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:

Backlit weeds — one of my favorites.

What I don't like in the picture:

In the first attemt above, why did I leave so much of the dark background in the top? Why did I cut off that grass at the bottom. No answers from me! Just bad, bad, bad.

What I learned:

Film isn't cheap, but memory cards are. Keep shooting until you get it right. The one at left won't make it above the fireplace as as work of beauty, but I like it.

2nd Chances: What I might try next

I have so many backlit weeds, I really should think about making this a project.