It is amazing to me just how far one can come in a short while. I’ve been preparing for my first big hearing at the firm since Monday, and the fact that I am calm and confident this morning is a far cry from the panic I used to feel what I had to go before a judge and argue my client’s case. The last time I argued a motion for summary judgment, I was at a different firm and certainly in a different place. I was sweating profusely, my hands were shaking, and I was completely overwhelmed.
This photograph was taken in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. I do not know the man who gives his silhouette to the scene, but I purposely framed the shots so that he was nearly out of the photograph. It wasn’t that he was walking quickly; instead, he was walking with purpose. These days I feel like I am walking with a purpose, because my life has purpose. My kids, my wife, my job, my writing—all these things give my life meaning.
Still, there is a little voice inside me, faint and almost unrecognizable, which used to scream “You’re going to fail.” And I did fail. I failed because this voice overcame me and drowned out my confidence, my self-worth, and my abilities to function. Nowadays, I can rarely hear this voice unless I let myself listen for it. When that happens, I distract myself with writing or tending to my plants in my office (which the other associates have lovingly dubbed the “Grove”). I will not let this terror control me any longer. That part of my life is over, never to be revisited again. I am thankful that, like the silhouette in the picture, I am passing through with a purpose.
There is something that intrigues me about panoramas. Ever since I took my first successful one in England years ago, I find myself drawn to them. Landscapes and nature are my natural tendencies of photographic subjects, but the vastness of them speaks to me, and I always have the urge to zoom out as far as I can, and when that doesn’t work to capture the scene entirely, I lean on panoramas.
This particular panorama captures the “point” in Point Lobos nature reserve in Carmel, California. As you can see from the left of the picture, the morning layer had not yet burnt off when we went for this hike. It adds an eerie, almost ethereal feeling to the photograph that simply can’t be manufactured. The pictures are muted, and perhaps I could’ve done a bit more in post-processing to bring out the vibrancy of the colors. Nonetheless, the colors are muted as the morning was by the marine layer. It is a natural touch, and one which I’m happy with.
I often joke that I’m a good photographer, but a great editor. This is one of those rare photographs where I have done very little to touch it up, instead using Lightroom simply to stitch the pictures together to create the panorama. I always enjoy the photos that I take, which I don’t have to edit. They seem in many ways more pure to me, although at the end of the day, all that anyone sees is the finished product and not the raw material. Nevertheless, I know what has gone into the editing process. I always feel more like a successful photographer and not a successful editor when I am able to capture a scene in the camera rather than on the computer.