I never have taken a picture I've intended. They're always better or worse. - Diane Arbus
I've been out taking a lot of fall photographs lately. Getting the right photograph for modification has always been the most difficult of my process and that quote above is entirely true for me.
At least once every trip I get that photograph that I just know it is going to become a perfect image. I even go so far as to give it a title while looking at that little tiny screen on my camera. Very rarely does it turn out to be what I thought it would be. Then there are the ones I am pretty sure are not going to work but I take the photograph anyway and it comes out perfect.
There was a Dogwood tree that I pass regularly and I waited all winter for it to bloom to get a photograph of it. It was unusual for a Dogwood. Most Dogwoods are short and wide which makes it hard to turn them into panoramas. This one, however, had received some storm damage and it was very uniquely shaped. I planned out the shot since it was on a busy road. I figured out where I would pull off the road and what angle to shoot it from. The day came and I pulled off the road where I had figured everything out. I walked through a lot of tall wet grass and got the photographs. And it didn't work. No matter what I tried I could not get that unique form into a panorama.
Then there is "Forest Rock" which started out as a photography of a completely different tree. It was a very short and very wide tree that I was hoping to turn into a hotizontal panorama but I wasn't able to step back far enough to get the entire tree and it just didn't work. But then I looked at the side of the photograph and I had captured this thin yellow tree against a rock face and it became an image I hadn't intended. "Forest Rock is not the only image that was not planned when I took the photograph.
"White Flowers" is one photograph I took just for the hell of it. I didn't think it would turn out at all but I was on a mission to get spring flowers. I can tell you it does not look anything like the original photograph but I think it turned into something special.
I take a lot of photographs, after all, 100% of the photographs you don't take, don't turn out. So I do a lot of turning around after I've passed something that caught my eye, told myslef it wouldn't work, and decided to go back and try it anyway. Often I was right and it didn't work but every so often it does.