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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What I saw that I liked:

A subject? Well, perhaps. Possibly. Why not?

What I don't like in the picture:

The above demonstrates a poor technique on my part that happens alot. Poor hand holding technique so that when I press the shutter, the camera moves and misaligns the image. In this case, too much on the bottom and to pinched at the top.

What I learned:

If you were to look through my Lightroom catalog, you would see this mistake over and over. I should learn a more stable holding technique. I should. But what I actually do is make a second shot (or third, or fouth) to get it right. Monopods help. Tripods solve the problem. But as I've started shooting more and more handheld these last few years, this issue has become more and more common. Oh, well. As long as I get the shot I want, I suppose I'm happy in the end.

2nd Chances: What I might try next

How hard would it be to train myself to hold the camera with rigid steadiness?