How haiga happens

2AM

Haiga is a Japanese concept for simple pictures combined with poetry, usually haiku. In Basho’s time (1644 – 1694), haiga meant a brushed ink drawing combined with one of his single poems handwritten as part of the picture. Today, haiga can be watercolor paintings, photographs or collages with a poem of any genre that is integrated into the composition. In my case, it is all digital. It usually begins with the photo. Sometimes something striking arrests my attention and makes me think, “I could write a poem on this!” And so, as I sit and gaze at the image, feelings stir awake, mental sap begins to flow and bits and pieces of a poem, usually a haiku, begin to emerge. Continue reading

A soft murder

365-269 24 of 50 Portrait

“To photograph people is to violate them, by seeing them as they never see themselves, by having knowledge of them that they can never have; it turns people into objects that can be symbolically possessed. Just as a camera is a sublimation of the gun, to photograph someone is a subliminal murder – a soft murder, appropriate to a sad, frightened time.”
― Susan Sontag, On Photography

Sometimes when I have taken a photo like the one above, it does feel like I’ve captured a facet of the person’s personality they would not want the world to see. Continue reading

Life is blurry

Tulip_glow

“There is nothing worse than a sharp image of a fuzzy concept.” ~ Ansel Adams

I have always been intrigued by the desire in photographers for producing razor-sharp images. I mean, why should every tree, every cloud, every cat whisker be defined clearly and sharply. In real life, when I look at a cat I don’t admire each and every individual hair on its body. Or admire the clarity of its eyes. Or when I look at a tree, I don’t see how sharply delineated its leaves are. I just enter the presence of its being. When I take a photograph, it’s because the beauty before me has touched me somehow and I would like to capture it forever. Continue reading

All night rain falls

All night rain falls

in the hills
an owl calls out for a mate
all night rain falls

~~~

sleep sprites unreel
dream movies on closed eyelids
all night rain falls

~~~

I wake from this dream
into a dream more real
all night rain falls

the moon is an orange
the sound of rain a warning

~~~

Begonia -soft-lit

Begonia_soft copy

Flowers – those little joy-inducers. I cannot pass a flower by without photographing it, and if not carrying my camera, without wishing I had carried it. Having said that, I spend more time just gazing at the flower than I spend in shooting it and I must say I have spent many a happy hour in the company of these little packets of joy.

My usual photography practice is to shoot many images, and select one or two for post-production tweaking. I can spend hours tweaking an image Read the rest…

How to photograph a lamppost

lampost

Evening. I am out on my walk. Bright sunlight. After a while I realise that the nature of the light has changed, has become filtered, surreal, like as if God had turned on the special-effects button. I look up at the sky. The sun was inching slowly towards the horizon but was hidden behind huge masses of clouds which looked like a cotton mattress had burst its seams and floated up into the sky. Out comes my mobile. No, I don’t have a hotline to the sun and neither to the clouds. But I do have a rather good camera on it. Read the rest …