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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What I saw that I liked:

Some fun architecture of small town America in Miami, Arizona.

What I don't like in the picture:

That modern "Antiques" sign that buggers up the photograph. You don't suppose I can eliminate that distraction with some detailed cloning in Photoshop?

What I learned:

Yup, it's possible. Took about an hour of work, but you'd never know it looking at the version at left. Funny part about it is that I've still never used this image anywhere.

2nd Chances: What I might try next

Should I clone out the stop sign in the lower right? Easy to do against that dark shadow.