The best photograph I've ever made is the first photograph I took as an art student. At the time, I didn't know it was a good photograph.

Sometimes I plan a photograph for a long time just to discover that the only image that interests me from that roll of film is the one I took at the end in order to finish the roll.

I take a picture and a second after I push the shutter and the image is captured, a helicopter enters the frame and creates the best photograph that I have ever made. By the time I advance the film the helicopter is already gone and it remains the best frame I never photographed, the greatest pain I have felt from photography.

Photography is destined for failure. Its successes are miracles, but they too are the result of failures. And here, photography teaches us something that is not inconsequential. Failure is not necessarily negative. Failure can be the best thing that happens in one's life, and sometimes it is the failure in a photograph that makes it great.

Life, it seems, brings itself in fits and starts. Such is life, at least from what I have been able to understand from the past three decades. There are dark times and there are radiant times.

It's not surprising that at a time when life brought me some challenges, photography was quick to follow.

Failure after failure came out of my camera. And why, I asked myself, why it is that even photography is letting me down? Why can't I gain control, even over my own photographs?

One day I sat down and wrote about the way I make photographs. I wrote about the different states that I attempt to convey through my works, about the personal and the political, the internal and the external, the craziness and the routine.

I read what I had written and I understood that in the last line, when I attempted to explain the problems inherent in the photographs to the world and mainly to myself, I had written the thing itself.

All the photographs exist at various stages of failure.