Happy accidents in image creation

Portillo's, Pickup Counter - Chicago, Illinois

Portillo’s, Pickup Counter – Chicago, Illinois

I would love to brag that all of my images are carefully composed and completely pre-visualized, before I click the shutter. That’s certainly not the case. And perhaps that’s a good thing — serendipity is a powerful ally. Today’s exhibit, a favorite from Portillo’s.

Some compositions are precisely framed, like my urban landscapes on tripod. Others, an idea and a rough expectation like my motion blurs in Chicago and at Rodeo Austin. My street photography is a search for the interesting, no way to predict that exact image, but I have a template. Then, there’s complete luck.

With camera around neck, like any self-respecting tourist, I instinctively fired shots. The shutter speed, wrong. The setting, uncompelling. Purely by luck, a wonderful scene, captured and manufactured. Great expressions and the right amount of motion blur — to add energy. Perfection would have none of the magic.

Shoot often and embrace serendipity.


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