Oh god it’s going to be misty again. Here we go. Know what you want…know what you want…Ok, Ok, I’ve perhaps over-played this a wee bit, I’ll move on. But I can’t because it was misty again this morning – not in the place where I wanted it, but elsewhere. I say mist, it wasn’t really mist, more of a fog and there’s a thin line between the two. Mist dictates a high viewpoint overlooking a big landscape, fog beckons you towards a more intimate perspective. So what to do? Where to go? Too much mist basically means fog. And too much fog means no pictures.
For crying out loud Cairns, stop rattling on. An hour in, the sun is up and OK it’s not perfect(!!!) but Loch Garten is flat-calm, the rasping song of the goldeneye reverberates through the forest and the distant bubbling of black grouse makes it, well, bloody perfect actually. What am I getting so wound up about? Really?
Picture the scene. The forecast for the morning is perfect and I have three or four locations that I really want to nail this month – all in the same conditions. Which do I go for? What will work best? Location A or location B? For me these are the ingredients for a restless night riddled with anxiety. It’s the fear of failure you see; it’s a disease and I’ve been suffering from it for years.
In my mind, time has become so precious that every photographic foray must count; I cannot invest time out of the office without a productive return. This leads to a self-inflicted pressure that not only deprives me of sleep, but poisons what little creativity I can muster at five in the morning. Moreover, it lessens the enjoyment of the photographic experience – and that’s REALLY serious.
So the day dawns, I’m out of bed and turning on the car’s engine. But where am I heading – location A or B (and even C is starting to wager in with a good case)? Know what you want. Know what you want. I say it to myself over and over. I’m actually saying it out loud. Know what you want and stick with it. If you fail, look upon it as valuable research which will help your next attempt. I stick with location A and it pays off.
The fear of failure is treatable. I’m not completely cured but I’m starting to enjoy the rehabilitation process.