When outside the window, the wind works in concert with a mix of snow and rain, and I am effectively convinced that leaving home will be uninteresting and unpleasant (and, in addition, could also act counterproductively on the lifespan of my camera), I start to remember all the great photos I never took. I’m not thinking, of course, about places I didn’t go or scenes I didn’t manage to capture on the street – that would be too simple and easy to justify. I’m thinking about situations when fear, or carelessness, or simple laziness made me leave the camera in my bag:
It was 1999, or maybe 2000? It wasn’t really one of the best parties I’ve ever been to, since at 3 am a friend and I were meandering through the streets of Warsaw without the slightest idea of how to continue the party. One thing led to another and we decided to go into a big red tent standing between the Warsaw-Center railway station and the Centrum metro station, which at that time served as an all-night bar. A bare bulb hanging from the ceiling, and clients whose faces showed signs of serious life experiences, gave it an incredible atmosphere. Some had fallen asleep with their heads resting on their arms, paying no attention at all to the fantastic scene playing out in the center of the room, where a slightly corpulent woman danced with a man in a wheelchair. I looked around slowly, considering what would happen if I pulled out my camera. The single bulb gave decidedly too little light to hope that the picture would come out right.
“Use the flash?” I thought. “No, probably not the best idea.”
“Use the flash and get the hell out?” I fought with my thoughts.
It was the voice of my friend, who had gotten himself into a fight by the bar, that terminated my photographic plans. We left, accompanied by melodious curses. Since I didn’t take a photo I don’t remember anymore how much of that was true and how much of it was fabricated by my mind.
The second situation happened in 2005. I drove out to the dam outside of Warsaw. On the river, just above a small dam, bobbed a man fishing in a boat. I took out my large format, set up my tripod, set the focus, put in the cartridge and took a picture that I already knew would be totally uninteresting. (Anyone want to see it? I can scan it upon request.) I stayed by the bank for a while longer, packed my things into my trunk and turned on the engine.
On the way back, driving across a bridge, I looked at the river and saw a fantastic shot, ideal even. A solitary boat above the dam, bathed in beautiful sunlight shining through the clouds.
“Ah, I can’t stop on the bridge,” I thought, trying as before to figure it out. “I’ll park just after it and come back on foot.”
“Shit. Nowhere to park.”
“I’ll turn around and park on the other side.”
“It’s not worth it, the sun is probably already behind the clouds.” I hesitated for the next three miles. In the end I gave up... And one more – I regret that I decided not to photograph the illegal sale of vodka on the black market at 10-Anniversary Stadium in Warsaw.

PS. Unfortunately, for obvious reasons I don’t have any photos to illustrate the subject.