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:

A wind-blown sage brush with a mimicking cloud behind it.

What I don't like in the picture:

I confess that I was so captivated by the cloud and the sage that I completely missed the inconveniently places windmills on the left horizon.

What I learned:

Lemon-aide does come from lemons. I cropped the above to a more squarish frame and rotated just a bit. I like the salvaged composition much better than the original capture. Too bad I didn't see the image at left when I was composing the shot so I could take credit for it.

2nd Chances: What I might try next

Is the blue too intense? I haven't adjusted it in processing at all, but it sure looks like I have.