Simply Haiku: A Quarterly Journal of Japanese Short Form Poetry
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Winter 2009, vol 7 no 4


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Linda Papanicolaou and Carol Raisfeld ~ haiga

Camera Blur Photography

At WHChaikumultimedia, we often enjoy working with found or accidental images in our haiga. Among our favorites are motion blur images such as result from moving the camera as the shutter is clicked. The techniques of camera-motion photography can be simple or elaborate. At its most basic, there is that first shot that happens when one clicks the shutter before the camera's quite ready. Then there are the deliberate shots, where the exposure speed has been set to 2 or 3 seconds, the movement of the camera choreographed and practiced. It might be hand-held, twirled on its tripod, or even (if the photographer is willing to risk his equipment), tossed into the air with a flick of the wrist for spin. Motion blurs may also be enhanced by putting the camera out of focus while shooting, or in post-processing in Photoshop.

These abstract blurred images were created through both camera motion and post-processing blur. At WHChmm we had been engaged in a camera-toss exercise when I decided to root through my iPhoto files and try working with some of my old camera toss and accidentally blurred images. None were particularly interesting in their original forms, but a combination of filtering, transforming and layer blending produced a set of abstract images that seemed to be good candidates for haiga. When she posted the series to the group, Carol was quickly inspired to haiku them.

Another WHChmm member deeply involved in camera-motion photography is Jim Swift. As Jim has observed of his own work with camera blur photography, the resultant abstracts can be especially fruitful for exploration in haiga. They encourage 'poeming the haiga in a way that is evocative rather than descriptive' (Jim Swift: A Sense of Forest', Haigaonline, issue 10/1, Spring 2009). As you'll see, this is certainly true of Carol's haiku in the present collaborative series.

—Linda Papanicolaou


Linda Papanicolaou Linda Papanicolaou lives in the Bay Area of California. A middle school art teacher and art historian, she became interested in haiku and haiga when she taught an art lesson that combined leaf printing and haiku; since then, her favorite forms of creative expression are haiku, haiga, any art that offers the possibility of combining text with images. She is the editor of Haigaonline, assistant director of WHChaikumultimedia and a resident artist at Moonset. Her art and poetry have appeared in Amaze, Autumn Leaves, Contemporary Haibun Online, Fire Pearls, Frog Pond, Geppo, Heron's Nest, Haigaonline, Ink Sweat & Tears, Lynx, Mariposa, Moonset, Nisqually Delta Review, Ribbons, Santa Fe Broadside, Simply Haiku, Soundings, Temps Libres, WHC World Kigo Project and World Haiku Review.


Carol Raisfeld Carol Raisfeld lives in Atlantic Beach, New York. Photography and poetry are an integral part of her life, as well as yoga and boxing. As an inventor, she holds US and foreign design patents. She serves as Director of WHChaikumultimedia, Multimedia Editor, World Haiku Review, Associate Editor and Haiga Editor of Simply Haiku and is member of the editorial board of Modern Haiga. Carol's poetry, art and photography have appeared worldwide in print, online journals and anthologies, including Green Leaf Files,, Temps Libres, Printed World Haiku Review, haigaonline, New Leaves: A Collection of World Haiku, Red Moon Anthology, Haiku Pacific Rim, The Daily Yomiuri, Frogpond, Heron's Nest, Simply Haiku, Autumn Leaves, Full Moon Magazine, moonset, The Newspaper, Ribbons, Amaze: The Cinquain Journal, Modern English Tanka, The Dreaming Room Anthology, Ash Moon Anthology, Modern Haiga 2008 print and digital, SP Quill Magazine 2009,and Muse India 2009. Her work may also be seen on