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:

Crashing waves simply cannot be — well, "Resistance is futile."

What I don't like in the picture:

  1. Tilted horizon
  2. Hazy rocks
  3. Blown out hightlights
  4. Lower left distractions
  5. Crashing wave is not crashing enough.

Story of my coastal life in photography.

What I learned:

So even after I did my best to correct all the things I could in processing, it still is sort of meh. Looks like a haystack in the surf.

2nd Chances: What I might try next

I wonder if I could do better now that I own a longer telephoto lense. Zoom in and really concentrate on the spraying water droplet. Hmmm. . . time for a trip to the Oregon coast.