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:

At about 6000 feet, everything looks great. Clouds, a little catch basin, and a judiciously posed rock.

What I don't like in the picture:

Too bad the photograph above just doesn't work. Boring. But then . . .

What I learned:

. . . my photo buddy Joe Lipka walked down to the edge of the water and created an very fun human to include in a large-scale panorama. You really need to see this one big, so click on the image at left and you'll see Joe down by the water with his tripod.

2nd Chances: What I might try next

I know this would make a very fun 5-foot print. At least it would for Joe.