First of all, let me apologize for that title.  I sat here thinking for a good 20 minutes of something better, less cheesy, and sans the obvious pun – finally I decided it truly wasn’t worth my time.  Deal with it folks!

Last Thursday was the Chinese Lantern Festival.  In the past, the Lantern festival has been my favorite of the many festivals here in China.  I remember my past outings being a cultural and photographic field day – 6 different minorities flooding the streets happyily with paper lanterns in hand.  I was excited to get to cover it again and had a shot list in mind that I was hoping to walk away with.

Long story short, none of it really happened. None of the shots I wanted panned out – not even close.  There were hardly any lanterns this year, which was disapointing for a festival that goes by this name.  Furthermore, I had a huge finger print on one of my lenses like 15 minutes after cleaning them all that I didn’t notice.  I knew well before going home that I most likely wasn’t going to be happy with my images, which certainly was the case.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m intrigued by a few shots but out of the 500+ frames I shot very few would be described with the word ‘like’.

None of the expectations were met – at all.

Nonetheless, I tried to roll with the punches and have a good time, which seems kinda hard for us photographers.  The shots aren’t going to show up in any books by any stretch of the imagination and I probably won’t spend much more time sorting through the images.  It is what it is.  All that to say, if it all goes to pot and none of your expectations are being met try to just enjoy yourself as a human being.  Sometimes, probably most of the time, things don’t go our way.  It’s ok when everything falls through and I’d be willing to bet that once the dust settles that there are more good shots in the bunch than you expected.  Beyond that, I enjoyed capturing the culture of this festival at face value – it really is a fun festival despite the photographer in me trying to ruin it.

It’s always a hard lesson for me to remember to enjoy myself despite all of it.