Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Shaky landing
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?


Anonymous said...

I've taken a number of photos like this (esp. at night) - and I like them! Of course, it is disappointing when you go for a really cool shot and the camera doesn't cooperate.

Dawn said...

Oh so agreed. Perfection is Indeed overrated!!!!
That is quite the long ride home! It must take you hours to get through the city!!!!!
As always....wonderful to come by here and read your thoughts and view your photos! I think it's lovely! The butter knife worked well in this gunfight;)

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

They Sucked. Big time. Blurry, badly exposed, horridly composed ...


You've seen the light, Carmi. I have some great ones from the other night, they just had to wait because I was posting my Solidarity rally pics instead. Tomorrow, with a movie, he promised.

Kalei's Best Friend said...

The word perfect has so many meanings.. What is perfect to one person may not be perfect to another... Maybe its because when human nature is involved there is no rational answer...Science and math seem to be the only subjects where there is a formula that can be proven.As my calculus loving daughter said that was why she loved calculus because there was a logical answer..

21 Wits said...

Really your image is striking to me...just the flicker of the lights showing us the who what and why of your moment! ...and Kalei is so right. Once as a little girl I wrote a letter to my mother's parents, did she say oh how darling? No she made me rewrite it I don't remember how many times until it was to her liking (I think I was maybe 7 or 8) did I ever show her my stuff again? Oh Dad??????Being a prefectionist can ruin precious moments .....

Vicki said...

You are right an SLR can take the "perfect" picture, but it's all the perspective that the photographer has and what they are trying to show.

Also, not all point and shoot cameras (and not all SLR cameras) are created equal. I have a few point and shoot and use them for different things to get the effect I want. (I use both Nikon and Canon SLR cameras and prefer the Canon.)

Many times the less perfect the photo is, the more interesting it is.

fredamans said...

I've taken a few of these. I must have missed something.... I didn't think you posted a Thematic this week.

21 Wits said...

Suggestions for theme you say? My word for today (yes I get these daily) is concinnity and the other day was (kind of an opposite) was subfusc, but imagine the fun with those two themes... or perhaps not......! But keepers for Scrabble!

Pamela said...

I've deleted a lot of similar shots. Wish I hadn't now.