Happy Accidents


I had a Bob Ross moment this week. I’d taken a photo with the new camera lens… Let me back up a bit and put this in perspective. 

The lens I use with my DSLR the most is my 18-55mm which allows me to get wide-angle but also close-up shots. It’s the workhorse of my camera bag. While I was in Washington DC with my son and family, that lens stopped working. I don’t know why. I put it away, intending to troubleshoot when I had time and equipment, got busy, stopped taking photos very often and… finally broke down and bought a replacement lens, to make a long story short. I picked it up used and very inexpensively (they are a common lens) and when it arrived I put it on the camera, walked out on the front porch, and took a photo.

Whoops. Oh, no…
I didn’t switch on the autofocus. Whew! 
Off I went with some test shots that showed me the new (to me) lens was in perfect working order. Later, when I was downloading the photos into my computer (pro tip: Pay the little extra for the camera that will talk to your computer directly. Or like my brother-in-law has, one that will send web-ready shots to your phone. Downloading the card every time is a minor nuisance that means I, um, may not always remember to actually do it.) I took a look at that first initial blurry shot and had thoughts. 
First thought was that it’s so nice not to be shooting in film where that would have been a relatively expensive mistake. Second thought, this lens makes nice bokeh. Third thought: I like the colors, and I could do something with this little accident, after all. 
So I imported it into Apophysis as a smooth palette, and I used it to paint fractals. 
To use an image – any photo, art, or what-have-you – in Apophysis as a color palette, you simply click on the lower righthand icon, the one that looks like a gradient, and then choose a jpg file. The palette you can see in the screenshot above is the photo I took. The background up there is one of the fractal pieces I was working on. I usually color as I create the underlying structure, because the coloring can highlight, or completely hide, aspects of the artwork. It’s subtle, tricksy, and very fun to work with. 
The softer of the two pieces I rendered using the fall colors from my blurry photo.

I can also use the photo as color mapping for my 3D fractal art program. Hmmmm…. Wonder what that would look like? Maybe later. I have housework that needs my attention right now. In the meantime, hope you enjoy my happy little accidents as much as I enjoyed making them. 

The darkness makes this a much more subtle use of that bright photo.


9 responses to “Happy Accidents”

  1. Those are really nice! Great ‘accident!’

  2. Those turned out very nice!

  3. Those are lovely colors to play with!

  4. I had an “oops” of my own that worked out really well this spring. At my daughter’s dance recital I took a photo at the end of their number but I was too slow and the lights came down just as I was taking the photo so the shutter stayed open longer making everything blurry. It was almost like a double exposure with streaks of color all over the place. I used it with the dance company logo over it as a background for a collage of photos.

  5. Interesting how a blurry picture causes such a strong physical reaction.

  6. It’s a rare, unfortunate pic that proves good for NOTHING.

    1. Oh, I’ve taken more than a few of those, too!

      1. “This is my thumb in Warsaw.” “This is my thumb at the Palace of Culture in Warsaw…” Not that I’ve ever held the phone-cam wrong, mind, but I’ve heard stories…

        1. Adventures of Cat’s Paw Around the World!

          Ok. That would be a fun picture book. Lol!