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:

Blackberry cane growing up a shed that is covered with shingles.

What I don't like in the picture:

Can't really see the leaves very weii!

What I learned:

It's not that the leaves aren't there, but by placing them so close to the edge and not flat to the wall, they get lost in the composition. The version at left is much better — not that it's a good photograph, but it is certainly better than the one above.

2nd Chances: What I might try next

This could be a candidate for a mixed b/w and color image. I could desaturate all the shingle colors and I think that might work even better.