Can’t Always Get What You Want


I have passed this boat and scene dozens of times. But the other day, while passing, I saw it in a new way. It was just a flash, as I drove by–the boat floating in a similar color field, the only blue being the boat’s interior, the impending storm …

I drove home, grabbed my camera, and went back. I knew after looking through the viewfinder that something was wrong. The image looked different from what I had seen in my mind. This is definitely not the first time this has happened to me. In fact, it happens all the time, because the world we see in our mind, and the one we see with our eyes is different.

When I was driving, I drove past the front of the boat. My direction was the opposite of the one I shot. I knew that ahead of time, and I had imagined Β the shot in the opposite direction, but my imagination had to fill in some information, and it took some poetic license! It imagined the field being a little higher on the horizon and it completely eliminated that ditch. Now, if I had had a stepladder, and I was able to block off the road directly behind me, and the boat was further away from the ditch and more into the field, than the shot in my mind would not have been such a fantasy.

I guess my point is, sometimes pre-visualization is simply a guide. We can have one image in our heads, but as soon as we step foot into the real world, with its traffic and lack of ladders and our inability to physically move objects, we sometimes have to adapt to those circumstances. I could not eliminate the ditch entirely, so I figured out a way to include it that would be the least intrusive, I could not move the boat, so I waited for the cars to pass and stood on tiptoe in the middle of the road.

It is not the same image I saw in my mind, but it is what it is.



23 thoughts on “Can’t Always Get What You Want

  1. This is why I am a writer. I can manipulate anything and everything until it is exactly what I want, down to the smallest detail. πŸ™‚ Your photo is still wonderful, by the way, even if it falls short of what you imagined.

  2. I understand that the post and commentary are about the boat and how you visualized it … I am however, so drawn to the silhouette of those trees against the darkening sky. So beautiful

  3. I like how Robert explains your shot. The shot that maybe was not as good as you visualized. But as a photographer, you and me and the rest of us have to rely on our eye to make the shot the best we can. A writer uses words, a painter uses their oils or watercolors or inks. We’re stuck with reality. We can bend it a little with Lightroom or even a little more with Photoshop but ultimately it comes down to what reality has given us. Am I making any sense? Your image is beautiful. Maybe what you saw was better but I doubt you can compete with what you gave us. Thank you!

  4. There should be a law that traffic must stop for photographers, like it must for school buses.! And of course, car makers should offer an optional ladder and photo platform on top their vehicles. I would buy it for sure. πŸ™‚ I love your pic, Jennifer. A boat on a sea of grass! And the horizon and wintry sky are very strong for me.


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