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:

Odd, blobby clouds.

What I don't like in the picture:

For reasons that now seem quite questionable, I thought this spectacular sky needed that barn in the bottom to provide a sense of scale. Guess not.

What I learned:

Not a bad idea to concentrate the picture on the objects that captured your interest in the first place. Trust you first reactions and make that picture. You can always continue to work the scene with additional varieties of composition.

2nd Chances: What I might try next

I have a feeling this could be a great b/w image, too. I need to try that.