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:

Love old boats. I get seasick just thinking about them, but I love photographing them.

What I don't like in the picture:

The problem with photographing boats is that they are all curved lines. I always find it difficult to fit all those curves into a quadrilateral frame. And then the seagulls fly into the field of view just as you click the shutter.

What I learned:

So get closer! Simple solution. You still know it's a boat, right? Do you need to see more to know it's a boat? In composition, eliminate the unneccesary. What' left will be stronger.

2nd Chances: What I might try next

B/W? Although I do like tha little spash of red in the lower right corner.