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:

Your guess is as good as mine.

What I don't like in the picture:

Sometimes, as I'm looking at images in my Lightroom Catalog, I like to play a game called "What was I thinking?" Seriously. I don't use this phrase for its joke effect, but rather to try to plumb my own memory. I must have seen something here, but now it entirely escapes me. So, literally, what was I thinking?

What I learned:

Looking at it now, there is something about this image and the empty space that seems to be intriguing. Choice? An exit into the light versus an exit into the dark? A bilateral symmetry that's not symmetrical?

2nd Chances: What I might try next

In working on this image for this post, I've had an odd thought that might be worth pursuing What about a small project to photograph empty space? Hmmmm. . .