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:

Do you remember that great advice from Sam Abel about finding a place/composition and then waiting for something to happen? Like the above.

What I don't like in the picture:

The one above is peopleless. Things are not nearly as interesting as people are.

What I learned:

Funny part about the one on the left is that the real reason it succeeds is something I completely missed. I was going for the dollars being offered up. But the humorous part is the first item of the things you can buy on the list at left . Ooooh, yum, Chapstick!

2nd Chances: What I might try next

I wish this image had her standing in first place and also that the image included the seller. Missed it.

I'm guessing one of this girl's parents works at the refinery. Or kids have a really different set of fashion attachments than I did.