It happened like that
Flukes in street shooting depend on putting in the time
Every so often you’ll come across moments and scenes that anyone can see and make sense of. These are not really to do with having a specially calibrated photographer’s eye for things, although you will need to make sure that you show the coincidence in a clear and evident way. These are what the writer of the book I mentioned earlier, Joseph Mazur, calls flukes. These are unexpected successes, by accident or chance. They fall into the category of ‘what are the chances of coming cross something like THAT?’ and this is just one such example. The orangutan stuffed toy is a promotional device for a shop, and so that’s intentionally in place. Nothing strange there, just a little quirky. But the construction worker taking a nap? Nothing satisfactorily explains the coincidence. You might wonder that in the case of flukes like this, what meaningful advice could anyone give? That’s what the book calls the ‘law of truly large numbers’. Such coincidences depend on the number of hours you put into walking around and looking. Simply that. This is, incidentally, endorsement for the value of smart phones. Even if you weren’t intentionally out shooting, the phone in your pocket can save the day… or at least the moment.
A Chinese construction worker takes a nap in a Shanghai street, without realising what he’s mimicking