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:

From time to time I try to make a photograph based on a compositional line where the subject itself is almost immaterial. In the above, I just loved that fold in the land making this lovely diagonal.

What I don't like in the picture:

I'm on record saying there is no such thing as bad light. Perhaps I exaggerated. This is pretty yucky light.

What I learned:

Wait 2-minutes and 42-seconds. The light is always changing. Literally, 2:42 later (according to the EXIF data) I was able to make the one at left. A bonus when the edge of the cloud casts a parallel line that echoes the fold in the land. Ah, yes, lucky again.

2nd Chances: What I might try next

There is some separation in the colors that I might emphasize with the HSL sliders just to give it a bit more color punch.