Uncertainty

Umbrella abstract

This photo of a couple with an umbrella was taken through a fountain – the abstract, painterly result was an unexpected, and welcome, surprise.

Uncertainty is the name of the game right now. We’ve had seven months of being uncertain whether or not Geoff would be made redundant, and now that he has there’s even more uncertainty.  Will he get a job?  Where will it be?  Will we have to move house?  Will it pay as much as he gets now?  How will we survive if it doesn’t?   Will I be able to supplement our income doing what I love to do?  Will I have to get a ‘normal’ job?  What happens if he doesn’t find a job? If we move will I find friends as good as the ones I have here?  Will I be lonely?  Will I miss this place?  And on and on.

It’s the middle of the night, and I’ve been lying awake pondering these and other questions. And then it struck me that uncertainty is what makes photography so rewarding and so much fun.  When I go out with my camera I have no idea what I’m going to find, or if I’ll come back with any decent shots, and that’s exciting.  I set out with an open mind, a large dose of curiosity, and the assumption that I’m going to have a good time finding out.  Sometimes I’m disappointed with what I shoot and delete most of it, but I’ve still gained a lot from the process, and I simply allow myself to feel the disappointment for a moment and then move on.

More often, I find something unexpected – a shot that turned out far better than I could have hoped, or something that looks completely different – and better – in the photograph than it did in reality.  I come back with treasures.  Going out on a photography session is an adventure – I don’t know what will happen and that’s exactly what I like.  Imagine if you knew beforehand what shots you’d take, what they’d be of, how they’d turn out.  Dull, isn’t it?

I want to approach the rest of my life like this. I want to treat it as an exciting adventure instead of a worrying unknown.  I want to approach it with curiosity and an open mind.  I want to discard the bad bits without regret and move on to what’s next.  I want to get excited over the unexpected.  I want to find treasures I didn’t anticipate.

“Faith means living with uncertainty – feeling your way through life, letting your heart guide you like a lantern in the dark.
Dan Millman