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:

A detail in an abandoned building that isn't just the architecture of the place.

What I don't like in the picture:

Even I don't like looking at this grotesque subject.

What I learned:

I spent the better part of three days photographing in this building. The day after I photographed the pigeon skeleton, I found this abandoned shoe. Same basic idea, but a more human, more viewable metaphor than the carcass one above.

2nd Chances: What I might try next

This project just screams out to be a reduced color palette. I really need to try that.