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:

I love photographing these semi-abstract scenes that have lots of detail and texture. They are sensual.

What I don't like in the picture:

I wish I had taken more time to work on a composition or two. I didn't. I just sort of snapped the image above as I walked by without giving it more thought.

What I learned:

I know I could have done a better job with this subject if I'd given it some effort, but because all I have is the exposure above, I did the best I could with a little cropping and processing to bring out the textures. Better than nothing, but I know I could have done better.

2nd Chances: What I might try next

Is the green in the lower left quadrant distracting?