Yes...March is the third month on our modern calendar. However, history shows that the Romans marked March as thebeginning of their new year. Rather than numbering each day sequentially, they recognized three segments of each month by moon phases; the Nones (half moon, first week), the Ides (full moon, mid month), and the Kalends (new moon, first day of the following month).
More notoriously known for Julius Caesar's assassination (44BC), the Ides of March traditionally marked the first full moon of each new Roman year. Between March 1st (their new year's day) and the Ides, Roman citizens would fill their time with religious observances and new-year celebrations.
So how can the ancient tradition of the Ides of March influence our photography?
When facing a moment we'd otherwise deem a failure or creative impasse, don't be so quick to judge or squelch potential with "Et tu, Brute?" notions or play the blame game. Instead, approach this bonafide learning opportunity with the traditional Roman spirit of new beginnings, no toga necessary. Allow your inner artist to reach beyond the confines of thedifficulty and problem solve at new elevations.
Here are some examples where would-be failures transformed into personal triumphs by not giving up.
After viewing the RAW file, I was quick to toss this shot (on the right). Chockfull of obvious issues that I didn't see while shooting in a darkened room—debris, exposed windows, light leaks, plywood, just to name a few—I deemed it an epic failure, and into the garbage it went!
But, wait! Something in it spoke to me...potential. A stay of execution! I retrieved it from the trash and began powering through some post-processing calisthenics and performing some magic I didn't know I possessed. Slowly, it morphed into the image of which I dreamed—conveying that spiritual portal through which life passes into death.
Learning new tricks and realizing my potential to save such a problematic shot was an empowering experience. This image is still a personal favorite today...and a gentle reminder of my triumph!
Lesson: Don't abandon your work too quickly.
This character strutted the boards with such force but the bald sky (right) didn't help convey his strong presence. I knew that something spectacular lurked inside this shot, it just needed to be unleashed. If only the clouds had cooperated! Better yet, what if the background was more befitting?!
I went to work searching the net for a locale in which my character would feel at home. Some digital artists post their work to be used by others, license free, without restriction, no credit necessary. I chose carefully.
With some PS magic, my shot of Karl Ruprecht Kroenen, a character from the movie Hellboy, found a more suitable environment. But, could it be a little dark for the general public? For a composite of humorous juxtapose, I also created The Poppy Field (below). I adore them both!
Lesson: Inside each image awaits a story to be unleashed