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:

Funky broom in China.

What I don't like in the picture:

In photography, almost always less is more — which I clearly forgot when I chose to include the brick wall in this composition. Did I really do that consciously? I'm so glad I can't remember, so I'll pretend that it was an accident and just crop like I intended it. Yeah, that's what I'll do.

What I learned:

Even mundane subjects have some potential. This image (at left) was included in a Kokoro project titled, Life with Broom. One of my favorites.

2nd Chances: What I might try next

I do wish there was just a bit more room at the bottom. Content-aware addition to the canvass just a bit?