Sunday, July 24, 2016

Birthday Blog 2016

My 4th Annual Blog On My Birthday
By Rick Doble

You don't choose your art,
your art chooses you.
~ Unknown Graffiti Artist ~

Today I turn 72. As an artist and author, I have accomplished much more than I ever dreamed I would. Often I did not know where I was headed, but I just kept going. In hindsight my creative work has brought me immense satisfaction and consistently steered me in the right direction. It has been the cornerstone of my life.

How my art came to be and came together is the subject of this blog. I write this in the hope that it might help other younger artists who are struggling -- and wondering if they have taken the right direction. My advice: hang in there, trust your instincts, keep on keeping on.


THIS BLOG CONTAINS
POEMS FROM MY AUTOBIOGRAPHY

Living My Life As an Artist, an Autobiography: 
True Stories of Art, Love, Family 
& the Creative Process Told in Poetic Form
When I was recovering from a hip operation in 2010, a flood of poetry filled my head. One of my rules is that when "you hear dictation, pay attention." So I listened and as a result wrote what may be the first full-length autobiography in poetic form -- starting at age 4 and ending at age 66, my age at the time I wrote it. I have included four poems from this autobiography in this blog.
This autobiographical eBook is free and online. It is now published under the Creative Commons copyright, meaning you can quote from this eBook without special permission as long as you credit me, Rick Doble, as the author.

You can view and/or download the full eBook in PDF:
PDF
https://www.academia.edu/8140114/PDF_version_of_eBook_Living_My_Life_As_an_Artist_an_Autobiography_True_Stories_of_Art_Love_Family_and_the_Creative_Process_Told_in_Poetic_Form 

You can also download this as an eBook in the standard eBook (epub) format.
Epub
https://www.academia.edu/3513145/eBook_epub_version_Living_My_Life_As_an_Artist_an_Autobiography_True_Stories_of_Art_Love_Family_and_the_Creative_Process_Told_in_Poetic_Form 

Over 2000 people around the world have looked at this eBook since I wrote it.

So here is my story:

I always knew I wanted to be an artist -- whatever that meant. I knew I wanted to be a writer from the time I was seven when I wrote a little book, illustrated it and bound it in a cardboard cover. 


In 1952 when I was 7 years old I wrote this book. 
I bound it in a hard cover, illustrated it and included an inside title page. 
On the left above is the cover, on the right side one of the pages in the book.
I did not remember writing this until 30 years later after my mother died 
and I found it among the things she had saved.

To me being creative was something I had to do, something I was meant to do -- it was really the only path I could take. But of course there was a price to pay. Early on it became clear to me that wanting to be an artist put me at odds with most people my age. They were trying to fit it and were headed for careers and jobs with companies. I was striking out on my own.



Since Feeling Is First
Age 14-17, Phillips Exeter Academy, Exeter, New Hampshire, 1958-1962

since feeling is first
who pays any attention
to the syntax of things
will never wholly kiss you;
wholly to be a fool
while Spring is in the world
~ e.e. cummings ~

Manliness is not all swagger and mountain climbing. Its also tenderness.
Robert Anderson, Tea and Sympathy [about Phillips Exeter Academy]

Hazers are themselves victims, wounded souls 
who are acting out their own unfinished business.
Jayson Gaddis, Men and Hazing

Standing up to pain
became a badge
boys don't cry
take it like a man
be tough
is that all you got?
give me more

as a male it was your fate
to suck it up
never let it get to you
as said in Tea and Sympathy
to be a "regular guy"

and not just physical pain
but also emotional
such as humiliation by a teacher

only there was more to it 
we thought we were just hiding our feelings
instead we were learning not to feel

like all boys I paid lip service
to this show of manliness
later I realized it was like playing
5 notes in a 12 note octave
we were denied the full range,
confined to the sounds those few notes could play
as the depth of emotional chords and complexity
were not available

we were allowed to yell at sports
or to be angry - perhaps the easiest emotions -
but sorrow or joy, hurt and affection
were off limits

and then I saw the results:
teachers whose dead-end lives
meant they took their anger out 
on boys they were mentoring,
their cruelty masked as a rite of passage

a Latin teacher was noted
for taking a chalkboard eraser
and slamming it against the back of a student
when he did not give a correct answer
or took too long;
often the instructor picked on the same boys
who emerged from class
with their coats covered in white 
- like a mark of shame -
and the boys had to pretend not to be bothered

by my senior year I had found the truth:
what they wanted
was a kind of spiritual death,
it meant that my life would be one of shadows
where emotions became so disguised
I could never reach them

so I let some of my classmates think less of me
because as an aspiring artist I knew that
what I felt was at the heart of who I was

"No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader,"
Robert Frost told us
when I had heard him speak at Exeter
revered like a saint,
that was all the permission I needed



In 1966 at the age of 21 I had achieved one of my goals. I graduated with Honors in Creative Writing with a B.A. in English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. So my ambitions to become a writer were starting to take shape.


But there was more. I also knew I wanted to do something else besides write. So I made a deliberate effort to find another art form to compliment my writing. I wanted to do something quite different -- something that was more intuitive and required less thought, something that I could do with my hands. For several years I made a number of small mobiles out of balsa wood and tissue paper along with abstract drawings and paintings and a variety of other experiments.






Large painting (about 9' X 3') in the style of early Jackson Pollock (1967)

Drawing Calligraphy in the Sand
Age 22, Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, 1967
calligraphy based on the late works of Paul Klee

A drawing is simply a line going for a walk.
~ Paul Klee ~

I had learned not care 
about what others thought
not even what I thought myself
when the pen in my hand meandered 
across pieces of paper
drawing line after line

after months a kind of alphabet
or hieroglyphics
had evolved -- 
yet it was more drawing than writing
and interlocking, 
each 'letter' part of the next

by that time
the characters had become automatic
like speaking in tongues
like a language that my heart knew
but my brain could not decipher

buying reams of blank paper
I often stopped after only a stroke or two
while other sheets were more complex
"What do these mean?"
a friend asked
"I don't know," I said

then on a weekend
at the beach
the shore empty late at night,
I drew in the canvas of the sand

like a calligraphy brush 
that can draw thick or thin
I straightened my fingers 
to plow wide grooves
and then turned my palm sideways 
to carve sharp and narrow -
after minutes I used my feet as well

the work went 
for ten yards
etched around seashells
outlining driftwood
and across the side of a dune

when the tide came in
it erased most of my script
but left an edge
above the high-water mark

later on Sunday
a breeze blew
and my writing merged with
the wind ripples in the sand
Very small abstract pen drawing, slightly larger than shown above, 
in the style of Alfred Otto Wolfgang Schulze known as Wols (1968)



Discovering Photography
Age 24, Durham County & Apex, North Carolina, 1968

Film photography portrait of my good friend in graduate school, Frank Renfroe (1970)
I developed the negative and made this print in my darkroom,

You don't choose your art, your art chooses you.
~ Unknown Graffiti Artist ~

He has found his style, when he cannot do otherwise.
~ Paul Klee ~

The sensation was hard to explain:

lets say it was like memories
that I threw into a closet
until it was stuffed, overflowing 
and when I believed what I had been told
- that I was not visual - 
I pushed the door shut,
squeezing scenes I had seen
all my life:
from the car's rear window at age 5
the snow on the mountain
the civil rights marches
the smiles of my friends
the nakedness of girlfriends -
I had to push the closet door hard 
to get it to close

years later when I picked up a camera
I was only going to take a few abstract photos
just for fun
instead the closet door popped open
and a thousand memories feel at my feet

then a few months later
in a darkroom I saw my memories
or whatever they were -
maybe dreams I had made real
maybe quiet moments I wanted to freeze -
become black and white in the developer,
while the pictures -
like pieces of paper 
in the pond where I grew up -
floated gently in the tray

that first night after printing
I floated in my bed - 
the scenes emerging
like ghosts from a forest

and then there were 
those architectural pictures
a few years later,
my first foray into color:
the abandoned Holly Springs high school 
with peeling paint
doors ajar
sun splintering through a rounded window
echoes of students running in the hall

in the ground glass of an old
Rollei twin lens reflex
I saw my past
about lost time, lost love
lost desires
at boarding school

later a painter told me
she had come to my photo exhibit
but had to leave - 
the sadness of those
empty hallways
moving her to tears


The abandoned Holly Springs school 
before it was demolished in Holly Springs, NC (1973)



The visual, physical, hands-on, outgoing aspect of photography was the perfect compliment to the internal, mental, cerebral requirements of writing.

But having to master two crafts meant that it would take me much longer to put my artistic statement together. No artist knows how long they have to live and whether they will live long enough to say what they have to say. I had essentially added ten years to the normal length of time it should have taken to master my craft. And to add another wrinkle, at the time photography was not considered an art by most people and was not well respected. 

Again, I felt I had no choice -- the two art forms felt right. But my friends wondered why I had not settled on one or the other. 

Yet photography, it turned out, allowed me to freelance and make a living -- an unexpected benefit. I taught photography classes independent of any institution -- and was able to attract more students than the Arts Council or the community college. I did this in part because I wrote a column for a local monthly magazine in which I featured the photographs of area people. This was the first time I was able to combine my writing and my photography.


"When you come to a fork in the road take it."
Yogi Berra


Then I hit another fork in the road. In the early 1980s, when I was almost 40, cheap personal computers became available. I felt sure they were a key element to what I was trying to do and that they were the technology of the future, so I added this third discipline to my skill set. I had no idea how they were going to work with my art -- but I was certain they would. I became fluent in the BASIC computer language and again added another ten years to the learning of my craft so I could master the digital world as well.



Meta-Tools
Age 39, Durham, North Carolina, 1983

Meta- (from the Greek...), is a prefix... 
meaning transcending, or going above and beyond.
~ PC Magazine ~


For words are to thought what tools are to work; 
the product depends largely on the growth of the tools.
~ Will Durant, History of Civilization: Part 1 ~

BTW: This may be the only poem with lines from an actual computer program.

You might find it odd
to read a poem about computers:
bits, bytes, and Boolean
but I will do just that

all at once in '83 
cheap computers were everywhere
and everywhere I went 
some kid had tweaked the thing
so it repeated his name
"Chris Jordan was here Chris Jordan was here Chris Jordan was here..."
graffiti and 
the urge to declare existence
now entering the electronic age

and I thought
"Well, if a kid can do that..."
so I set about figuring it out 
watching youngsters in the stores 
punch in text commands in BASIC
as the early computers required

after a couple of weeks I typed in:

10 print "Rick did it "
20 goto 10
run

and like fireworks
"Rick did it Rick did it Rick did it Rick did it" 
filled the screen
side to side and top to bottom
scrolling endlessly
until the store pulled the plug

that night I could not sleep
my dream world pixelated
broken into computer bits - 
the digital world was calling

in spite of what my friends said - 
that computers were just a passing fad - 
I took a sharp right turn
artistically
and went from cameras and f/stops 
to RAM and ROM

I cannot tell you 
what I understood at the time
but it was something about
a digital common denominator
of the future
about power tools for the mind


Before digital photography, I invented a form I called 'computer photography' 
in which I digitized black and white photographs from the landmark work 
by Eadweard Muybridge of the human figure in motion. 
Then using computer programs I wrote, 
I colorized his black and white photographs. (1987)



PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER


In 2003 this was the graphic I used to announce my ideas of a new kind of photography in which long exposures could reveal a different kind of photographic imagery. At the same time it was a style that was purely photographic and did not use computer manipulation. This kind of imagery was virtually impossible before digital photography. Yet the basic idea had been around for about 100 years, when Anton Bragaglia, a photographer associated with the Italian Futurists, did some similar work in black and white -- but the technology of the time was not yet up to the task.

Now that I am 72 all these things that seemed so different, that seemed to be flying off in different directions, have come together on the Internet and in digital form. 

My writing compliments my photography, my photography compliments my writing. My computer skills allowed me to make the switch to digital cameras ten years before most of my colleagues. And because I was then on the leading edge of digital photography, I was asked to write three print books on the subject, one by the second largest publisher of photography books, and also to write an expert column online for my publisher.


My third book about digital photography was published in 2010 by Lark Books, one of the largest publishers of photography books. My idea of Time-Flow photography has proved to be controversial in the US as quite a few people love it and a number of others hate it 
-- but it has found wide acceptance in Europe and Asia. 
In any case there have been a number of misconceptions about this style of photography so I wrote a Time-Flow Manifesto in which I answer the critics of this style. My ideas about the connection between Time-Flow photography and the 100 year-old Italian Futurist art movement were validated by one of the leading experts in the field, an Italian Professor Dr. Mauro Francaviglia, who wanted to bridge the gap between science and art.

My Facebook page for my book and Time-Flow photography has 1,172 likes:
https://www.facebook.com/experimentaldigitalphotography.book.rick.doble


In 2009 on the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Italian Futurist movement, I co-authored and presented a paper entitled The Future of Futurism to the Generative Art Conference in Milan, Italy -- the birthplace of the Italian Futurists. 


Dr. Mauro Francaviglia invited me to be part of the SCIENAR (Science/Art) exhibit in 2010 in Bucharest Romania at the University there. My photograph of the violinist is at the top of this poster. In addition to my photography, the show also included my explanations of my work and my approach. 


Top: Film photograph in 1980 of a close-up of condensation
 on a window in my home in Durham NC
Bottom: Digital photograph in 2003 of a close-up of rain on the windshield 
of my moving van in an 8 second exposure 
-- a picture that required digital photography


TO SUMMARIZE

The conflict between writing and working visually did not exist for me. 

My ability to do research and verbalize has led to a number of ideas in my photographic work, such as the connection between the Italian Futurists of 100 years ago and the new capabilities of digital photography -- which led to my style of photography that I call Time-Flow photography. 

My photography, in turn, has helped me illustrate and explain my ideas and my thoughts.

Finally computers have helped me put this altogether to reach a global audience. More than half of the tens of thousands of pageviews and document downloads I have received have come from 100 countries outside the United States. 20 years ago it would have been unthinkable to reach such a wide audience.

Everything I do now is digital: my writing, my photography, my publications, my publicity, my art. I have had an art Internet website since 1997 -- one that I designed myself.

While it seemed for at least a decade in the 1980s that I was slipping behind, it turned out I was actually 10 years ahead of my colleagues in photography when the digital world took over because of my knowledge of computers. So instead of being behind, it turned out I was on the leading edge of the photographic arts.

While most artists do their best work in their 30s or 40s and almost none do it in their 50s, I have done my best work in my 60s. 

Seems like I am always breaking the rules just a bit.


Self-portrait (no assistance), 8 second exposure, using only one handheld flashlight. 
This self-portrait could only have been done with digital photography technology. (2003)


VIEW AND/OR DOWNLOAD MY FREE WORK ONLINE

I have worked independently for most of my life which has given me the freedom to work on original ideas without having to worry about what others might think. When the Internet came along I was then able to continue my independence with my own website, blogs and documents. At the academia.edu website, I am listed an an independent researcher: https://independent.academia.edu/RickDoble 

During the last four years I have recorded over 50,000 pageviews of this blog and other material such as documents posted online at academic websites. More than have of these have come from outside the United States from over 100 countries -- or half of the countries in the world, from Albania to Zimbabwe. On occasion one country seems to take a special interest in my work such at the sudden 1600 views from Norway of my PDF eBook The Art of Selfies & Self-Portraits.

I have over 50 documents at Academia.edu
which are free to view and/or download
with no ads and no strings attached

General address of my work at Academia.edu:
https://independent.academia.edu/RickDoble

My Website -- Online since 1997 
2500+ pages, 1 million+ pageviews
www.RickDoble.net



Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Manifesto: Time-Flow Photography

2nd Draft
Manifesto: Time-Flow Photography
Imagery With Movement Is An Important New Aspect of Photography

 YOU MAY QUOTE FROM, COPY, RESEND THIS DOCUMENT AS LONG AS YOU  CREDIT THE WORK AS: Time-Flow Photography Manifesto 

You can download a copy of this Manifesto as a PDF file at this URL:
PLEASE NOTE: This is the first draft -- we will accept comments, suggestions, additions, support or criticisms for the next couple of weeks and then will issue the final Manifesto in due time. If you would like to also be one of the sponsors, let us know. This initial draft was written by Rick Doble, but he expects that when completed it will be a work in which many have contributed.

We draft the following Manifesto because we are annoyed by critics who make unsubstantiated claims that Time-Flow Photography is purely accidental although it does, in fact, require more skill than traditional photography. And further we offer this Manifesto because we are also angered by pronouncements that Time-Flow Photography is not a legitimate form of photography.

TIME-FLOW PHOTOGRAPHY DEFINITION: We define 'Time-Flow Photography' as one that deals primarily with slow shutter speeds and movement that is visibly recorded in a photographic image. The movement can be camera movement, subject movement or a combination of the two.

TIME-FLOW PHOTOGRAPHY MANIFESTO

 PHOTOGRAPHY IS THE ART OF LIGHT ON LIGHT SENSITIVE MATERIAL 
  • The word photograph comes from two Greek words: Photo = light and Graph = drawing or painting.
  • Photography is the art of light on light sensitive material -- no matter what form that art takes.
  • Therefore a photography of light recorded in movement is a valid form for the photographic arts.
  • We reject the notion that valid photography must, for the most part, be sharp and realistic. For various reasons in the past (see below) sharp realistic photography has been most useful and therefore considered the standard for the photographic arts. But now with the new capabilities of digital, this standard is outdated. 
  • Deliberate artistic blurred images or images that show motion or streaks of light or a duration of motion are just as valid a photographic statement as traditional photography.

SUBJECT MOVEMENT:
Candid 4 second, telephoto, handheld, 
available light photography by Rick Doble.
Used as a central image at the SCIENAR (Science/Art) Exhibit
in Bucharest, Romania, 2010.

  • The idea of recording motion in photography was suggested over 100 years ago by Anton Bragaglia, a photographer associated with the Italian Futurist movement. The idea of light in itself being the subject was suggested 50 years ago by Wynn Bullock who spent six years, from 1959 to 1965 creating what he called "Color Light Abstractions" on 35mm Kodachrome slides.



Anton Bragaglia (his photo above) wrote his own Manifesto in 1911, Futurist Photodynamism (Fotodinamismo futurista) in which he described many of the same ideas that are fundamental to Time-Flow Photography but were difficult to implement with the film and cameras of the time. He wanted to understand unbroken movement with precision -- and he wanted to put together what he called an "algebra of movement."
"Light to me is perhaps the most profound truth in the universe. My thinking has been deeply affected by the belief everything is some form of radiant energy."
"Light used in its own right...gives to photography the wonderful plasticity that paint gives to painting without loss of the unmatched reality of straight photography."
Wynn Bullock (1905 - 1975) writing about his "Color Light Abstractions"

 Experimental digital photography has the potential to create abstract expressionist pictures with the depth and quality of traditional painters but with light as the medium -- light which has characteristics all its own.
Rick Doble, 2010

 CAMERA MOVEMENT
This photograph was created entirely with camera movement and a still shaft of light: 
4 second exposure, handheld and white balance set to give the light a blue color.
By Rick Doble.
Exhibited in the Bridges Mathematical Art Galleries at the Bridges Conference in 2012.


 WHY THESE SLOW SHUTTER SPEED EFFECTS 
 ARE A NEW ART FORM THAT IS NOW POSSIBLE 
 WITH DIGITAL CAMERAS 
  • In the past the effects possible with slow shutter speeds were virtually ignored due to the expense and uncertainty of the results and the desire to create only sharp imagery for documentation. While time-flow effects were possible with film, the result were haphazard, time consuming and expensive so for all practical purposes slow shutter speed effects were not used or explored.
  • Now however, digital photography allows a range of expression and an ability to experiment that was not possible with film because of the immediate feedback of the digital image and the low cost. Rick Doble wrote an essay about this over 15 years ago.
  • In particular, candid digital photography is now possible with 'Time-Flow' effects -- which allows an immediacy and spontaneity that was first imagined by the Italian Futurists over 100 years ago.
  • This means that difficult photographic imagery can now be crafted using a variety of slow shutter speeds and types of movement.

 PHOTOGRAPHY HAS BEEN CHANGING 
 AND EVOLVING FOR ALMOST 200 YEARS 
  • Almost from the moment photography was born, it has evolved and changed. But the standards of the past have often mistakenly been applied to the newer technology. Now with digital photography, the new possible imagery with Time-Flow Photography is being criticized by outdated notions that prohibit most kinds of blur or visible motion in a photograph.
  • From the very beginning photography has been changing. The first photograph by Niepce around 1827 required an eight hour exposure. About fifty years later Muybridge was taking photographs at 1/2000 of a second. Each technological advance in photography (from large tripod view cameras and collodion wet plates to handheld SLRs that took roll film, from black and white to color) led to new imagery but not without controversy. When small 35mm cameras became available their photographs were considered vastly inferior to the earlier large format cameras, for example. 
  • Like any new art form it will take some time to determine what effects are possible and which photographs exhibit these effects with the best possible artistic skill
  • We reject the notion that these images are purely accidental as some critics have asserted. 
  • At its most complex, this type of imagery requires more skill than traditional photography -- and does not happen by accident. The exact techniques have been described in detail by Rick Doble in his book, Experimental Digital Photography.
  • Like any new experimental art form there will be trial and error at the beginning which in time will evolve into specific techniques over which the photographer will have full control.

 WE LIVE IN A SPACE-TIME REALITY 
 WHICH PHOTOGRAPHY IS UNIQUELY CAPABLE OF CAPTURING 
  • As Einstein pointed out, we do not live in a world that is purely space, we live in a space-time world. Time-Flow Photography has the ability to record time as well as space and to make visual our space-time existence.
  • A photographic 'exposure' is created by the combination of light through the lens for a specific period of time (the shutter speed).
  • Therefore photography is uniquely capable of recording a space-time image because a photographic image is the combination of space (through the lens) and time (via the shutter speed) -- so each photo is a space-time picture.
  • The dream and aim of recording the 'fourth dimension', that of time, is now possible with digital photography. 
  • A depiction of the fourth dimension has been a central theme of modern and contemporary art.
  • This is an exciting time for people who are willing to work with a new way of thinking and new imagery.

 WHY A MANIFESTO? 

  • Writing a Manifesto in which one defines the goals of a new art is in keeping with a long held tradition in art such as the Cubist Manifesto (Du "Cubism") of 1912 or the Symbolist Manifesto (Le Symbolisme) of 1886 or the Surrealist Manifestos of 1924 & 1929 or the Dogma 95 Manifesto by avant-garde Danish filmmakers in 1995. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manifesto



SUBJECT & CAMERA MOVEMENT COMBINED
The camera is moving relative to the background outside the moving car, 
but the camera is steady in relation to Doble's wife who is driving 
and whose movements are subject movements.
Photograph of Doble's wife driving: 8 seconds, handheld, available light.
By Rick Doble

NOTE: While we have named our kind of photography of slow shutter speeds with continuous motion, Time-Flow Photography, there may be a better name. It has been called space-time photography and also painting with light -- but neither of these, we feel, is as clear as the term Time-Flow Photography.

 IS TIME-FLOW PHOTOGRAPHY ACCIDENTAL? 

Claims That Time-Flow Photography Is Accidental: 
One customer review said Doble's book Experimental Digital Photography was a "book about pictures you could easily take by accident." A new art form requires that people look at the works in a new way -- otherwise the artwork can appear random. When the Abstract Expressionists first exhibited their paintings in the 1950s, many said things such as "My kid could do that." Jackson Pollock's dripped paintings are now considered some of the best work of the 20th century and sell for millions of dollars. With Time-Flow Photography a new dimension has been added, the dimension of time. To the untrained eye these pictures might appear to be the result of luck but the best Time-Flow photographs are subtle and carefully constructed. However, most of us have been taught to avoid any kind of blur in a photograph -- so changing gears and seeing blur as an artistic technique does demand a new way of seeing. 

The notion of accident brings up another aspect. One mistake with such criticisms is that they often confuse accident with chance. Time-Flow Photography is not accidental, but it does take advantage of chance, which is quite different  -- and is explained below.

Rick Doble, Raindrops on a Windshield in a Moving Car, 2003
This photograph is not accidental. 
This shot might seem accidental to the untrained eye -- yet it is anything but.
In heavy rain as Doble was driving, he turned off the wipers on his windshield and then he focused the camera so that it focused close-up on the drops of water on the windshield and also threw the lights on the highway out of focus due to depth of field. Next he waited to take this 8-second shot until he was the right distance from a stop light -- which he knew from past experience would create a web like red pattern and the red would also be reflected in the water on the highway. Then he steadied the camera on the dash of his car to eliminate camera shake to get a sharp picture of the water drops. Since the distance between the camera and the windshield was unchanging, the water drops on the windshield were relatively sharp. However, the approaching traffic lights at a slow exposure were spread behind the drops and out of focus. In addition because Doble had taken a number of pictures of water on glass, he also knew that each drop of water would act like a lens which would distort the light and the colors coming from the stop light and the traffic. 


 ACCIDENT VS. CHANCE 

Accident Vs. Chance: 
Saying that Time-Flow photographs are accidental can only mean no skill was involved --  that the photographer had almost no control over the outcome. This is simply not true as seen by the explanation above. However, chance often plays an important role, especially in candid Time-Flow Photography. Dealing with chance is not unusual. In fact, we all deal with chance everyday, such as driving down the highway and expecting the unexpected. This can happen, for example, when a car in front of us suddenly comes to a stop for no reason and we must brake quickly to avoid hitting it. Chance is something we all live with on a daily basis.

Candid Photography And Chance: 
Candid photography for over 100 years has depended on chance to give its imagery an immediacy and a sense of the moment. Cartier-Bresson, who many consider the greatest photographer of all time, often framed a composition and then waited for a chance element to enter his camera viewfinder. But he could also compose spontaneously when the situation demanded. The exact moment when all the pieces came together, Cartier-Bresson called, "The decisive moment."


Alfred Stieglitz, The Steerage, 1907 (commons.wikimedia.org)
Considered a milestone in photography, Alfred Stieglitz came across this scene by chance when he was on a steam ship. He immediately saw the geometry and the stage-like arrangement, but crucial to the picture was the man in the straw hat (upper left) which was catching the sunlight. Stieglitz had to run back to his cabin, grab his quite large camera and return in the hope that the man had not moved. He was in luck. As Louis Pasteur so wisely said, "Chance favors the prepared mind," because it is one thing for chance to occur and a completely different thing to recognize and take advantage of it. Candid photographers are tuned into chance and make it part of their medium.
Stieglitz wrote:
On the upper deck, looking over the railing, there was a young man with a straw hat...A round straw hat, the funnel leaning left, the stairway leaning right, the white drawbridge with its railing made of circular chains…I saw shapes related to each other. I saw a picture of shapes and underlying that the feeling I had about life."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Steerage
Candid Photography And Time-Flow Candid Photography: 
Both of these photographic art forms count on chance to give it a power and spontaneity that other forms of photography do not have. A candid Time-Flow photographer can create a framework in which chance can occur and then take advantage of such chance. For example, when taking photographs of musicians, a photographer might spend half an hour finding the right spot to frame so that the light, the colors, the background and the way a musician holds his or her instrument fits into a composition. Then using a slow shutter speed the photographer will try to capture a sense of that moment, capture the rhythm and the energy in a picture that records the musician in motion.

Chance And Modern Art: 
Chance has been a major component of modern art and contemporary art such as the art of the Surrealists, the Dadaists, the Abstract Expressionists in addition to candid photography or street photography. There is even a term for allowing chance into the art process: aleatoricism.     
"The marvellous mixture of emotion and geometry, together in a single instant."
Henri Cartier-Bresson 

 MASTERING TIME-FLOW PHOTOGRAPHY 

Time-Flow Photography demands that an accomplished photographer have a broad technical understanding of photography such as the interrelationship between focal length, aperture, depth of field, perspective, working distance and shutter speed; plus a knowledge of hyperfocal distance, circle of confusion, reciprocity failure, shutter speed and the desired effect, absolute and relative motion and ghosting or negative ghosting -- just to name a few, all of which need to be done manually and often quickly.

But also, just as Ansel Adams said almost 100 years ago, photographers can learn to previsualize their photographs before shooting, i.e. see the scene the way the camera sees it and not the way the human eye sees it. A Time-Flow photographer can also use this method to previsualize what a scene will look like when exposed over time -- which with Time-Flow Photography is markedly different from what the eye sees. With years of experience a Time-Flow photographer can imagine what a picture will look like with movement and a long shutter speed before taking a picture. Consequently they can learn to zero-in on different and new lighting situations that will work with this technique. 
NOTE: "Visualization is a central topic in Ansel Adams' writings about photography, where he defines it as 'the ability to anticipate a finished image before making the exposure.'" (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Previsualization)
Minor White refined the idea a bit, calling the visualization before taking a picture, previsualization but crediting Ansel Adams with the basic idea.