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:

Another example of photo fiction. As you can see in the example above, I'd simply pulled off the side of the road at a vantage point to see this cliff. Shot at 12mm. In the "art" image at left, the only difference is that it was shot at 30mm to eliminate the car and road from the composition.

What I don't like in the picture:

Which image is the truth and which is a fiction?

What I learned:

Truth and fiction are a matter of intent, not content.

2nd Chances: What I might try next

Philosophical discussions like this are interesting, for a short while. Then I just want to get back to making pictures.