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.

Click on the image to see it larger

Previous image  |  Next image

Original digital capture

Click on the image to see it larger

What I saw that I liked:

You will need to see the above image larger (click on it) to see the spider web. Yes, I photographed a spider web.

What I don't like in the picture:

I honestly wanted this to be about the spider web, but in the first attempt the weed stalk is too dominant.

What I learned:

There will never come a time when my friend Joe Lipka stops chiding me for making photographs of spider webs. Never.

2nd Chances: What I might try next

Again thinking of Edward Weston, I have no doubt this would be an acceptable spider web if there were a nude in it somewhere. Otherwise, it's just another stupid spider web picture.