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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Unpredictable art

For the past few days I have been thinking a lot about what I call "unpredictable art." Not art that shocks; I mean art that's unexpected. A bit of serendipity. And a bit of dumb luck too.

I love unpredictable art. It's such a pleasant surprise -- almost a reward for the times when nothing I try seems to work out the way I think it should. You can work away at something and just get frustrated, and then you find out something that you thought wouldn't work, by all rights shouldn't work, has turned out beyond your expectations.

Take this blackbird, for example. Last October, just a few days before we set sail on a cruise, I bought a new camera. Who buys a new camera just before a vacation? I do. So there I was, testing out a new camera as I also tried to take in the beautiful Caribbean island of St. Martin. I was not happy with the viewfinder and so was taking all my pictures using the LCD -- and if you have a digital camera you know how hard that can be when it's bright and sunny. As we wandered about Marigot, the capital of the French side, I spied the bird. Tried to use my viewfinder. Cursed. So I aimed the camera, zoomed in, hoped the automatic focus would do its thing, and took two pictures.

Much to my delight, both pictures turned out well. I have thoroughly enjoyed playing with both in Photoshop. And it also turned out that I somehow missed the crucial instruction in the camera's manual that you are supposed to focus the viewfinder according to your own eyesight using the small dial beside it. Ooops. The viewfinder has been peachy ever since.

Thus my love of unpredictable art. That's not the first time I have been surprised by a photograph or a collage, and it won't be the last time either. And I think that's great.


Nancy Donaldson said...

Hey Lennie, love this picture! your right! some of my best pictures are "accidents" or "chance" or just plain old being in the right place at the right time! And now using digital instead of film I can take tons more and I'm always surprised by the ones I didn't think about!
Happy snapping, Nancy

Anonymous said...

Great picture Lennie of the Black Bird. The photo's you really are not working hard to get are the prize photo's. Digital allow you to shot many shots just to get that perfect mistake.....

Sue Doerntlein
(By the Bluffs Diner)

me again said...

nancy, sue ... your insight is right on. "perfect mistake"! I love that..........

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