When Luck Plays It's Hand
[font=Arial][size=2][color=black][font=Arial]Feeling bored with just about everything that offered a picture today I decided to pay a trip to the beach with my dog this morning, shot some pictures of her and some beach scenes with my fully manual 35mm box, drank tea and eat a blueberry muffin watching the sea. [/font][/color]
[color=black][font=Arial]Before I left I decided to take one last shot of the accross the sand of the pier with a metal detector guy searching for lost whatever. As I shoot with both eyes open I noticed someone else’s dog running into my composition, but instead of waiting for it to run past I instead judged when it would be in view before I took the shot. [/font][/color]
[color=black][font=Arial]Looking at the negatives the picture was made by that unknown beastie who added foreground interest and the initial hook to the picture.[/font][/color]
[color=black][font=Arial]So I was wondering what similar experiences others here have that don't mind confessing previsualisation out of the window [/font][/color]
Jay I completely agree with you and to me it makes up in part for that element which painters have of being able to add or remove things that are not in the original composition. I always question myself if it's ethical to claim it as a capture and always come to the same conclusion of yep it is.
Just last week whilst visiting NYC, I was in Central Park, about to take a shot of a seat with minimal depth of field. I noticed a squirrel jumping around behind the seat, and was waiting for it to disappear when it jumped onto one end of the seat and made the shot.
I have two instances that come to mind, though neither is as involved as your example. The first was when I borrowed a Mamiya 7 II from school. I had it for only about 48 hours, and had never shot MF before, or even a rangefinder, for that matter. Went to the store, bought 6 rolls of HP5, and just walked around downtown Palo Alto. It was raining on and off, overcast, and kind of an all-around gloomy day. At one point, I walk by these curvy stairs in a back-alley-ish area. Camera to eye, focus the RF, fire, and on we go.
That image can be found here.
Another night, in San Fran, I was taking pictures of the Bay Bridge from the Embacadero with a friend. He really likes the bridge, and this was maybe the fourth or fifth time we had been to that exact same spot. I was shooting with my yashicamat 124, and not having much luck. I had been using my Nikon N70 with a Sigma 105 on it basically as a spotmeter. After finishing with the 124, I looked down at my N70 to see that I had only 4 frames left. Just then, a big gust of wind forced me to turn to my left...right at a scene looking towards the ferry building.
I thought "gee, that's not too bad, but perhaps I should use my 50mm. But I'll meter it first to see how long the exposure should be." I raised the camera to my eye with the 105 and...wow. That's a much better composition...so I took some pictures with that combination to finish off the roll. When scanning that frame, I accidentally kept a panoramic crop I had used earlier. And...I then realized that I actually preferred the image cropped like that, and left it.
That image is here
One of those two images is a finalist in a photo contest (not sure which one yet, though). The first one taught me that maybe I do have some kind of inner, instinctual eye for composition. The second one taught me that it's probably just luck.
Don't underestimate the power of making our own luck.
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Not sure whether this falls into this category, but when I was taking my last uploaded picture ( http://www.apug.org/gallery/showphot...cat=500&page=1 )
one of the ice fishermen walked smack into the middle of the scene and relieved himself right in front of me. I was there with 4x5 camera, tripod, and about 25 pounds of other gear and there's no way he could have been oblivious to what I was doing.
Anyway, yes, I did catch the "decisive moment," but I'll never print it since it turns the shot into a joke and that's not really what I wanted.
hi tony -
way back when, i photographed a bunch of diners and people eating in them ( i guess they call it atmosphere ) if you don't know what a diner is, it started out as like a catering truck ( " roach coach " they are called today ) and later evolved into a freestanding restaurant that looks like a dining car from a train ( sort of ). if you are into that sort of stuff you might want to check this out: http://www.btwmagazine.com/ .
anyhow, i had all this 35mm film with diner-stuff on them. some of these diners burned to the ground in kitchen fires, others were sold and moved across the usa to california from where in live in rhode island - so i was lucky to have the photographs that i was able to take ...
i left town for a while, and came back to my darkroom where i learned there must have been a flood or something (?) out of maybe 200 rolls of films in vue-file sleeves ( in a binder ) the one i wanted to print from basically turned from "interior with reflected light on a barrel vaulted metal ceiling" to "dissolved emulsion / melted mess". after a few minutes of trying to figure out what had happened ... i printed what i thought looked pretty interesting ...
and this was one of the resulting images:
i have tried to find a way to do the same thing with my film and recreate that lucky (?) flood, but have never been able to. while a random thing didn't happen when i was pressing the shutter, i kind of think the happy accident was kind of the same thing, but a little different
Last edited by jnanian; 02-10-2005 at 12:24 AM. Click to view previous post history.
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Thanks for your thoughts folks, I guess without just that touch of luck (or inspiration)now and again life would be very boring Also great links and pictures which I've enjoyed seeing!
Allan always remember to tell a potential client that you "have some kind of inner, instinctual eye for composition" ... firstly because they love it and second because it's true. I believe that is what makes a photographer an artist.
Technological society has succeeded in multiplying the opportunities for pleasure, but it has great difficulty in generating joy. Pope Paul VI
So, I think the "greats" were true to their visions, once their visions no longer sucked. Ralph Barker 12/2004
This shot. I shot 3 frames. In two of the frames, the old woman is in sharp focus. The third frame I shot at a 1 sec. exposure, and this is what I got. APX 25 in Rodinal, and the print really jumps. It gets lots of comments, and is a good seller.
You never know.
"If You Push Something Hard Enough, It Will fall over" - Fudd's First Law of Opposition