Accidental Photographer

Trips, events, and family gatherings find me, camera in hand, snapping away. Anything or anybody within lens range is a target for becoming the next set of pixels.

I don’t know much about photography. In fact what I do know would fit into a thimble and there would still be room to shake it around. When I look through the little screen-thingy, I give no thought to details such as composition, framing, lighting, and depth of field. To my credit, though, I do try to focus. Sometimes that even works for me! So, what others call me is a picture-taker; a lowly, untrained person who owns a camera and gets under the skin of real photographer-types.

Since photography (oops, picture taking) is so important in my life, my little Cannon PowerShot, and sufficient memory to support my habit for ten days, accompanied me on my trip to Europe. It was during this trip that I took my first incredible picture. This, of course, is my opinion, but I do have fairly good eyesight.

I remember that this high point in my picture-taking career occurred on a beautiful, sunny afternoon in London. The Palace of Westminster was posing for me across the Thames, and, on the fourth or fifth shot I took of that magnificent structure, I mastered photography with one push of a button. I knew instantly that I had taken a picture that met all of the requirements for being classified as great photography.

Of course, as I’ve been reminded often during my lifetime, for every positive, self-esteem-building thought, there is a negative, devaluing opinion. Not quite Newtonian, but, as did Newton, I’ve learned a few things from observation. So what was the reaction to my bragged-about photo? I quote, “You’re an accidental photographer.” This translates, “It was strictly by chance that you took what, without in-depth evaluation, appears to be good picture.” So, since it is well-known that chance is related to the density of occurrence, taking thousands of pictures would seem to be a good career-building activity for me.

At any rate, so much for thinking that I morphed into a photographer without taking a single class, serving an apprenticeship, or owning a $7,000 camera. Despite being shocked back to reality, this picture-taker has one photo that is framed and displayed in her home.


  1. --and a magnifieent picture it is, too. Let no one belittle your accomplishment, nor yet denigrate your talent.

    Were you reiterating, in the penultimate paragraph, the canard about the monkey, the typewriter and infinite time?

    Keep snapping.

  2. David, maybe just thinking about a comment during dissertation research that went so: "If you didn't get a statistically significant difference, why didn't you increase your study pool?"

  3. It's a great shot, professional or not.

  4. Joanne, thanks! I'm sure lessons would improve my skills.

  5. This photo certainly brings back some recent memories. Nice job!

  6. Don, thanks. I would love to go back to England. Our time there was too short.

  7. May you continue to have "accidents."

  8. Captain Nancy, If I had a photographer's camera probably all of my pictures would be out of focus. Fortunately my little PowerShot focuses automatically.