This morning, I skipped my B&B’s amazing breakfast for an early dawn shoot on the Jurassic Coast. I drove and walked about an hour to get set up for a composition I picked out yesterday, and waited.
A few minutes before sunrise, I realized I wouldn’t care for the lighting that much. It was nice, but not that nice: the sky was too clear, and the pinks on the horizon were subdued. So I walked back to my car and just strolled down the beautiful pebble beach at Lulworth Cove.
I didn’t take my camera out of the bag once all morning.
A year ago, I would have beat myself up and felt lousy all morning for dedicating effort to a dawn shoot and bringing back zero shots. But this morning, I actually really enjoyed myself: I felt content and peaceful as I soaked in the sunrise and listened to the waves.
The difference between this year and the last is understanding the Sunk Cost Fallacy: when time, money or effort is irrevocably spent, it should have no bearing on our next decision. So what if I gave up breakfast and a few hours to get here? I can’t get them back, but I can stop sinking more time and effort into it by moving on.
Which brings the most value right now: continuing to shoot subpar photos because of the things I gave up to get here, or enjoying a walk on a pebble beach?
I hope it’s a sign I’m maturing as a landscape photographer: that knowing when to quit and being able to enjoy the rest of the day means I no longer feel that a successful image is determined by a roll of the die.
What past investments have locked you into a mediocre path at the expense of a better avenue? Every minute is a clean slate, so what will you stop sinking your time, money and effort into?
Subscribe to Yellowscale
Sign up for minimalist travel tips and off-the-beaten-path locations.