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:

That line of wrenches are just great. Click!

What I don't like in the picture:

The window reflections, the crap on the left side, the window in the background (lower left), and the missed opportunity to . . .

What I learned:

. . . listen to the creative muse whispering to me to move to the inside of the building and turn this into a silhouette. Fortunately, the muse got through to me before I left, hence the image at left which I really like. I especially like that shaft of light illuminating the window sill in the lower left corner. Sweet.

2nd Chances: What I might try next

I have some other images like this — looking out of dirty windows and using things inside to frame the image. I wonder if I have enough to do something with? Time to go on a hunt through the Lightroom catalog.