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Tuesday, 26 March 2013


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In the days when I was shooting 4x5 and 8x10 sheet film almost exclusively, I often shot a few rolls of 35mm without looking through the viewfinder. Call it hunting for happy accidents or a deliberate exercise in freeing up my compositional sense, that exercise often yielded a few very interesting frames.

Indeed. I had already decided that your picture of the dog Stella is improved by the flowers on her head.

A photo I took of a couple of players on my daughter's hockey team appears to be sharing the same pair of skates. In this case, it was only slightly amusing and did not make the image any better.

Aha - Zaphod Beeblebrox has apparently taken up baseball.

What I, personally, find intriguing by this picture is that, from this particular viewpoint, his second head is perfectly hidden by the bearded one, so the picture conveys the illusion that he actually only has one head. Nice catch.

A depth-of-field setback.

Not as great image but a good example of a happy accident. This is a child dancer sitting on the floor after a performance.


Well, the most famous example of "tree head" would obviously have to be the John Paul Filo picture of the Kent State shootings:

It's a picture in which the odd and the tragic are joined, which caused so much cognitive dissonance that the pole was originally retouched for publication, although nowadays the photo is published in its original format.

"Accidents" are for amateurs. For pros they're "inspired revelations". ;-}

I realize you didn't put out a call for entries, but I have a flare example also:


Hi Mike!

Sometimes the look through the viewfinder resembles something one did not notice with pure eyes before, the mind clicks fast enough and the shutter, too:


On that occasion I tried to include the running man on the window in the final frame (after first noticing it after a failed shot). It took numerous photographs of people passing until I succeeded. But it worked out.

I.e., the happenings in the background may be forced. Nevertheless, they only fit seldomly.

Best regards,

When I was about 7 I took a picture of two birds perched on top of a cow pasture fence, and there was a cow in the background that lined up next to the birds on the barbed wire. Of course the picture looked like a tiny cow and two mockingbirds perched on a fence, and I've spent the next 50 years in photography as a result.

Also it's not that hard to train yourself to make lots of photos like that, but once you do it's really hard to stop because it's all subconscious.

The print or the tiny cow went missing in a kitchen remodeling at my parents house, wish I still had it.

I had no idea what photo of mine you were talking about. I'm still not sure... Perhaps this one?


Lots of weird juxtapositions in my photos, but this one is the one that both was accidental (the guy moved in front of the camera in a way I hadn't anticipated) and kind of matches your description.

Here's a heading a coconut tree photo. It was taken with my camera, but I can't be blamed for it because I'm in the picture.

When you're working quickly, there's often a very fine line between a happy accident and a decisive moment.

Who's to say which is which?


Reminds me of this.

If you're going to photograph the daughter of the most powerful photography curator in the world, it's best to go all-in:


Coincidentally this was posted today.


Here's another one: from Burk Uzzle's 1973 book, "Landscapes".

"Sword, Flag, and Pole Practice"

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