Earth Portrait I

April 04, 2021  •  7 Comments

Slip Sliding AwaySlip Sliding AwayKitchen Creek, Pine Valley, California

Our lines once ran true
Earth stirs and rolls deep inside
Last chance, one last chance

I've been working on another book (I use Blurb) and as a subject I've decided on Earth Portraits. I have many images of what are typically called Intimate landscapes where the subject is photographed as one would a portrait; different than say a broad landscape or macro or a busy woodland photo.  In these the subject is obvious.  Also, thanks to Jodie Hulden who commented on my post quoting Minor White noting the boulder begged to have a Haiku written for it, I've begun writing Haikus for the images.

This image from Kitchen Creek is an example.  You can decide for yourself if it's a good or bad example. 

I assume there are many ways a Haiku can be written but a typical format is 3 lines with a 5-7-5 syllable meter. Something I've carried with me from high school is that the lines reflect Setting - Subject - Action but I've found that really difficult to adhere to so I stray to wherever the image wants me to stray. 


Todd Henson(non-registered)
I was going to comment with a serious tone but then I read Gary's comment and can't stop laughing. :-) Back to the serious, though, I often enjoy your more intimate landscapes, and have been thinking about that type of photo, in general, lately. It's one I find sometimes difficult to pull off as I often overlook these scenes, but I know what I like when I see it from others. And I love viewing it from others as I think it helps me learn how to better see when I'm out there with the camera. And your interest in Haiku is also interesting in that I've been slowly (very slowly) reading through a book titled "The River of Heaven: The Haiku of Basho, Buson, Issa, and Shiki" by Robert Aitken. As with intimate portraits I'm not that well versed in Haiku, so I'm reading it to better understand/feel it and perhaps better appreciate it. I completely applaud your pairing of portraits with Haiku, beautifully done, and I look forward to more. Perhaps one day it'll inspire me to try something similar.
Gary Crabbe(non-registered)
I don't want to be seen as being too critical, but I think I see a fault in your image.
I was actually in your High School English class (I sat a couple rows away), I don't remember studying Haiku. I do remember staring out the window a lot. I guess I should have been paying more attention. I'm 66 years old and I'm sad to admit I don't really know what Haiku is - I imagined it to be a question in the manner that Yoda would speak "The greatest teacher , failure is?"

Back to the photo. I had to look up Kitchen Creek and found it's about 50 miles East of San Diego. Your picture is an interesting image. Do the lines run inside the rock and might they have been there for tens of thousands of years? Or are the lines painted on top and perhaps added during the past several hundred years? What size are the rocks (there is nothing in the shot for reference)? Are these huge boulders that were moved with the tectonic plates of the Earth or small stones that were broken with a hammer and placed askew? Some photographs raise more questions and possibilities than answers. This is one that makes the mind wander.
Striking photo, Joe. But I would imagine for certain people with an OCD compulsion it could drive them mad the lines don't line up. A very fitting Haiku as well. Good luck with the book.
Jackson Frishman(non-registered)
Love this one! Portrait-style geology definitely hits the right notes for me.
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