Seeing & Looking
What is Haiku Photography?
Photo haiku is an image in harmony with a short poem. Combined, they open the mind to fresh perceptions. Evoking a state of consciousness in the viewer, a photo haiku can reveal the essence of human experience in nature. A haiku photograph enters your soul with immediacy.
Haiku: A Wordless Poem
Long called the “wordless poem,” haiku was a way of life, linked to spiritual practice. Poets and regular people wrote haiku to praise nature and to open their minds. The non-rhyming Haiku form began with scholars in China and spread throughout Japan, although it was only called haiku in the 19th century.
Traditionally, poets in China wrote about nature and poetry was a social occasion. Matsuo Basho, the most renowned haiku poet, Basho was a Japanese samurai who devoted his later spiritual life to writing poetry and prose. His travels as a traveling priest and his poems bring a feeling of “lightness.” Basho's haiku summons ideas from Zen practice such as wabi and sabi. His writing reflects solitariness, everyday experiences and brings the past to the present, remindfully.
In traditional haiku, there are two requirements. First, haiku has a cutting word, a structure that engages the reader and slices the poem in half so the reader can complete the idea. Second, the poem contained a obvious seasonal word.
The essence of haiku photography is an insight into a significant moment. Creating photo haiku, we invite a viewer into an experience or perception.
Why Should I Practice Haiku Photography?
The answer is awareness. Creating haiku photography give us practice observing details of our surroundings. Writing a short poem that joins a picture lets us extend and contemplate the meaning of our photographs and helps us remember their place, in time.
Modern haiku is playful, witty and can be more social. The structure of today's haiku has changed as well. Modern haiku can be one, two or three lines. The poems are not limited to 17 syllables with five in the first line, seven in the second line and five in the third ( 5-7-5 syllable count).
Photo haiku is spontaneous. I can have an 'on the spot' composition, or emerge after a long time. The form lends itself to travels with a camera. There is a creative challenge to making a simple evocative poem that harmonizes with a photograph. Photo haiku can be comic, serious, and offer novel insights into human society. Now let's explore the How To.
Making Photo Haiku, A How To
Begin by observing a moment in time. Imagine the essence of what you feel and perceive. Any subject or human relationship can become a haiku photograph.
Use familiar, simple photo gear. For instance, you might take a picture with your cell phone. Think about what you perceived, heard, or sensed during your experience.
Your short poem can be about what happened or even what you imagined might have happened. When you craft haiku, use simple language. Think of a group of words that present an observation in a way that appeals to the senses. Use sight, touch, sound, smell, taste, or sensations like pain or movement. Tell of a specific event or observation; do not write in general terms. Write in the present tense. Try to indicate the feelings of the poet as she/he is writing the poem. When describing an event, present it as an image.
For instance, on a walk I saw a dog, cradled in the arms of someone inside a limo. The dog seemed like he was less than thrilled with the ride. Thinking from the dog's point of view led to a thoughts for a haiku.
Photoshop and Apps for Photo Haiku
There are many apps to apply effects to pictures. The download for Photo Artista Haiku effect is one I have tried.
The app lets you easily change the texture and color of a photo. If will not make you a haiku poet, but I tried it for my picture of an orangutan at Colorado’s Cheyenne Mountain Zoo.
Using Photo-Artista Haiku effects, I added watercolor and texture to match the mood of an orangutan wiping a tear.
PHOTOSHOP: Making Photo Haiku in Adobe Photoshop: 6 Steps
STEP 1: START. Open your photograph using File > Open.
STEP 2: Add your text. Click IMAGE > Canvas Size. Change width to 300 pixels wide. If your picture was 800 pixels, make the width 1200 pixels.
STEP 3 : Likewise, add 400 pixels to the height. Note that you // can customize the canvas color by clicking Canvas extension color: drop-down menu at the bottom of the Canvas Size dialog box.
STEP 4: Click the Text Tool in the toolbox. Select your font style from the upper toolbar. Type in the text of your poem. If you want to move down a line, hit the "enter" key on your keyboard. Click Photoshop's check mark to commit your edits (the check mark is at the top of Photoshop's display, in the middle of the Options bar that runs horizontally across the top of the screen). To view your text layer, open the Layers palette by clicking WINDOW > Layers ( F7 ).
STEP 5: Position your poem by using the move tool in the toolbox.
STEP 6: FINISH. With the text and a picture on two layers, save the file as a .psd file type so you can edit it later (File > Save As). For instance, you may wish to change the color scheme, and this is easier with a Photoshop's .psd or photoshop document file. /end/
Haiku photography is thriving in the information age as people write haiku in 30 different languages. The rapid growth of digital photography inspires new forms of photo haiku. As a wave of younger artists publish diverse haiku photo work online, haiku photo will reach a global audience with fresh energy, centuries after it first emerged.
HAIKU POETS HUT. For an index of haiku subjects from “inner glow” to “dragons” and a million other haiku, explore Shoji and other poets at Haiku Poets Hut http://haikupoetshut.com/haikuphotndx.html
FACEBOOK. Join the haiku hut on Facebook . http://www.facebook.com/haikuhut
WORLD HAIKU CLUB. Find the official magazine of the World Haiku Club. https://sites.google.com/site/worldhaikureview
HAIKU BOOK. The Haiku Anthology, Third edition. Core van den Hoevel I bought a copy used for only $1.18.
Haiku: The World's Shortest Poem. A Youtube video that captures the spontaneity of Japanese writing haiku as they walk in Tokyo. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ip_JgdqB1Y
Photos and Writings by Jim Austin Jimages