Sunday, September 9, 2012

Embrace the Surprise

Imagine my surprise when I started my run, iPhone in hand, with a W40 lens and film combination and some time later discovered that each of the photos I took along the way had a different lens and film combo with no intentional intervention on my part. After some head scratching I discovered that running with the Hipstamatic app open leads to random changes to the film lens combination. When I locked the phone and resumed running, no such changes happened.

At first I was annoyed at my lapse but when I thumbed through the stream, loved some of the resulting images!

There is a long running argument in photography between those who are proud of how well they can control the photographic tool and those who open themselves to chance and surprise and often throw the "best" tools and techniques of the other camp out the window. As someone who has walked, stood and sat on both sides, I believe they both have merit as well as their own time and place.

The first photo below is one of the surprises from that run that I absolutely love. The stark industrial crane and perfect symmetry bring a sense of order to the surreal result. I loved this surprise so much that I tried to recreate it on my way back.

After carefully selecting the film and lens combo, I shot expecting the same result. What I got was the second surprise! And I love it too.

All I can say is Embrace the Surprise in your work.

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