The art of imperfection

Perfection – we all seek it in our photography, even though we all know that realistically it is simply unattainable.

From time to time, I get the idea of the perfect image in my mind. Then I chase it until I produce it. Aiming high is always a good thing but it can lead to disappointment.

We should all learn to relax a little when it comes to photography. When you venture into the world of photography, it can be both fun and daunting.

I remember having to learn about exposure triangle, composition and so much more.. Then the criticism followed along with the competitions.. and then more rules. They are so many rules that by the time you even get acquainted, the fun part is almost gone.

Sometimes I feel that photography demands perfection. However, if we think back to the masters, perfection was the last thing on their mind when creating. When I think of a few names, the reasons they stand out to me is because they created their own rules, did things their way.

For the past few days, I’ve been trying to write down how I use the Zone System when I edit. Half way through, I stopped because I realised how obsessively I keep checking images when I’m working to see if all the zones are covered. Why? Simply because that is what I’ve learned. A good black and white image needs to have all zones present for a balanced image. This worked for Ansel Adams and sometimes for me but there’s already been an Ansel Adams and I am not trying to be him.


I’ve come to realise that a balanced image does not necessarily mean an interesting image. My perfectly balanced images are the ones that I tend not to like much. I enjoy using my eye, vision and intuition to create the images that I like even when they were not technically perfect.

« Have no fear of perfection you’ll never reach » – S. Dali

Let’s all take comfort in that quote and learn to relax a little more.

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