Failure is an option

It is Failed iPhone Art. I’m not worried or concerned, as I tried. One of the central tenets of the side-project is to have a minimal amount of tweaking images. On the phone, I tend to use just one app, with a single set of filters and frames. Not always the same, and I’m willing to mess around a little, as that’s part of the artistic process. Part of the process?

Failure is an option.

I’m still loathe to consider too much image manipulation anything more than silly/clever rather than high art. Then again, I have my own failures. Willing to post them for all to see.

Failed iPhone Art

It worked as a captivating image on the phone itself. As perspicacious reader will note, it’s from a SnapSeed app, not my usual photo software.

Again, in the phone’s little window, it looked great. However, blown up to even remotely old-school web size (500 pixels wide), the image looks like, what it is? Failed iPhone Art.

The point about “Failure is an option,” is that, without mistakes, without egregious errors, without occasionally falling flat on our faces, how can we understand what’s truly good and right? Have to fail to succeed. Without a few gaffs, mistrials, bad judgement calls, how can the process improve?

Can’t be right all the time.

astrofish.net

There’s another round of failed photos, too, here, same batch, roughly same timeline. Titled “Flower Failures.”

Taken two, three days apart on different sides of the same river, one of them is obviously a rose against one of the stately, elegant, historical “Victorian” King William homes.

The other is a weed against, looks like a phone pole. Doubt that’s what it is, anymore. Power pole? A piece of lumber soaked with tar and left standing.

It’s about failures instead of successes.

Those two images were taken days apart, within a hundred meters of each other. Both images fail. The focus, coming off a phone camera, the focus didn’t work correctly, and the flowers are fuzzy. No amount of digital chicanery could fix that.

I was manipulating the images while walking, so it wasn’t until I grabbed them off the phone that I discovered the flowers themselves were blurry. The first inclination was to just erase the mess.

The white flower, weed, whatever it is, wildflower? I don’t know. That one was particularly telling for me, as I was about to skip it, but I stopped long enough to grab that image. I traced the same trail, sidewalk, on the way back from where I’d been (Mission Concepcion), and the Parks & Rec. had just got done weed-whacking. Little flower was gone.

There’s a very ephemeral quality to the image, the tableaux, frozen in time. Failure is an option, because if I don’t fail some times, then the success is less sweet.

About the author: Born and raised in East Texas, Kramer Wetzel, settled in a South Austin trailer park before trailer parks were cool. He now lives in San Antonio, Texas.

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