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:

Continuing my search for more granite hills images from my two days in Vedauwoo.

What I don't like in the picture:

I continue to be amazed how much can be recovered from a horrible camera exposure. The above must be at least several stops under exposed.

What I learned:

Look how much detail was pulled from those shadows! Amazing. Then from Lightroom, I piped the image over to Photoshop for some layer work with Sky Replacement and a layer to preserve that flying crow.

2nd Chances: What I might try next

I now have 4-5 images from Vedauwoo. A couple more and it's a mini project.