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:

I must love this idea of the curving road because I have quite a few images like this one.

What I don't like in the picture:

The one above may be the worst of the lot. I assume you agree. Out of focus, poorly lit, top half of the image just awful.

What I learned:

The one at left is the same road, just a different spot around the corner. Still not great, and they don't give prizes for "better." File this one away as "not even close and certainly no cigar."

2nd Chances: What I might try next

BTW, another of the attempts from the Mt. Baldy burn area. Damn this is a difficult place to succeed in. Well, for me it is, anyway. But I just love the location!