Happy Accident: A Gallery

I’m calling this gallery “Happy Accident,” because that’s how it came to be.

I was shooting video out my window: turkeys in the yard or the pileated woodpecker visiting—I don’t remember what. And when I set the camera down (a Canon PowerShot), I happened to set it on a printout of a short story I’d been working on. I was trying to navigate the camera’s menu (old man, tiny buttons) when I accidentally took a photo. The text in the frame and the text cut out of the frame made an intriguing fragment.

“…trying hard not to snicker…”

I’d always liked the camera’s macro mode. When you see a photo with a tilt-shift filter applied, this is what it’s mimicking: the narrow depth-of-focus that only happens at extreme closeup. That’s why a streetscape filtered with tilt-shift makes your mind believe you’re seeing toy cars and figurines. But what you see here is unadulterated. The only touch-up these photos have received is auto-leveling.

I shot more, flipping pages, letting the camera rest with the extended lens acting as its own monopod. The result? Call it what you will, an image-poem. A story sketch.

However the lines add up for you (or don’t), I think the images are sumptuous on their own. The white paper, the black type under close watch. Like reading, no? Of course, I am a bibliophile, but more and more, as the years pass and life is increasingly enmeshed in the digital, transacted via the touch of gorilla glass, the more I enjoy printing my drafts in bookfold, stapling them, holding and owning my own incunabula.