Monday, May 25, 2020

Serendipity Revisited

Demented Spider
GA Hwy. 193, Walker County, Georgia

Serendipity, which Mr. Webster defines as "an apparent aptitude for making fortunate discoveries accidentally" plays in important role in my photography. You may call it luck if you like, but after years of doing this, I find that the harder I work, the luckier I get. Of course, I can't command those happy accidents to appear whenever I wish, but I have found there are certain things I can do that make it much more likely that Lady Luck will show herself.

Be Ready to Shoot

Kayaks at 15th Century Portuguese Fort
Ceauta, Spain

I'm presupposing that you will have a camera with you. Lady Luck may indeed tease you with wonderful things when you don't have a camera, and sometimes it's enough just to see it. But it isn't a photograph if you don't photograph it. Moreover, it isn't enough to have a camera with you; you must also be ready to use it. If your camera is in a bag or case, you'll miss many opportunities. Photographing the 15th century Portuguese fort at Ceauta, a Spanish city on the Morrocan coast of Africa for a missions organization, I was already in position with the right lens on my camera when several kayaks emerged suddenly and unexpectedly into the moat from under the bridge on which I was standing. I had already taken an incident exposure reading, so nothing remained to be done except recover from surprise and accept serendipity's gift.  (Olympus OM, 24mm Zuiko, Fujichrome 100.)

Serendipity Often Comes Disguised as Difficulty

Morning Comes to the Village
Mayalan, Northern Guatemala

Having just spent the coldest, most uncomfortable night of my life trying to sleep on two split-log pews pushed together to make a bed in the little church in the remote northern Guatemalan mountain village of Mayalan, there was no reason to lie abed when dawn came. The sun was just clearing the treetops and the ancient Indian village was coming to life. If I had been more comfortable I would have missed not one, but many great photos. (Olympus OM, 75-205 Vivitar zoom, Fujichrome 100.)

Look for the Incongruous

Boynton Beauty Salon
Boynton, Georgia

One of the things the camera does best is highlight the inconsistencies and incongruities with which life abounds. The beauty salon was photographed not far from my home in North Georgia in the mid-70s, using a Nikkormat, 50mm Nikkor, and Kodachrome.

The Best Iron Works in Town
Orange Walk Town, Belize

The tired chair which belied the name of "THE BEST IRON WORKS IN TOWN" was found in Orange Walk Town, Belize. (Olympus OM, 85mm lens, Fujichrome 100.)

If you would like to read more about my adventures with serendipity, go here, here, and here.

(Photographs copyright David B. Jenkins, 2020)

Soli Deo Glori
For the glory of God alone

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