Parting Shot


By Eric Mattson

For as long as I’ve created images in any media going back into my youth, I’ve crafted images depicting that which is flawed, neglected or in a state of decay such as the fence in this infrared photo. I’ve sought out that from which others would turn away and looked for character and value worthy of appreciation, for beauty in the flawed and broken. To me, there’s something sacred about every aspect of creation including the process of something or someone passing away. Embedded in all of this is what’s sometimes spoken in Ash Wednesday services during the imposition of the ashes – “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” I had no idea the Japanese have a like-minded aesthetic and life principle called wabi-sabi until I delved into photography as a spiritual, contemplative discipline. Please watch “Wabi-sabi: The magnificence of imperfection: Cheryl Hunter at TEDxSantaMonica” which can be found on YouTube at