Trying in vain to depict the slobber of a panting animal, the Greek painter Protogenes ended up hurling a sponge at his picture. The accidental result was that he got the effect he was after. This anecdote, told by Pliny the Elder, is quoted by Pierre Soulages to explain the importance of “accidents” in painting. In photography, accidents arise from the tools used. My own accidents bear the traces of silver image technology. There is no nostalgia about this, only a certainty that they are evidence of a precise moment in time.
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