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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2nd Time Around Week

What I saw that I liked:

Fireworks over the bay — and a boat.

What I don't like in the picture:

I don't like that moon in the upper left. But eventually, I realized that the moon was much more interesting than the boat. By insisting on the fireworks/boat combo, I was over-thinking it completely.

What I learned:

Probably a good idea to have a plan, but an even better idea to toss out the plan when a better idea presents itself.

I let go of the boat and went for the moon. Much better idea. And besides, that also got me to see the reflections in the bay. Much, much better.

2nd Chances: What I might try next

I have lots of these. I don't need lots of these. This is an example of the necessity to select just the best one and then run with it.