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:

The chaos of life.

What I don't like in the picture:

Too much chaos of life.

What I learned:

The trick with these kinds of images is to simplify the chaos so it is just a bit more orderly, but not too orderly. For example, in music, we don't always want 4/4 time with a regular beat. A little syncopation here and there gives it life. Too much cacophany, however, just ends up hurting our ears.

2nd Chances: What I might try next

I tried to simplify the image by doing the mixed color thing here, but there is just too much chaos in the greenery. "L" for loser.