Serendipity

Randomness and Aesthetics.

serendipity
|ˈsɛr(ə)nˌdɪpɪti| noun:- the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way : a fortunate stroke of serendipity | a series of small serendipities.
DERIVATIVES serendipitous adjective
serendipitously adverb
ORIGIN 1754: coined by Horace Walpole, suggested by The Three Princes of Serendip, the title of a fairy tale in which the heroes “were always making discoveries, by accidents and sagacity, of things they were not in quest of.”

There has long been two loose schools of thought about photographic art. Photographic time or moments, and staged photography. The first often requires small cameras*, that are basically an extension of the users hands and arms allowing the photographer to freeze moments in time whether by chance or planning quickly and easily. The second often uses Larger Cameras, carefully controlled lighting and composition.

Both approaches, to art photography share a common concept, intent. Does this then mean a camera such as my new VistaQuest 1005, is excluded from the genre of art making because of it's lack of technical control? If I carry around my small camera with the intent of capturing some moment in time, and only occasionally get some random and serendipitous image as a result, is this less of an art form than much of today's 'street photography'? What part does randomness and chance play in image making using cameras?

Frederick Sommer, perhaps had a real handle on this idea many years ago, when he found an arrangement of illustrations from catalogues and magazines attached to the wall inside an abandoned miner’s shack in 1947, his point that in photographing anything we are always in some way arranging ourselves in relation to what we are serving as subject matter

*By small cameras I mean 35mm and smaller.

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This page contains a single entry by s2art published on September 20, 2007 10:06 AM.

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