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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2nd Time Around Week

What I saw that I liked:

Really fancy Bibles

What I don't like in the picture:

The one above was my first attempt in 2003. I was so enamored with the textured cover, that I cropped so close as to lose the perspective that this is a book.

What I learned:

In 2022, I had another opportunity with the Bible at left. Remembering my failure in the image above, I shot this at an angle so the pages and the "bookness" became visible. It's still not right. Now I'm stumped.

2nd Chances: What I might try next

Crop in a bit and make this a square frame?