While no one really likes disappointments, especially myself, I’ve come to think of them as necessary for learning. And I’m not just saying this because of the American elections that have just passed either; elections in which both nominees were a bad choice. Sometimes, we have to take what we can get and make something beautiful out of it…Something that makes us see something for its value. We need to work with how things turn out and try to show that we can be better than how they turned out.
Sometimes we need to get out of our metaphorical lane and do something different; for me it was exposing the shot above lighter than it really was, by at least a stop. I didn’t care too much about color initially (I could fix that in post-processing), but I cared about atmosphere, so that’s where I put my concentration towards. It was darker than this in reality, but it didn’t feel like that at all. Somehow, along the way, a thought was put into my mind that I should get out in the wet weather (not nearly as wet as I’ve ever done) and work at getting a good shot. As a result, the weather was a disappointment, but the shot that resulted from it was the surprise. I got out of my usual metaphorical lane by working against the impulse to go darker to match reality and instead go lighter to match atmospheric feel.
I’m beginning to think that having one without the other isn’t a good thing because balancing out disappointments with surprises leads to a healthy learning curve. We should be working for a healthy balance in our photography, one that’s creative, inspiring (or at least some of the time), and not without at least a little bit of growth now & then…The kind of growth that gets us out of our metaphorical lane.