When I first saw the scan of this photograph, I didn’t like it.
The focus wasn’t sharp. The lab scanner was dirty and there were spots all over the image. It didn’t seem like a good photograph technically.
Still, I didn’t delete it.
After working through a bunch of other photographs from the same batch of negatives I came back around to this one. This time the errors, the noise, the lack of clarity spoke to me in a new way. It didn’t have to be perfect to be artful, didn’t have to be precise to be pleasing. In the end I cropped the photo (originally it was a 35mm negative, not a square) and just left it.
I didn’t try to take out all the noise. It was ok to be imperfect, to be a little fuzzy around the edges.
That’s a lesson we can all take to heart right now. With the stress of elections, pandemics and economics bearing down on us it’s critical we given ourselves the chance to be pleasing without the need to be perfect.
Right now, it’s ok to be a little blurry.