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:

Beautiful native costumes in Inner-Mongolia

What I don't like in the picture:

I think I had the right idea with a low angle but I missed it in terms of the X-axis. If I had moved a few feet to my right, I could have included all the models and excluded the distracting chairs in the background.

What I learned:

Al DaValle had the right idea (left). And a little more boldness than I had. He didn't hesitate to plop onto the ground to get a better angle. As Goethe said, "Boldness has genius in it."

2nd Chances: What I might try next

I wonder if I could use Photoshop to create a natural looking blurred background and thereby isolate that gorgeous red dress?