There’s a saying that if you let a monkey write random stuff, eventually it will write Shakespeare’s Hamlet. If you transfer the analogy to photography, it would be something like this: if you see tons of random stuff, you’ll eventually see something that might look intentional, sublime, and even brilliant. While most photographers rely on perfect planning of their shots, others, like Edas Wong, just trust their luck and instinct. He just roams the streets and tries to find something that might catch his eye. Even though his shots could be called “accidental,” they’re no less brilliant. It just blows my mind how a lucky perspective can create a metaphor, a juxtaposition, and can flow like visual poetry. It just goes to show that some things are best left in the hands of fortune.
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The artist told the peculiar details of this kind of photography and his life to Bored Panda: “”I am from Hong Kong. I grew up in HK; however, I had been in the UK 2 years for university and Stockholm 11 years for work as an R&D engineer. Actually, I started my street photography journey when I was in Stockholm.”
I started photography when I met my wife. Like other couples, we took up photography to record daily life. In 2011/2012 (when I was in Stockholm), I found an interest in street photography and became serious about it. I’ve been a street photographer for about 10 years.”
“The reason why I chose this particular type of photography as opposed to any other is quite simple, actually. I didn’t need to learn an advanced technique or have expensive gear; just my small camera. Ideal for a beginner.
At the beginning, I learnt the concepts from other photographers… However, afterwards, I found out this type of style which is more suitable for me… It is about creation, not capturing.”
“When I go out on the streets, I just watch every detail in front of me. If the coincidences are with objects, it’s easy. However, if they aren’t, I’ll also need luck. Sometimes I wait a while to register the right moment.” The last part makes me wonder if he had to wait for a few hours to catch one of these shots. And he answered! “Yes, ‘sometimes’ I need to wait for the perfect moment… but not always. The longest waiting time was several months. I repeatedly went back to that targeted location and waited, re-observing and re-imagining.”
Edas believes, that his success comes from a specific kind of mindset. “My style is really simple. Just keep concentrating to observe everything around me on the street. Then use my imagination to re-form the interesting objects. I always say that emptiness of mind will then have infinity of creativity.
In order to take a memorable street photo, I try to empty my mind as much as possible and really concentrate on the street itself.”
He also told about his dreams for the future: “I made a photobook two years ago. Maybe it could be good to have a solo exhibition… I also want to spend my ways of thinking and creativity to help others, e.g. workshop…”
You might be surprised, but this type of photography even has a name. It’s called Accidental Photography, a name which is pretty self-explanatory: they’re unintentional and unscripted, and rely heavily on chance, but they can also offer an interesting perspective and a piece of “reality” and candidness which staged shots just can’t provide. It’s also a good way to practice attentiveness and creativity for photographers.
Accidental Photography has gained popularity over the years, and some speculate that it’s probably because of the prevalence of digital technologies, which have enabled people to take photos at any place and any time, provided you have a smartphone. The place is another important factor: metropolises, cities that have millions and millions of people, are often crowded and bustling, creating loads of opportunities for a keen eye to capture.
Looks familiar? That’s because you’ve probably seen the first part here on our website. And if you’re up for more similar posts, we’re here to provide. Take, for example, this post, where people accidentally took photos that are reminiscent of renaissance paintings. Or, if you want to see a really rare accidental shot, check out how one photographer took a photo of a meteor during an eruption of a volcano.