Another example from Iceland: One may come upon, unexpectedly, a flowering medicinal herb. It seems delicate, perfect, and thriving in the lava fields. Almost unnoticeably blending into inhospitable terrain, its pink substance holds a hidden potential to soothe, alleviate, cure, and enhance. This is similar to the discovery of more subtle findings from authentic ethnography whose interest and usefulness to a project initiative become apparent only upon examination of hundreds of photographs and videos that were taken of what seemed to be totally other actions.
In a recent creation of a film based upon video footage from an authentic ethnography codenamed Carefree, new ways of expressing findings occurred when a new-to-the-team documentary editor examined footage that I had already analyzed, used, believed in, or disregarded. Her eyes saw things I had missed despite my own days and weeks of analysis.
To summarize this post: Moving through the presence of occasional fieldwork difficulties is like experiencing the overwhelming ferocity of an Iceland waterfall (author photo), then noticing the accompanying rainbow.
Research challenges lead to insight