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 saw the desert Southwest. I liked it.

What I don't like in the picture:

For reasons I now see are really suspect, I decided to start this trip using a 16:9 aspect ratio in my digital captures. Stoopid.

What I learned:

Once you throw away pixels, you can't get them back. I can always crop to 16:9, but it's simply idiotic to not capture all the pixels you can. In my case, that's 4:3 aspect ratio. Obviously, now that I have a bunch of 16:9 images from this trip, all I can do is to crop to 4:3 when I need that aspect ration. As I said, Stoopid.

2nd Chances: What I might try next

Maybe I should head back to Utah and do some more photography using the full pixel capture! Good idea, don't you think?