“Allow yourself the freedom to step away from perfection because it is only then that you can find success.”

– Chase Jarvis


This is one of those photographs that I had to let go a whole lot of perfection emotions so that I could find the space in my heart to eventually love it. 

We had driven over the border from NSW heading west from Broken Hill into South Australia.  A day trip, driving down unmarked roads. Just exploring. Seeing what we could find.  This particular road was virtually unmarked.  We bumped into a farmer just before or just after this stop.  I have no idea how anyone could possibly work that land. It was so dry and barren. Grazing was probably the only possibility.  He was more than happy for us to photograph as long as we stuck to his road and turned around at cattle grid.

I spied this tree and hill out the window as I drove.  At one particular point and angle the shape of the hill formed a perfect curve.  I could see the picture in my mind.  So we turned around and went back for a photographic stop.   

The problem is I couldn’t stand in the spot that made the hill a perfect curve.  Other bushes either came into the photograph or I ended up in a gully.   

This photograph was the best I could do.  A photograph with a wavy hill. 

Because I had imagined something different, I judged it harshly.  Severely.  I can even say I disliked it.

I had to let go of my image of perfection and in particular the image I had created in my minds eye.  I ended up with something very different.

This is an ongoing lesson for me.  One that I regularly revisit.  Perfection isn’t something I should chase nor is imagining photographs that may not exist.   For if I do, my camera doesn’t come out enough to bring me happiness into my life.  


Lone Tree, somewhere in South Australia.  Photograph copyright © Len Metcalf 2018


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