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:

As long as I'm on the theme of Chinese roof tiles this week, why not one more?

What I don't like in the picture:

I'm not philisophically against cropping. Some photographers are, but not me. On the other hand, when I have to crop this much, I consider it a bit of a failure to do my job in the field. Why didn't I just zoom in a little more? No idea. Just blew it.

What I learned:

The one at left is okay, but in the back of my brain I will always know that I cropped it. Doesn't make a difference to a viewer, but I can't let go of the idea that I somehow failed on this one just a bit.

2nd Chances: What I might try next

Where is "J" and his flashy thing when I need him.