Tag Archives: koi

7 Whispered Meanings of Koi Art

There are few fish that are as atheistically beautiful as the koi fish.   The koi is a variety of carp that began its relationship with man in a dubious position. Originally they were simply bred for food to help supplement the almost completely rice diet of poor peasant farmers in the Far East.

However, this historical story cannot but help explain the sheer power of art and beauty over the human mind. Or in this case the stomach.   For some reason, one we may never completely understand, there was a mutation to a few of these fish that produced the incredible variety of colors found in some of the fish today.

People began to see this lowly food source as more than just something to eat. Because of their beauty they soon become ornamental and even started to have legends being told about them. These legends include how they are brave, purposed fish who through the sheer power of determination can swim upstream and even in some case up waterfalls.

Since koi fish represent such positive energy of purpose they are also given to a belief that their presence will increase other attributes.  They whisper energy that brings:


  1. Wealth and prosperity
  2. Success of goals
  3. Career advancement
  4. Relationships of long-lasting love.
  5. Symbol of strength
  6. Power of purpose
  7. Freedom from distraction
Koi Fish
Koi Fish

At first these eye-catching color are fish natural subjects for art. However, it was not for the brilliant colors that I captured their tranquil lives. I noticed that the scales of the koi would reflect light almost like a shiny metallic type of armor.  Since one of the finer aspects of black and white photography is about lighting a subject, this work remains a perfect opportunity for artistic enhancement.

The result is consists of swirls of creamy abstract whites on some fish and scaled elements of contrast on others. As the colors change into their respective shades of gray and creams, they gain a definite balance of minimalist quality. It’s just fish, but with their deep visual meanings of artistic display and centuries of eastern influence these simple koi take on a much more elegant and balanced display of nature’s beauty.

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Hidden Motives in “I Am Watching You”

The first people I saw in the hidden garden that morning was a boy and his father.  The boy, 5-6 years old, was all excited about the prospect of feeding the fish and ducks that live in the pond. He had already received a handful of fish pellets in his small hands and was running towards the water with his father right behind him


I quickly followed the pair to the pond where the boy proceeded to start throwing the fish pellets into the water.  When you attempt to take pictures of animals you have to look for any opportunities. Animals have a mind of their own, they will do what they want when they want.  Food is always an opportunity for great photography subjects.


It was like the child had rung the dinner bell,  nothing will attract koi fish and ducks like a free meal, and they were not going to be denied.  As soon as the ducks, this mallard in particular, saw the food he started swimming towards the excited child.


The mallard was nervous as could be.  He desperately wanted to make it to the little boy trying to feed the fish and ducks, but at the same time he was very unsure about the boy’s father and myself standing on the edge of the pond.


You can see the tension in his eye and the way he holds his head.  He has to get to the food before any other ducks in the area know what is going on and he has to beat out the faster koi fish.  Yet, he is easier to attack than the koi, so he has to go ahead with caution.


It didn’t take long for the koi to figure out what was happening and soon join the fray.  This particular koi was in the vanguard of the school of fish arriving on the scene for the serious chow down.


This koi fish, seemingly kissing the duck, is either a Butterfly Koi or a Ogon koi.  A butterfly koi is the result of a koi fish and an Asian carp being paired.  A Ogon koi,  Ogon is Japanese for “gold”, is usually either an orange or gold-colored fish.

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Wish to learn more about Mallards and Koi?  Try these sites