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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This week is a special celebration of extreme failures that prove it can't always be fixed in post.

What I saw that I liked:

Colorful desert!

What I don't like in the picture:

Well, sort of, except that the colors are dull and the contrast destroyed because I didn't use a lens hood. That's okay because I can Dehaze and crank up the Vibrance.

What I learned:

Dehaze and Vibrance cannot solve a poorly seen and poorly executed composition. What I really want to know is how large were the birds who pooped all over this cliff?

2nd Chances: What I might try next

If it's not too much trouble for you, could you hand me that barf bag, please?