Haiku refers to a type of poetry that usually served as short, “ultra-dense” opening for a longer poem. It set the time, season, mood, and usually distilled the observation of a natural phenomenon and its sensory impact on the author, into a few short syllables. For this challenge, some of the rules were lifted. In particular, the observations didn’t have to be about nature itself and no rigid structure was imposed, so long as that feeling of something primal being distilled was present.
Even with those constraints removed, this was tough. As an optional extra, some contributors chose to send me textual haiku to match the photographs. I have attempted to do so myself, at my peril. This was not an obligation, nor was it even mentioned in the original post. Some think the photograph must stand alone and communicate a feeling without the help of any text. Others feel that the two creative forms can supplement one another. Both are obviously correct. So thank you all for your contributions and inspiring work.
Enough talk from me.
Without further ado,
My take on this super duo is this: not only can each photograph be considered a Haiku, each with its own natural encounter and storyline of attraction, but the juxtaposition of the two is another. The diagonals and similar compositions really speak to me as a pair. Even colours and textures are complementary ! Great photography and greater curation still.
I’d be tempted to write very similar things about Philippe’s lovely images. A brotherly conspiration? This pair, very Japanese in vibe and texture, sees the leaf playing a similar, though possibly opposite role in both photographs. Wet vs dry. Opposite directions. Opposite colours. Opposite periods of life. Opposite energies.
But unique in nature. Yin and Yang. Chinese, then, possibly?
I tried to look away from nature. Into human nature and photography itself. For what it’s worth 😉
Lens reaches out.
Text reads inwards.
Absolutely superb. To me, these are so consistent and similar to one another, they look even better as a group, in a gallery. But look at each one individually, and you can invent a different story for each. Werner adds: “I made a little children’s photobook with some of the pictures and stories – unfortunately in German – dedicated to my little grandson Oskar: http://www.blurb.de/books/9346187-eis-geschichten“. So, if you’re interested in those in print, look no further 🙂
Ah well, this just proves that humour and talent mix well. This last one had me in stitches on the floor and the first just blew my mind, a lady of Shalott in eternal ice. With those in between, in particular the storm, being real stunners as well. Again, pairings work really well for the purpose of this challenge, as evidenced by the two depicting man in nature in opposite, yet so similar ways. Just lovely.
Beautiful, highly evocative, distilled, urban stories. Paul made those without a thought for haiku. Maybe haiku isn’t a genre. Maybe it’s a state of mind. Paul’s photos are always about stripping away the non essential from a visual story. And I’d have all of these on my wall, precisely for that reason.
And, since Paul’s sense of humour matches his immense photographic talent, let me add this. Haiku is the contraction of “haikai no ku” (light verse), ku being one of the 8 words for verse (tells you a lot about Japanese civilisation, right?) Well, among the 6 words suggested as translation for city are Shiti and Toshi. So Paul, would you prefer to name urban haiku shitiku or toshiku ? 😀
If the challenge had been “can you photograph a dream”, I can’t imagine Pascal’s photographs would have been any different. His photographs in previous challenges had that same quality, now that I think of it. Some artists paint from memory, rather than in front of their scene. Pascal has invented a way of photographing from memory. By stripping away the story and focusing on a moment. Is that not the definition of haiku?
Ugh … I’m considering banning Nancee from DS. Many other photographs on this page blew my mind. But they hadn’t been made were I’d been before and didn’t make me realise just how much poetry I’d left behind. The crowds gawp at the Golden Pavilion. Nancee turns it upside down a portraits the iris. Evocative, poetic, fantastic! Four focused gems.
If we’re going minimal, let’s go minimal. Just one photograph. Small. Monochrome.
And it packs so much punch. A distilled observation of nature, anyone?
Mastery in one small square.
Snow, ice, leaves, trees, sleeping canoes, the ruins of a car (?), a pond, a cloud, a reflection, decking, grasses, stones, flowers, grasses, light and colour … perfect moments ?
To me, all these similar photographs of very different subjects, are linked by the passing of time.
sWhich grows slower, the tree of the stone? What will those grasses look like when the snow has melted. The tire tracks will cease to exist, when that happen. The canoes will have relocated. What will that “pond” look like when the cloud has blown away? And when itself has dried up? Will the wrench rust before the chassis? The shadows behind the vine leaves will pass with the sun. The leaves will grow past the frame thanks to the sun. The ice will melt, the reflections will go. The leaf will blow away, the flowers will be alone, then gone.
Beautiful haikus about the passing of time, in nature, by Kristian.
We discussed these incredible photos with John when he sent them and agreed that nothing in haiku definitions forbids scary-arse dolls 😀 That doll, man, that doll 😀
But can you distill these any more than John has? I don’t think so.
I love the play on reflections and backgrounds as a way of juxtaposing context and subject. And the use of layer blending to do the same is also very interesting. John is our innovation lab for sure.
This interesting thing is this: I fail to find stories for these. But not ideas. Ideas abound. Are ideas the underlying essence of stories?
And, while haiku are mainly observations of nature, senryū follow the same logic and structural rules, but study human nature. How about studying ideas? What would that be called? We need a name, because John’s just made it real.
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