Quote Originally Posted by Ed Sukach
I'm going to re-post a photograph of mine .. "Abstraction #26" to the Critique Gallery. I'd be interested in the comments.
Abstracton #26 has been on the Critique Gallery for a couple of days now. It is -- or another scan of it -- has been in my "Personal Gallery" for some time.

This was the result of a number of "errors":
First ... I don't remember the pose at all. I think the model was "flipping" her hair back. I do remember that at the beginning of the session, as I was doing something with the lighting set up... I fired the DynaLites "accidentally" ... somewhere about ten inches in front of my face. Oooo!! Watch the bouncing blue spot (virtual). I think I may " have tripped the shutter while I was at it.
Second... In processing the film, I mis-loaded the film into the JOBO tank, so that part of emulsion was in contact some of the backing in the spiral. Not good - *very* uneven development.
Third ... After I had seen the contact sheet image -- something "worked" and I decided to print on 11"x 14" Ilford MG Portfolio. I happened to get the *one* sheet left in my paper safe ... with the door closed incorrectly ... therefore - light-struck.
After all this, I walked upstairs from my darkroom, and asked my daughter, who was eating lunch, to "give me a number" - she replied "Twenty-six", hence the title "Abstraction #26".
Certainly NOT the product of "error-free", intelligent, "expert" photography .. but it IS the product of MY hands, and I claim it as my work.

I cite all this NOT as an advice to be an ignorant klutz ... although I think we all fit that description, for time to time ... but I would suggest that there are NO genuine "mistakes" in art.
If anyone is familiar with Freud's Psychopathology of Everyday Life, he proposes that there are NO genuine errors, that everything we do, in one way or another is subjected to STRONG influences from our "pre-conscious".
I'm fairly sure there was a LOT of that in this instance.

Over the years, I have learned to be "slow" in labelling any image that I make as a "failure"... at times, I cannot easily recognize the elements provided to me from my own "spirit" ... (or "pre-conscious", or "being" ...), after all that IS a prerequisite to being "pre-conscious."
There certainly were a number of points where I would have thrown out this image, at the beginning ..., most notably, immediately after taking the top off the tank, and realizing the misloading.

One thing I try to teach is the idea of "lightness". We have one indication of having truly learned something ... when we no longer have to "think" about it ... and we know we have "mastered" it when we can no longer remember how we learned to do it in the first place.

"Lightness" ... The best example I can think of here is the beginning Fly Caster. They *TRY* so hard ..., and that excess effort is itself detrimental to the learning process. Once a few muscle-memory feedbacks occur ... the wrist relaxes when it *should*, there is an understanding of timing ..and smoothness .... and the way things "flow".
Possibly Flycasting in not well understood ... a better example might be driving an automobile ... How many can drive well with a white-knuckle "Death Grip" on the steering wheel?