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"It is important to take bad pictures" (Diane Arbus)

This is the beginning of an interesting book by Clément Chéroux,  Fautographie : petite histoire de l'erreur photographique (I don't know if the book was translated in english, I couldn't find it on the net, but the title should sound like Failography: a brief history of the photographic error). 
Amongst the biggest 'mistakers' of photography, the book mentions and comments the works of many famous photographers: Man Ray, Lisette Model, Lee Friedlander, Ugo Mulas, Andreé Kertész, Lartigue.
Many are the anecdotes and the interesting discoveries, for example the story of a big national contest in France, in 1991, entitled 'Fautographie' (fail photography), a contest that had a big success, with thousands of entries and famous editors and critics working on decoding the case of the photographic error. 
According to Chéroux what is commonly considered a 'photographic error' - the transgression of the dogma of photography, of the aesthetic codes prevailing in a certain historical moment - actually is the lifeblood of the photography evolution. A technical malfunction, accidents, a wrong angle, framing or focus, a wrong shutter speed or exposure, a distorted or unusual use of shadows, reflections or blur, can become the mould for invention and innovation, the discovery of new expressive potentialities of the medium, avant-garde of art, new directions and evolution. The photography errors are unexpected variations of the photographic parameters.
To Moholy-Nagy the error is an endless way to explore the medium and discover new and different ways to represent the world, to Man Ray, it is a way to lose yourself to chance, and let new visual forms and new subject come to life. 



Achille-Quinet, Etude-d'apres-nature




There even are photography books collecting rejected and not paid film rolls, photos that photo labs considered irreparably wrong. Nino Migliori collected them in his 'La ruota delle fotografie orfane' (the wheel of the orphaned photographs). They can indeed appear disappointing to the client of the photo lab, blurred images, crowded compositions, under or over exposures, cut heads, red eyes, clumsy frames etc.) and it is understandable that nobody wanted to take them and pay for them. 



To Nino Migliori these same images instead are images on which the watcher can project stories, meanings, sense. 


Jaques-Henri-Lartigue, Une-Th.-Schneider-au-Grand-Prix-de-l'Automobile-Club-de-France, - 1913.

The Th. Schneider n.6 by Maurice Croquet at full speed, photographed by Jaques-Henri Lartigue was once judged a failure: an amputee, deformed, distorted car. This same image became a symbol of  dynamism and speed for the Futurist movement.

In the early 1900s reflections were considered annoying inconveniences, but they soon became ways to dishevel the normal perceptions. 


Lisette Model, Premier reflect, New York ,1939-40 

 

Lee Friedlander was one of the first photographers who added with constance and intention his own self-portraits in his images, through his shadow or reflection.


Lee Friedlander

This instead was a fashion service by Tim Walker titled 'Amateur Photographer in London', a collection of strange photographs and an ironic list of advices such as 'consider composition' and 'beware of cars passing subject'.



    Tim Walker, double page on Vogue, Italy, 1991

    The cover of 'End of an Age' by Paul Graham features the dreaded 'red eye' that our digital cameras desperately try to avoid with their red-eye reduction features.


    Paul Graham

    A blurred, out of focus, weirdly cropped image can offer freedom of interpretation to the viewer, it becomes sometimes a sort of Rorschach test, ambiguous designs that become projective tests. The more a photograph is vague and open to interpretation, the more it suggests a personal, intimate interpretation, the more it requires the viewer's imagination. 





    "There are no wrong photos"


    Resources for photos and text:
www.photo4u.it/viewnews.php?t=…
tonithorimbert.blogspot.it/201…


A little selection of experimental street photos from dA:

Street Scene - Copenhagen by thelizardking25

street_127 by pivan

street_122 by pivan

Phantomcity 02 by Elerko

moths by SimonSawSunlight

Sleepers IV by NunoFigueira

Sunday afternoon on the lake by JakezDaniel

hidding by ferg3110

Watched by djailledie

123 by felixlu

P.S. Don't forget to enter the monthly challenge at :iconthe-yard-collective: ! The theme is 'camouflage', a difficult one this time. Old and new photos are allowed, as many as you want. Just add them to the favorite collection of the group. Have fun!
Add a Comment:
 
:iconjacac:
JACAC Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2014
i n t e r e s t i n g
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:iconpivan:
pivan Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you, Mary!
Reply
:iconnunofigueira:
NunoFigueira Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2014
great journal, very interesting one...and thank you for feature my shot ;)
Reply
:iconaerendial:
aerendial Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2014
:clap:
Reply
:iconcatluvr2:
catluvr2 Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
These are not pipes.
And I'm grateful for that.
Also, "fauxtography". Gotta love puns.
Reply
:iconmyraincheck:
myraincheck Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2014
:D 
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:iconpatrickmonnier:
PatrickMonnier Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2014
Finally I can contribute to a journal!!!

Great article but I think one very important aspect of Failography is for the photographer to be able to recognize one of his/her creations as a failure. 

Too often, the emotional baggage that accompanies capturing a moment blinds the photographer and strips him/her of an objective assessment. 

Last, I think that sometimes a great image is one that is ever close to being a complete failure. One particular photographer that represents this is Martin Parr... A true genius, in my books!
Reply
:iconmyraincheck:
myraincheck Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2014
A street photo is always on the edge of failure, it happens in an instant, it lasts for an instant, the ratio between good and bad photos is depressing. And most of the mistakes are simply missed opportunities, photos that are 'almost there' but not there. The genius mistakes are rare. It takes vision and sensitivity not only to take good photos but also to recognize what is a 'good' 'bad photo' :D
You are right on the emotional baggage. It is not easy to accept that what is dear to us is not understood or appreciated by others. But self criticism, and the capacity to accept and give thought to critiques is important to improve. We should be humble enough to recognize that we don't know everything, and that a critique we don't accept today, we can find it true and honest tomorrow... 
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:iconpatrickmonnier:
PatrickMonnier Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2014
Exactly!
Reply
:icongreeneyedleopard:
Greeneyedleopard Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
I saw this article this morning, but had no time to read it. Finally got to reading it after wanting to all day. The wait was worth it! :) Fantastic article! Reminded me to check my photos for hidden treasures before deleting them :)
Reply
:iconmyraincheck:
myraincheck Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2014
thank you for reading!
Reply
:icongreeneyedleopard:
Greeneyedleopard Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
You're welcome!! :hug:
Reply
:iconaegiandyad:
aegiandyad Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2014
My main entry for this category has to be 'That Awkward Pigeon Moment' That Awkward Pigeon Moment by aegiandyad which is about as bad as slipshod photography with a superior camera gets.
Reply
:iconmyraincheck:
myraincheck Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2014
haha! thank you!
Reply
:iconjakezdaniel:
JakezDaniel Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2014   Photographer
Thanks a lot! I was afraid, considering the name of the journal. But it is a nice and interesting journal and it is an honor to find my photograph in such a good company!
Reply
:iconmyraincheck:
myraincheck Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2014
:D these 'failures' I featured are strokes of genius! Thank you for reading :hug:
Reply
:iconkarolusdiversion:
Karolusdiversion Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2014
Often errors cause surprising results. It's up to us to look at them with eyes uninhibited.
Incidentally, even God made ​​a mistake as he was shaping a clay statue.
Inadvertently he blew on it... so mankind was created! ...oh my...
Reply
:iconmyraincheck:
myraincheck Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2014
:D
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:iconkarolusdiversion:
Karolusdiversion Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2014
Hi Sign - 13 NaNo #21 
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:iconarslanalp:
arslanalp Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
great journal
Reply
:iconmyraincheck:
myraincheck Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2014
many thanks!
Reply
:icondougnz:
DougNZ Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2014
You sure write fascinating journals Mary! :clap:
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:iconmyraincheck:
myraincheck Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2014
thank you for reading!
Reply
:iconifedorovskaya:
IFedorovskaya Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
sometimes wrong is right :D
Reply
:iconmyraincheck:
myraincheck Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2014
indeed!
Reply
:icondjailledie:
djailledie Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
Very interesting, Mary. Proud to be among these "failures" ;)
Please check-out this set of photos:
www.pbase.com/beligou/pieds_de…
A photo lab worker, who kept the head of film rolls of photo-journalists, who were shooting randomly at the ground with the beginning of the roll that was partially burned and were accidentally shooting their feet. 
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:iconmyraincheck:
myraincheck Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2014
haha! sometimes accidental frames are involuntary genius frames. Thank you for sharing!
As for the 'failures' above I think they are strokes of genius. I am not able to do these experiments and maybe for this reason they amaze and fascinate me.
Reply
:icondjailledie:
djailledie Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
I guess that the photographer sometimes feels things rather than seeing them and shoots. These days, you can check immediately what you have taken. In the film era, you had to wait and see!
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:iconelerko:
Elerko Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
Grazie Mary! :) (Smile) 
E complimenti per l'articolo :)
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:iconmyraincheck:
myraincheck Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2014
splendida foto, ogni volta che la vedo cerco di capire come l'hai fatta e non ci riesco!
grazie :hug:
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:iconelerko:
Elerko Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
Flash 1 secondo e movimento camera :)
Ah! anche tanto culo :happybounce: 
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:iconregularjane:
regularjane Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
great article! 
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:iconmyraincheck:
myraincheck Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2014
thank you for reading!
Reply
:icontahirlazim:
tahirlazim Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2014
Very interesting article and images. Thanks a lot! :) (Smile)  
Reply
:iconmyraincheck:
myraincheck Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2014
thank to you!
Reply
:icontahirlazim:
tahirlazim Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2014
It was my pleasure. :) (Smile) 
Reply
:iconmaxlake2:
maxlake2 Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
I love this!!! :clap: :clap: :clap:
Reply
:iconmyraincheck:
myraincheck Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2014
many many thanks!
Reply
:iconmaxlake2:
maxlake2 Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
You're very welcome! :)
Reply
:iconeintoern:
EintoeRn Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
Great finds - thanks for showing !
Reply
:iconmyraincheck:
myraincheck Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2014
thank to you!
Reply
:iconericforfriends:
EricForFriends Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2014  Professional Photographer
I totally agree with this. In art as in life, it's important to fail. :)
Great journal, Mary!
Reply
:iconmyraincheck:
myraincheck Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2014
thank you for reading!
Reply
:iconmarx77:
MARX77 Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2014   Photographer
After reading the article and looking at the wonderful images featured here, I can't help but be reminded of the great works of our friend, Stefanie LePape - SLpImpressions, a grossly undervalued artist/photographer who deserved so much more from the community.
Hope she returns to dA soon. :heart:

Excellent article and features, Mary. Thanks for sharing! :clap:
Reply
:iconmyraincheck:
myraincheck Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2014
I remember her very well. A place like dA where you have to categorize everything is frustrating for artists like her. They really have to believe in what they are doing. I hope she will come back as well.
Thank you!
Reply
:iconericforfriends:
EricForFriends Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2014  Professional Photographer
Just in case you missed it, she's still on Facebook. :)
Reply
:iconmarx77:
MARX77 Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2014   Photographer
Yeah, but she's no longer active on dA. I miss watching her here. :)
Reply
:iconthelizardking25:
thelizardking25 Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2014   Photographer
Thanks for the feature! :)
Reply
:iconmyraincheck:
myraincheck Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2014
it's a pleasure!
Reply
:iconwchild:
wchild Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2014  Student Photographer
Interesting reading and a great sample of examples! =)
Reply
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