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:

See that little bit of dark on the far left of the horizon? I thought that would be a great contrast to the golden field.

What I don't like in the picture:

Just not enough of the dark field. Not to worry, just drive a little farther.

What I learned:

Keep looking, keep gathering picture ideas, and keep driving. Amazing how many times luck will come your way when you keep working. Hey, that could be a good bumper sticker, "The harder I work, the luckier I get!" What, you say it's already been done? Damn.


BTW, did you see the comment about my "Rule of Threes" from a couple of days ago? Here is another example of that.