180828 Fault Tolerance - matthew piers robertson • photography writing creative toronto

Night photography means that I'll make mistakes. It's basically unavoidable with anything, so why should night photography be any different?

Sometimes my mistakes come from my own patterns and behaviour, so by noticing them I can learn and do better in the future. I can learn to be better organized, more methodical. Other times my errors catch me by surprise, and I need to deal with something that I didn't expect. But even if I don't see that specific problem before it happens, I do know that something unexpected is still likely to go wrong, and I can anticipate the flexibility and adaptability that I need to minimize the damage and recover.

But photography is about life, not light, or the decisive moment. Life. So let's step back a bit.

Causing harm is basically unavoidable. Sometimes the harm I cause comes from my own patterns and behaviour, so by noticing them I can learn and do better in the future. I can listen better, speak more considerately. Other times my transgressions catch me by surprise, but even if I don't see that specific fault before it happens, I do know that something unanticipated is going to come up. I can cultivate the openness and vulnerability that I need to minimize the harm and recover.

It's not easy. It's constant work. It's always being ready to be okay with being wrong, and preemptively trying not to be wrong without entrenching a need to be right. That's exhausting, too much sometimes. But just the same it seems like the least I can do.