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.

Click on the image to see it larger

Previous image  |  Next image

Original digital capture

Click on the image to see it larger

What I saw that I liked:

Snow fence and shadow near Laramie, Wyoming

What I don't like in the picture:

This was one of the picture ideas I had in mind long before I visited Wyoming. I just knew it would be a winner. I was wrong.

What I learned:

This image of a snow fence at left says a lot more with the white sunlight on the weathered wood than the dark shadows on the grass in the above. Plus, the storm clouds add an ominousness to the image at left.

2nd Chances: What I might try next

Do I need to brighten the clouds just a tad?