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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What I saw that I liked:

I was honored to be asked to select the chicken we would eat for lunch. Thought I should at least photograph it before its sad demise.

What I don't like in the picture:

I've thought long and hard about this and decided that the world did not need another photograph of a chicken's butt. Do I get any credit, at least, for the twofer?

What I learned:

After lunch (it was tasty, I must admit), I continued on the chicken theme. Perhaps I shouldn't have. There are some subjects that just don't work very well as "grab shots" and animals are in that group. I would need to make a lot more chicken images to produce one I think would really be worthy of sharing. Assuming that is possible.

2nd Chances: What I might try next

Longer lens and get in on the feathers?