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:

Diagonals. Stark contrast. Just a hint of yellow leaves. (This must be yellow leaf week.)

What I don't like in the picture:

I really thought I would like the original above. It was exactly what I was wanting when I took the picture in the field, but now that I've been back and looking at these for a while, I really prefer the one at the left with a little more color in the background. Go figure.

What I learned:

You can't always get what you want, but you might get what you really wanted and just didn't know you did. (Apologies to the Rolling Stones.)

2nd Chances: What I might try next

I wonder if I should desaturate that blue in the background just a bit?