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:

I have a great story about a lost baseball that would work great as a "One-picture Story" for Kokoro.

What I don't like in the picture:

This photograph sucks.

What I learned:

Image and text combinations are very fertile ground for creative expressions. That said however, if the image is lousy or the text is drivle, the combination has no chance of success. Both elements need to be able to stand on their own successfully in order for the whole to be greater than the sum of the parts.

2nd Chances: What I might try next

I wish I would have had the presense of mind to pick up this lost baseball and bring it home. I would have stood a better chance of making an interesting photograph for my lost baseball story by having it here to construct a still life, rather than snap a crummy image where I found it. Oh well, live and learn.