Chasing “that” shot

For forever and a day I shall chase that White Whale

We’ve all spent time searching for that shot; the elusive White Whale, the Holy Grail that thwarts us. Chasing that shot is a fruitless, all-consuming quest. Or is it?

Drown like Captain Ahab
Trying to slay that Great White Whale
So tied up in their own rules
People jump ship and they fail
Jello Biafra with the Melvins – Lessons in What Not to Become

I’ve got a handful of shots in my mind that I’ve wanted to capture for some time now. Some of these have haunted me for years, taunting me with their imagined exactness.

Many of them come out with me in search for their ideal locale, more times than not returning empty-handed. They scoff at the bland parodies of their imagined precision. Their jeers at my bids to replicate them follow me to every fresh attempt.

Thwarted by their lofty expectations and demands, I usually sit before yet another lacking Lightroom import.

Forever Malcolm Young

This envisaged perfection might never be attainable. Every shot fails in one way or another, or many! Compared to the imagined, every outcome turns out to be Malcolm Young, never Angus!

Always Malcolm never Angus
End up Carlton you wanted to be Negus
Single pluggers never sneakers
Always headphones never the speakers
Frenzal Rhomb – Forever Malcolm Young

I’ve come to realise that maybe my imagined perfect photos might never be realised. Maybe they’re there simply to force me to attempt. Perhaps they exist purely to keep me chasing that White Whale?

Chasing the White Whale
Chasing the White Whale

No thank you, sir. No more white whales for me. He’s best left alone.
Captain Boomer – Moby Dick

Plus, Malcolm Young wrote Highway To Hell. So falling short of being Angus isn’t necessarily a bad thing!

– Brett

Have you ever chased the elusive? Do you have that “one shot” in mind that all attempts to produce it fall short?

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  1. “White Whale! Holy Grail!” as Mastodon sung, I have few perfect shots inside my head. But I’ll never shoot them. Lack of skills, bricks and time won’t let me make them. But! They say that chasing the White Whale is better than catching it! 😁

    • brett_wilson

      I’ve got so many of those Stefan! I don’t know if I’ll ever capture them, but I’ve stumbled across some other surprising outcomes trying to achieve them. And maybe that’s why we chase the Holy Grail, to keep chasing and find things we didn’t know we were looking for along the way.

  2. Thank you for this Brett. I know the feeling. I have ideas that have sat in my head or on a list for months or years. Sometimes all the pieces finally seem to come together with an aha moment, but more often than not they continue to elude me in exactly how to execute them as I imagine. But there is something to be said about the chase nonetheless.

    • brett_wilson

      Sometimes I hope these “perfect” photos are never realized? Chasing them keeps my shooting, experimenting, learning and improving. So, I thank these unattainable buggers for keeping me doing what I do.

  3. I’d rather be Malcolm than Bon Scott. 😉
    That said, I keep trying for the “unattainables” as well. In some cases, I’ve found myself perfectly content with alternate results – shots not *exactly* as envisioned but more than acceptable on their own. Most get filed under “Try Again”. As long as I have them, I never have “nothing to shoot”.

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