Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #47 – The Five Elements

Our challenge this week, hosted by Amy,  is about the Chinese theory of the five elements: Metal, Wood, Water, Fire, and Earth.

This Theory asserts that the world changes according to the five elements’ generating or overcoming relationships. Generating and overcoming are the complementary processes — the yin and yang — of Five Element Theory.

Generating processes promote development, while overcoming processes control development. By promoting and restraining, systems are harmonized and balance is maintained.

Generating processes:

Wood fuels fire

Fire forms earth

Earth contains metal

Metal carries water

Water feeds wood


Overcoming processes:

The overcoming interactions of the five elements are like the acts of hostility between two sides in a war.

  • Fire melts metal
  • Metal penetrates wood (chopping, sawing, drilling, nailing, screwing).
  • Wood separates earth (tree roots breaking up soil/rock).
  • Earth absorbs water.
  • Water quenches fire.


”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.”

Tag your entry ”Lens-Artists” so we can find you in the reader. And next week’s host will be Tina, for challenge #48!



38 comments on “Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #47 – The Five Elements

  1. With the five phases or elements, it was interesting to read about the ”cycles” or ”connections” people were seeking to tie what they were observing. I liked the picture above with the rusting truck with its ”guts” spilled out onto the ground, exposed to the air among the trees who will be the only witness to the ongoing decay.

    • Glad you found it interesting! That car is one of hundreds in that car graveyard. Unfortunately they are now very much dwindling and disintegrating so not much is left of them. I used to visit almost every second year before.

  2. Leya -I like the way you explained the five elements processes – and that metal car with other metal objects was such an interesting photo – well each photo fit the theme of course but that one was such a time gone by image

  3. I saw a diagram on these elements and their relationship with each other but I didn’t understand it until I saw your explanation – sort of a rock, paper, scissors thing only more complex! Great photos as usual

  4. Wonderful interpretation of the generating processes, Ann-Christine. I love that shot of the freshly tilled field. Beautiful! I’m wondering how old that rusting car is. The design of the car looks very old. 🙂

    • Thank you, Patti! Glad you enjoyed this post! The cars at Kyrkö Mosse are mostly form the 1940’s-1980’s. I guess this one is from the 40’s or 50’s. They are deteriorating fast now.

  5. Love your elemental connections, and the images…the dragonflies are great, as is the gently collapsing car at, I am guessing, Kyrko Mosse

  6. I, too, love the way you weave and interpret these five elements. Beautiful photo of the earth, water, metal, and wood. The fire is stunning! Thank you, Ann-Christine!

  7. Love the way you’ve woven the elements together in terms of their interactions Ann christine. And you found the perfect photos! That fire is amazing!

Halva verket är läsarens - så, vad säger Du? As the second half is the reader's - I'd love to have Your line!

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