This site uses cookies to deliver the best possible experience. Learn more.

The role of chance in photography

Reaction for my last photo make me think about the role of "coincidence" of photography. I have a feeling that without a bit of "luck" many of awesome photos would never exist, no matter how good at photography you are.

I'm taking pics in "conscious" way for about 15 years and I think that at least half of my "best" photos were taken by the chance. There is very little of them when I exactly know what I want to achieve and I realized that plan. Even in my home studio ideas comes mostly as reaction for what is happening.

How about you? Do you know what you want to show by your photos or just look at what world is giving you and document that? What reveals to be better? :)

PS. The other thing is that I have a feeling that those "by the chance" pictures have better feedback than those "planned" ones :D


Lauren Huston It often happens that the photos I've planned are the ones I end up not liking as much once I'm looking at them properly on the computer. And the ones that were more of a throwaway shot quite often are the ones I end up liking.

It's one of the reasons why I don't like deleting images in camera until I've had a chance to look at them properly.

Marta Tomaszewska In fact I don't delete almost any photos :D unless totally bad :D

Marcin K. I am far from being good, but there are "these" moments. We just need to expose ourselves to interesting situations, than we can get unbelievably interesting frames. I feel it is sometimes more like hunting - if you do not go for it you do not gain anything. (but you need to take your time)

Two hoopoes:
"Hoopoes eating"

ponzu Louis Pasteur said: fortune favors the prepared mind. I and my photography friends often misquote it, intentionally or not, and say that chance favors a prepared mind. It's close, right?

You took the photo, and you own it. The same chance could have smiled upon a different photographer, or a non-photographer. A different photo would have occurred, or none at all.

Serendipitous photos are an intersection of chance and your technical skills and artistic vision, that which we may call a 'prepared mind'.

Now I have to see your last photo :)

ponzu I realize there was a question there. The answer is boring in that it's 'both'. I go into the world with a notion of what I would like to photograph and an openness to what it is willing to surprise me with. The best photographs usually come from the second category, but they would not occur if I were not working on the first kind of photos.