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:

Scary gulag cell.

What I don't like in the picture:

In the first one above, the light in the window feels hopeful. I wanted it to feel out of reach.

What I learned:

I also think the one at right feel more first person experiential because of that patch of light at our feet right at the bottom. It makes the window light seem farther away.

2nd Chances: What I might try next

I have no idea what prompted me to make this photograph. Not easy to explore the dark side within us, but according to Jung, it's essential. Maybe I should read a bit of Jung to see where it takes me with these images.