Double accidents…

This very first image related post covers one of the most exciting phenomenons in analogue photography: accidents. In the digital world these kinds of surprises are becoming more and more extinct. Automatic and intelligent camera functions correct colours, sharpen the unsharp, eliminate the flaw. If the camera does not get it right, there is always the option to delete. What we get is perfect pictures en mass. And although many people may say: “Why would anyone – especially photographers – object to many, many perfect pictures?” – they would have a point. My response to this argument is that clean and flawless pictures are not the reason for me to be into this artform…

There is something exciting and highly rewarding about not being able to see immediately what has been captured after releasing the shutter button. One has to shoot the remaining part of the film, which for me sometimes takes a while. One has to have the film developed and hope the person in charge of that does not mess it up, or one develops the film at home and hopes that one does not mess it up. To see the results weeks after actually shooting the image is the climax of a long process of being inspired, having the idea of an image, and trying to do it right because so many things can go wrong. Sometimes they do go wrong, or because here I think that “wrong” is inapplicable, I prefer the word “unplanned”. I have repeatedly been surprised by the difference in what was planned and what actually happened. Some of these surprises are not worth mentioning. But those that are worth mentioning have become some of my favourite and most memorable images! Every time I see them, a grin on my face appears. Here are two of my favourite images that went “unplanned”.

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This photograph was taken in Rome, Italy using a Lomography La Sardina and Lomography X-PRO 200 film. Two images were somehow overlapped (I am still unsure why exactly, but I expect that the filmroll was not advanced guidebook-style) and created this wicked and confusing image. The left and first image is of Castel Sant’Angelo, a mausoleum on the northern side of river Tevere. I had just changed the filmroll amateurishly in the shade, explaining the reddish light leaks on the left side of the picture. Some might call me a fool, but actually I like the flaming effect. The right and second image is of the Vatican, just around the corner from where the left image was taken. What I like most about the picture is the dreaminess that is created by the leaves in the middle, stemming from the first picture. Depending on the background, they change in colour and contrast. Also, they make visible the long row of massive buildings on the left side of the road in the vatican picture. This taught me a highly valuable lesson for double exposures: The second picture will only become visible in dark areas of the first image! As can be seen, the building is not visible, except for where it is “covered by leaves”. Basic but essential knowledge.

The second picture was taken of a dear friend of mine. Lighting conditions were terrible, as it was indoors in a late summer evening. Not caring, I took the picture anyway and cannot explain any of the weird sources of the light streaks that wildly cross the picture. Before cognitively marking it as rubbish, take a moment to detect all of the flares. Despite (or because of) its unordinary nature this has developed to one of my favourites. I guess with analogue you never know…

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