Did you ever try to take a shot by using your nose tip to press the shutter button? How many times did you get in trouble with the authorities while taking a photo? What is your best accidental shot? Read the stories and find out.
Colorful India. Shooting in a market, I noticed a cow in the crowd of people. Without asking for permission, I took her photo and I turned around to shoot the shoppers. Then, suddenly, to my surprise, I am being hit in the bum, making me jump forward one meter, to the delight of the onlookers. The holly cow took her revenge in style!
Romania, the city of Sibiu. During the foggy events of December 1989, the so called Romanian Revolution, I was shooting the military operations on the streets and the evasive terrorists, with a Yashica T4 film camera, this attracting the attention of the military. The soldiers asked for identity papers, took the camera and veiled the film. Luckily, I was able to recover most of the shots and I escaped being labelled as a “terrorist”. For them, being a student with a camera who happened to have a job was very suspicious.
Banjul, the Gambia, West Africa. Definitely you have to be careful here. People don’t like to be photographed. And in the best case, they ask for money. Shooting in the Serrekunda Market even from a distance, there was a guy in the crowd shouting: “Police, police” and pointing towards me.
Also in Banjul, taking a photo in the evening of the entrance of a hospital drew the attention of the military from the opposite side. One killer looking soldier that you see only in the movies asked me why I take photos. I might have to pay my way out of this situation, if there wasn’t another soldier with whom I was able to resonate.
Toronto Islands, Canadian winter: minus 25 degrees Celsius with the wind chill minus 30 degrees Celsius. Everything is frozen and soon I am frozen too.
Using the Sigma DP 1 camera – one of a kind camera that gives exceptional results but at the speed of a snail – my fingers got frozen and I barely could hold the camera, and no way to be able to press the tiny shutter button wearing gloves. As a last resort I used the tip of my nose to press the shutter button in order to freeze the moment in an already frozen world.
Near Havana, Cuba. A deserted military base covered in sand on a deserted beach: the perfect photographic subject. But once I stepped inside the base, to my surprise, there was a civilian sitting on a chair under the sun and holding a rifle. He stood up and I walked out. I got the message!
Don’t run after Geishas, and don’t stop them either. Kyoto, Gion – the headquarters of Geishas. It was evening and I was totally unprepared for an encounter of grade three with a Geisha. I asked her to pose for a photo. She agreed. But once I started using my Sigma DP 1 camera that cannot focus well in low light, I had to fiddle with the settings and try few shots. The Geisha became impatient. I got the shot, but I still remember her anger and my frustration. Geishas are always in a hurry, they mean business. And in Japan you are never late for an appointment!
This happens to many photographers: to get a shot out of focus or to have weird lens flare and to realize that it is a keeper. Here is one photo of mine. I got the effect by somehow having a delay in the flash activation after the shutter button has been pressed, while moving the camera.
The photo of this girl’s stunning tattoo already created a lot of buzz between its first viewers. Who is she? What the tattoo represents? How and where the photo was taken? Let’s find the answer in a future post.
What is your best shot taken by accident? Did you get attacked by a cute pet or a monkey while trying to take a photo? Or admonished by a security guard? Did you ever catch a ghost on your shots? Tell your story and you will be featured on this blog!