Michael Kenna

by Jin, 12-11-08 // 4 comments
Michael Kenna - Six Sticks

There are many artists I admire. Mr. Michael Kenna is one of them. In fact, he’s my most favorite professional photographer.

You can check out his work at:

Mr. Kenna’s photos exude sophistication through simplicity. You sense the solitude, the etherealness, and tranquility, as if you were in the scene yourself. He accomplishes this by masterful composition, light and shadow.

As a fan of simplicity in design and minimalism in art, I’m especially drawn to “Six Sticks” (pictured above). This particular photo entices me because of how simple and yet how telling it is. It captures the essence of a calm lake, without the inclusion of shore bank, trees, or anything else other than the six floating sticks and a subtle horizon. My mind fills the gap of what’s not there.

I often wondered what was going through Mr. Kenna’s mind when he took this photo. Sometimes the creative process is even more fascinating than the end result. It never occurred to me to actually ask him. Then I realized the internet has made the world so small, everyone, my idol included, is just an email away. I sent Mr. Kenna an email, asking him for permission to use this photo on my blog, and his thought process when capturing “Six Sticks.”

Much to my surprise, he returned my email. One of the best emails I’ve ever received.

Dear Jin,

Of course you may use the image on your blog

As for what I was thinking…

Perhaps it was an attempt to reduce the complicated, noisy, colorful, cluttered, busy, fast paced world, to something calm, simple and meditative. But I rather believe interpretation should be in the mind, heart and soul of the beholder. So, perhaps it is better that you think about it yourself : )

very best


Thank you Mr. Kenna, and internet.


also feel free to contact me on twitter or via email
Bryan Chain 12-11-08

Very cool that he replied.

I am wanting more and more to get into photography. Just gotta start saving up.

Love the simplistic approach he takes. I love vibrant pieces too, however it is good to see the starkness that simplicity offers.

Denise 02-11-09

Beverly Hills, CA – World-renowned, British-born, photographer Michael Kenna and Brazilian-born Hollywood author and actress Bianca Rossini collaborated to create a book of 45 black and white photographs and poetry titled “Love in black and white” Published by Nazraeli Press in Summer-2009.

“Love in black and white is a work of extraordinary collaborative passion” – Don Heckman.

Read more: http://www.biancarossini.com/column20.pdf

Watch video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GAntEreiFSE

Denise 02-11-09

“Love in black and white” Photography by Michael Kenna, Poems by Bianca Rossini – Published by Nazraeli Press in Summer-2009.

Watch video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GAntEreiFSE