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:

Carl Chiarenza first introduced me to the idea that "pictures come from pictures" — which is the title of a terrific little book of his images. These two come directly from those I was discussing yesterday.

What I learned:

I good idea often spans years and even continents. The challenge is to keep pushing ourselves to explore with depth and not simply repeat ourselves.

2nd Chances: What I might try next

I think I need to try the one above as a b/w like the one at left.