The Art of the Unexpected

Years ago I discovered a personal meaning for the word “adventure”. I was telling a friend my plans for taking a solo, cross-country trip to New Mexico. He asked why and I told him I was “looking for adventure”.  His reply was,  “Really? You know adventure begins when things don’t go as planned, right?”. Sure enough, I found my adventure and realized the truth in my friends words.

While on my way through Oklahoma I encountered the first of what would be many “adventures” on this trip. My car broke down in Stroud, Oklahoma and I ended up spending several unplanned nights at the Skyliner Motel. This, being  a spring trip, coincided with Oklahoma’s tornado season and several powerful thunderstorms developed. One night I felt trapped by the rain but  decided to make the best of the situation and get out my camera.  A few weeks later, after returning home, I found this image on the last frame of the last roll from that night:

Skyliner Motel

Further on, my car broke down again. This time in the Gila Wilderness of southwest New Mexico, at dusk and after everyone had seemingly gone home. I was alone with no way to get help, but fortunately I was prepared.  I set up camp and once again began feeling “trapped”. So, I got out my camera. I didn’t realize it at the time, but the camera I was using had a  (now well known) design defect that made it malfunction in dry, arid environments. This caused the viewfinder mirror to stick halfway through its movement while trying to get out of the way of the exposure. All I knew at the time is that my camera had done something strange. After returning home I was surprised to find this image:

Arid Lake

Which brings us to May, 2010 and my annual trip to the Traverse City area. I usually time this trip to coincide with the emergence of cherry tree blossoms but mother nature had a different plan. The weather was very hard on the trees and farmers this year. Several freezing episodes caused damage to the trees.  Aside from the eventual detriment to the cherries, it caused visible rotting on the blossoms, seen here:

Damaged Buds

The bright spot, however, was the mild weather. Pleasant temperatures and plenty of sun with a slight haze overhead resulted in great conditions for photography. My intended subject wasn’t cooperating so I looked around to see what else I could find. I ended up with a set of images that I could have easily overlooked otherwise.  A few from this years trip:

Lady, faithful companion

Golden Silo - Mission Point Peninsula

Rolling fortunes




Bay at peace

Enjoy and be adventurous!


  1. Pat... says:

    I love the colors in the first shot! Is the stuck mirror what caused the shadow/darkness on the right of the second image? It’s crazy how that defect really added to the composition.

    • Edward Bussa says:

      The illusion of a lake is entirely caused by the mirror malfunction. There is only a rocky valley below where the lake appears. This type of thing could be easily done in photoshop too recognizing the right shot with good symmetry.

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