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 spotted those yellow leaves in the upper left an immediately thought I could make this into a b/w image.

What I don't like in the picture:

The image at left is the best I was able to do as a b/w image.

What I learned:

B/W conversions are trickier than you might guess. I thought I knew what this was boing to look like in the finished image, but I was wrong. My assumption was that I could increase the separation between the yellow and green object. The problem is that a lot of green in nature have a lot of yellow in them. Lesson learned and now I always assume there will be a large yellow component in any green organics.