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:

Don't ask me. I haven't a clue.

What I don't like in the picture:

So, here is the difficult question: Of all the things I walked past this day and didn't make a photograph, what could I have possibly seen here that motivated me to set up the tripod and carefully compose this shot? Certainly in that time, I should have come to my senses, but no.

What I learned:

Never waste your time with door 6. As everyone knows, the good door is door #7. ;— )

2nd Chances: What I might try next

Maybe if I had 15 photographs of doors all labeled "6" I could do something with them. Hmmm. . .