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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Extreme Salvage Week

Images where something was made from practically nothing.

I received a couple of emails asking if I could do more of the massive conversions I illustrated in this post. Sounds fun, so that's what I'm doing this week.

What I saw that I liked:

I'd never been to the Grand Canyon. On this first visit, the Canyon was filled with smoke from nearby fires. Pretty yucky air for photography.

What I don't like in the picture:

Not an ideal day. I shot anyway, thinking I might experiment with the De-haze slider in Lightroom.

What I learned:

I was shocked that I could make the image at left from the capture above. If you are a member of LensWork Online, I discuss this project and the processing I used in this episode of Backstories. If you are not a member of LensWork Online, here is a freebie.