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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What I saw that I liked:

The wall behind in contrast to the bricks of the building the roof tiles, and the decorative tiles in front.

What I don't like in the picture:

The above is a little flat, wouldn't you agree? Cloudy skies and no sun.

What I learned:

But I could see that there was going to be a short break in the clouds, so I waited for a few minutes. I didn't anticipate the three trees out of frame to the left would cast shadows on the brick wall, but that added just a touch of life to the image. The little bit of sunlight also enlivened the roof tiles. Patience is a virtue.

2nd Chances: What I might try next

I wonder if I could do some clever dodging and bring light (well, fake light) onto those white decorative tiles on the front of the building.