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:

At the Stonehenge replica on the Columbia river. Sort of Druid meets Japanese sekihi.

What I don't like in the picture:

The top half of the stone above the horizon line is darker than the lower part. Makes it look like I burned in the sky and the stone got darker, too.

What I learned:

Well, I actually didn't. I'm still trying to figure out why that top section looks darker. I was able to lighten it easily enough. Better, but I'm not thrilled with the image. Sometimes I guess we just have to accept okay as good as it's going to get.

2nd Chances: What I might try next

I like this alternative even better. Clouds are in a better location in relation to the stone.