Thursday, May 2, 2013

Dumb Luck

Really early on my road to becoming a photographer, I started entering competitions, and then as now I didn’t do so well, the first 2 years that I entered I got bupkis. In those days most competitions required you to either send prints or CD’s of your work, (note not DVD’s) one competition I stumbled onto was the Royal Print Society’s (UK) annual print competition, it had been going on since Queen Vicky’s time, so I thought WTF I’ll give it a go. I entered a number of things which I loved and well they didn’t love so much, then as an afterthought I also included this.

To my amazement the Brits selected it for the catalogue, essentially an honorable mention for the top 130 prints submitted; my bull-bull came in 129th out of 130. The ice was broken!  It wasn’t 131st……

I have entered many other birds in many other competitions since; I did pretty well with a bee-eater once and beyond that not so well with things ornithological.

In my gallery however there is one bird photograph that has consistently sold well, this one. I call it “two states” a reference to Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle that likely only makes sense to me. I think most of the buyers, buy it in spite of my title.  Truth be told the image was simply blind luck, I had the foreground waxbill square in my viewfinder, hit the shutter and only later at home did I see the rapidly moving uncertainty behind it. Looks great, dumb luck.


A few weeks ago I was on a commercial job shooting lodges in the northeast of the country. I was waiting for the sun to start easing back so I could take some shots around the pool when I noticed a couple of bull-bulls hanging around the pool as it was damn hot, they were cooling off in the pool every few minutes. I like bull-bulls, I had time, I had my 300mm f2.8 and a couple of bean bags, so down I go on the deck, eyeball to the viewfinder waiting to see what if anything I can get, my expectations were, well, non-existent, I really was just killin time.  I shot a few that looked like this. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Then I got this in the middle of a 4 shot burst, 
I have also blown up and cropped the water bubble that’s just in front of its chest. Wow.


Here’s the thing and perhaps the lesson in this ramble. I looked at the image on the cameras LCD screen, I could see it was blurry and likely nothing, but I kept it anyway, cause, “two states” was in the back of my mind.  Most people would have dumped this and moved on. Lesson learned, keep all of them until you can get home and put them up on a screen and really look…….sometimes magic emerges from the tip…..

I'm still thinking of a title for this new one.......

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