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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What I saw that I liked:

As long as I'm on a yellow leaves kick, here is one that had layers I liked.

What I don't like in the picture:

Yes, that is the rear view mirror of the car in the lower right corner. Busted.

What I learned:

I moved the car forward and recomposed, but even that fails. All I can see is the green moss and broken branches on the trees above the fall leaves.

2nd Chances: What I might try next

What if I were to desaturate the green from those trunks? Nope, still wouldn't resolve the ugly broken branches. Clone them out? And the blue sky, too?

At some point, you just have to give up on a lost cause.