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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Water Week

I was once advised that there are limitless opportunities for photography at the water's edge. I believe this is true.

Observation #3:

Water is colorless, but it can manifest a whiteness that is an unparalleled purity.

What I learned:

Catching water being white is trickier than it seems. A tad underexposed and it looks gray; a smidge over exposed and it loses detail. Finding the perfect exposure is difficult and most often a series of bracketed exposures is the surest way of getting usable results.