How many of you find images accidentally or unexpectedly: images that one might call ‘Incidental Findings’? All of us I expect. They are the natural consequence of cultivating a Seeing Eye. In my experience they arise from a variety of scenarios.
Firstly, they are the natural consequence of carrying a camera whenever possible, being aware of one’s surroundings, and spotting images that otherwise would be missed.
Click any image in this post to see a higher quality enlargement.
This was a shop front that caught my eye as we were walking round a town in drizzle on the edge of the Lake District on our way to lunch. The four figures reminded me of an image I showed some months ago from the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. Click here to see the image I am thinking of.
Secondly, there will be images that result from having to think of a ‘Plan B’. We all will have experience of this too: you set off for a place or a shoot with a clear idea of the images you expect to find, and something (often the weather) throws a spanner in the works and your idea is derailed. Either you abandon and go home or you think how you can salvage the occasion and find something different – the unexpected image(s).
While in the Lake District I planned a day of shooting Landscapes in Langdale. Predictably it poured with rain so we retreated to Stickle Barn for lunch. As the rain cleared and I looked out through one of the windows I was struck by the silhouette of a window cill cluttered with books framing the green landscape outdoors.
And then there’s a third scenario. Finding something a little off-beat, or out of the ordinary when out on a shoot. 2 weeks ago I went with my London Camera Club on a guided tour around part of Hampton Court Palace: an opportunity to capture classic images of a hugely historic building. But for me that visit, like others, was also an opportunity to find something incidental – something that may not obviously be connected with the location.
We were in the King’s Presence Chamber that overlooked some of the gardens. I spotted a visitor sitting on a window seat taking a picture of the gardens and the image just appealed to me: a fellow photographer becoming a picture within a picture.
So, three images all captured within the last 3 weeks – each one of them being an ‘Incidental Finding’. It’s this type of image that keeps me involved, enthusiastic, and on my toes searching for the next image.