Incidental Findings

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.

About LensScaper

Hi - I'm a UK-based photographer who started out 45+ years ago as a lover of landscapes, inspired by my love of outdoor pursuits: skiing, walking and climbing. Now retired, I seldom leave home without a camera and I find images in unexpected places and from different genres. I work on the premise that Photography is Art and that creativity is dependent on the cultivation of 'A Seeing Eye'.
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13 Responses to Incidental Findings

  1. lucywilliamspoetry says:

    Really love the second image, good effect

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  2. rigmover says:

    I think i see more now, now that I’ve picked up a camera, great shots Andy.

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  3. Len says:

    I always try to have a camera with me to shoot “incidental Findings” Andy. Nice name by the way. That shop window is quite unusual.

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  4. oneowner says:

    If it weren’t for ‘Incidental Findings”I probably wouldn’t have half the images on my HD. All three here are especially noteworthy.

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  5. I love incidental findings (you should trademark that 🙂 ) I love it when I come across something that I wasn’t expecting to shoot and it turns out to be the best shot of the day. Wonderful images Andy. I do love the first one.

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    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks very much, Edith. I thought this would ring true with a lot of you. Some of these ‘findings’ are little ‘nuggets’ of gold. I’ve just happened upon one today – you’ll find it on my instagram feed.

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  6. seekraz says:

    Don’t kow why, but I really enjoy photographs of photographers…

    Thought of you last evening with your mountain climbing, Andy…family and I watched the German film “North Face,” about climbing the Eiger…back in 1936, or so. Interesting and tragic film….

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