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'. I'm not averse to manipulating images to produce derivatives that may sometimes be far removed from the original.
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13 Responses to Incidental Findings

  1. lucywilliamspoetry says:

    Really love the second image, good effect


  2. rigmover says:

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


  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.


  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.


  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.


    • 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.


  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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