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:

Light leaves against dark tree trunck

What I don't like in the picture:

Close, but needs a small tweak.

What I learned:

Don't you just love it when they come out of the camera and are just perfect — or almost perfect. This one (above) just needed a couple of small tweaks. I darkened the leaves on the left side and shifted the white balance a touch toward green and away from yellow. Sweet! About 30 seconds and I was done. Happens pretty rarely in my life, but I'll take it when it does.

2nd Chances: What I might try next

OK for a "straight print," but what could I do that's more imaginitive? Hm....