The theme of this week’s Photo Challenge is Randomness. As usual I’ve tried to take as many photos on the theme as possible, with the intention of picking my favourite shortly before the deadline.

I think randomness can have two main interpretations – something that is random in nature, or the more modern meaning of some kind of generalised stupidity.

The latest buzzword used amongst mindless teenagers as a way of showing just so utterly irreverent their predictable sense of humour is. Particularly dominant among English teens and University students, the word “random” or the act of being “random” is a desperate plea for others to recognise how totally against the grain of the norm you are and that you’re really crazy and out there. Trouble is, being “random” is predictable, boring, moronic and extremely sad indeed.

Urban Dictionary

Working on a university campus, I think I encounter enough irritating randomness on a daily basis, so I decided to concentrate on the former. I tried to find random things in nature that I could point my camera at.

The first “random” thing that sprung to mind was rolling a die or flipping a coin. Unfortunately I don’t have any dice but I did find a 10p coin. I put the camera and two flashguns on tripods and used a handheld trigger to fire the camera. Unfortunately it was much harder than I had imagined to fire the camera at the right time to capture the flipping coin (no pun intended!). Out of about a hundred shots, only a handful even had the coin in the shot, and most of those were unusable for one reason or another. This was the best one, although I’m still not pleased with it. It’s too dark, and not gripping enough.

In the past I have tried taking photos of smoke and had decided to revisit it one day. Smoke seems to move in a fairly unpredictable way, so it seemed to fit the randomness theme. I ran into many of the same problems as last time. I tried to use a second flashgun to provide twice the light, but I only have one snoot and the second flash illuminated the backdrop, so I had to turn it off.

I’ve seen fractured ice before, and I like the random effect of the crack lines. I attempted to crack ice cubes with a hammer but it was hard to smash them in a “pretty” way. They also start to melt seconds after being taken out of the freezer, and using an SLR with macro extension tubes and manual focus is a fairly time-consuming exercise, so most of the sharp fractures had melted before I was able to capture them.

This is the best ice photo. You can see my ring flash reflected in a couple of places, because the ice had melted enough to become smooth, reflective water.

Last but not least, I attempted some photos of small bubbles. These are just washing-up suds in a wine glass.

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