London, ON, November 2010
About this photo: I've enjoyed my freeform photographic week, but it's time to get back to Thematic. New theme launches tomorrow (Thursday) night at 7:00 p.m. Suggestions welcome.The scene: It's a bitterly cold night (10:18 p.m., if we're being precise) and I'm driving back from a day in Toronto. As I often do when I make the 200 km trip home, I get off the highway in Woodstock and drive the last 60 or so km on a regional road. I enjoy the slower pace, the occasional cruises through real small towns along the way, the feeling that I'm not just passing through at some ungodly speed. These little detours of mine remind me to slow down when I'm outside the car, too.
On the eastern fringe of London, the road passes pretty close to the end of one of the runways at London International Airport. And as luck would have it on this night, I saw lights in the distance as I approached the now-familiar spot. So I pulled over, grabbed my pocketcam and stepped into the finger-numbing darkness.
It quickly became apparent to me that I had brought a butter knife to a gunfight. The little camera, as much as I love it for its lovely and flexible lens and light weight, just wasn't built for all-manual, night-time shooting. From metering to composition to focusing, it just doesn't have the do-it-all ease of an SLR.
So the pictures didn't just suck. They Sucked. Big time. Blurry, badly exposed, horridly composed (visualization through an electronic viewfinder when your eyes are tearing from the cold and the tears are freezing on your eyelashes: bad idea.) I was tempted to dump them all off of the memory card.
Instead, I left them there to gather virtual dust for a few months. When I looked at them again earlier this week, I realized the perfection I originally envisioned when I saw the lights in the sky wasn't all it was cut out to be. Sometimes, the less-than-perfect result is the one that sticks with you long after the initial disappointment fades.
Besides, perfection's overrated.
Your turn: Is it? Why? Why not?