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.