Brooks Jensen Arts

Every Picture Is a Compromise

Lessons from the Also-rans

Most photography websites show the photographer's very best work. Wonderful. But that's not the full story of a creative life. If we want to learn, we'd better pay attention to the images that aren't "greatest hits" and see what lessons they have to offer. Every picture is a compromise — the sum of its parts, optical, technical, visual, emotional, and even cosmic – well, maybe not cosmic, but sometimes spiritual. Success on all fronts is rare. It's ok to learn from those that are not our best.

This is a series about my also-rans, some of which I've been able to improve at bit (i.e., "best effort"), none of which I would consider my best. With each there are lessons worth sharing, so I will.

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Original digital capture

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What I saw that I liked:

Yellow leaves. And more yellow leaves.

What I don't like in the picture:

The five powerlines running through the top of the image. And the stick in the lower right corner. And the bush in the lower left corner. And the . . . yikes.

What I learned:

What you photograph is important. What you photograph it against as a background is also important. Like I didn't know that already. Bonehead mistake for sure.

2nd Chances: What I might try next

The one at the left is what happens when you pay attention to the entire surface of the two dimensional image. Love this one and it made it into two projects already. Photographed the morning after the disaster above.