Howie Motenko and Dorothea Eiben shared their recent experience participating in an exploration of Godai principles led by Magdalena Sole.

The Godai philosophy is based on all of the material world being described by 5 elements: Chi, or the earth, symbolizes solid matter. Sui, the water, symbolizes liquids. Ka, the fire, is the symbol of combustion, or the elements in an energy-releasing state. Fu, the wind, symbolizes gases. Ku, the void, is representative of the formless subatomic energy that is the basis for the structure of all things. This Godai symbolism is also used to describe the emotional nature of human beings, and to provide a symbolic structure for the teaching of effective physical combat principles in many martial arts. 

The workshop explored how applying the Godai system to photography would strengthen each of the participant’s work. There were weekly assignments and reviews and in the end, each participant created a small booklet of their Godai-inspired images.


Members shared these images for in-depth discussion on how best to achieve their intent.


Our assignment was to photograph the sky and/or clouds as a metaphor for a mood or feeling. Title each image with that feeling.


Members shared these additional images from their travels.

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