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:

Dappled sun on the trees.

What I don't like in the picture:

Of course, with clouds that make dappled sun, they constantly are moving and highlighting various areas of the composition. I like the one above; I like the one at left. Neither is what I would prefer.

What I learned:

But here is where the advantages of using a tripod really shine (no pun intended). Simply combining the two versions in Photoshop allow me to have my light and eat it to, so to speak. Below left is the combined image with a little post processing.

2nd Chances: What I might try next

Should I darken the corners just a bit? Perhaps.