First “Happy Mistake”


I’m sure many of you have had “Happy Mistakes”.  Happy Mistakes are unintentional errors that produce something that was beyond your imagination.  The first happy mistake I can recall occurred in the basic B&W photo course I took two summers after graduating from high school.  I was finishing printing a photo of this hut in the woods.  I had burned -in the trees on the previous prints but when I pulled the photo paper from the printing easel, I realized I forgot to burn the trees.  Since the paper edges would be in the same position, I thought I could put the paper back in the ease and burn-in the trees, which is what I did.  Well, as the image began to appear in the developer I saw that the trees looked like they were moving.  On closer look, the paper did not precisely lineup in the easel and I had double exposed the top.  It made the photo look much better.  It gave some movement to the trees.  What a pleasant surprise.

When it came time for the instructor to critique the class’s images, the instructor had nothing to say about my “Hut in the Woods.”  I never knew if the silence meant it was good or terrible.




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