How I Photograph


A woodland, a graveyard,
Where nature reclaims,
Golden frames awaiting,
Enticing, insisting, imploring
My leading finger’s interminably slow tender crush
Upon my Comrade’s cool crescent curve,
And then, once more,
The hounds break loose,
Coming for us through the trees,
A cataclysmic gathering of light,
As fifteen billion photons rush recklessly
Through seven mystically aligned layers
Of Japanese glass
(via Wetzlar),
Then collide and collude with
The tiny electric quadrilateral
Awaiting at the moment gates,
Loyally gathering up
And devouring
My amorphous and otherwise unreliable memories,
And hunkering them safely away
For long Winter days
Where the sun forgets to rise.

(Hat tip to Anthony for reminding me I was a poet before I was a photographer, and to Kate for always being there.)

Thanks for looking.

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9 thoughts on “How I Photograph”

  1. What camera did you use to make the image? Is it on the camera you are currently using this month ? Or?

    1. Thanks Pavel, no this one from the archives, made with my Ricoh GRD III. The current Lumix TZ2 wouldn’t focus quite this close – the Ricoh goes down to 1cm, amazing!

    1. Thanks Anton. That’s what they do! 🙂

      No there’s no link between the poem and this specific photograph, other than it’s is a photograph I made.

      I just got an idea about writing about the experience of making a photo in a way that describes more accurately how it feels, rather than the raw mechanics of adjusting settings and pressing buttons.

    1. Thank you Peggy. Well, maybe, but I wouldn’t want to rewrite the same poem multiple times.

      In what seems like a former life, I was a poet far longer ago than I was a photographer, from my late teens to early 30s.

      My poetry evolved into haiku almost exclusively, which is so very similar to photography – essentially a snapshot of a moment.

      So then I started to explore photography with a camera phone around 2006-ish, and between then and now gradually stopped writing poems and took more photographs.

      I would like to make the writing generally on 35hunter more poetic, I think all too often I slip into overly technical areas… But I can’t at this point see my writing poems like this one, I’d sooner make a photograph.

      Maybe I’ll share some of my old haiku (I wrote thousands!).

      Thanks for your thoughts!

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