great eye! Love the surface texture and the play of shadow and light.

  6. Again, exquisite. Thanks, Bo.

  7. interesting wabi-sabi set!

  8. Lovely. The shadows are perfect, as is the tree, and the combination is well, OMG, if I say perfect, it’s not wabi-sabi. Well, then , it is transient. THERE! that makes it wabi-sabi again.

  9. Fine angle on the shadows and trunk – nice DOF as well.

  10. I agree with Tom W. Nice shot.

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