Failure is an option


Location: Alcock Tarn & Stone Arthur, Lake District

The above 2 images at the bottom of this page at the time of shooting, were classed as a failure. This was the theme of the vlog. Looking back at these images and since uploading and editing in my digital darkroom, these shots have come to life. It was a failure however as I had pre envisioned exactly what I wanted to capture but I failed to achieve that.

The conditions that day, climbing up to Alcock Tarn and then Stone Arthur in the Lake District, were some what challenging to say the least. The wind and driving rain were ferocious. This lead to disappointment and at one point, contemplation of a return back home to Yorkshire. I soon shook myself and changed my mind as not only do I make  these trips for photography, I also make the journey to accomplish my goal of bagging all 214 Wainrights. Stone Arthur was a Wainwright and despite the weather, I was going to climb that day.

Going back to why I thought this session was a failure. I had spent a good amount of time last year, shooting using my 70-200 telephoto lens and although pleased with the results, I wanted to capture a wider scene, in particular a scene where there was foreground, middle ground and background interest. Stone Arthur was abundant with some very photogenic rock structures and formations. I believed my pre envisioned shot would become reality and was feeling excited, although somewhat battered by the heavy wind gusts. Leading lines and wonderful angles were there for the taking. Middle ground and background however was less favourable. I was struggling to find the connecting scene where all three could be lined up and no matter how hard I tried and ventured further afield, I was defeated.

The word failure was to be used lightly however as I still come away with maybe 2, definitely one image that I was happy with, All photography sessions should not be failures as they add to the experience of learning composition and gaining knowledge of finding good locations. As landscape photographers, we can set out expectations and they only become a failure when those expectations are set too high and not achieved. Acceptance is key here. Life is a road where knowledge is gained through failure and success.

Watch the video


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