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:

Outdoor street market in China — selling meat. Good thing it was a cold day.

What I don't like in the picture:

The two people are looking right at the meat and that eliminates the surprise that we get when we look at the image at left. We look at her, and then see the ox heads she is standing next to. I love that sense of surprise. She is so casual and that cartoon bunny on her garment is hilarious.

What I learned:

Keep shooting. A better opportunity/composition might be captured in the next frame.

2nd Chances: What I might try next

I haven't done any processing to this one. That's next.