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:

Strange statue in a Chinese park.

What I don't like in the picture:

I think this laughing boy is supposed to be amused by the reflection of himself in the chrome pillar he is standing on. I think. The picture above is a quick snapshot of this strange statue.

What I really don't like in the picture:

So, I moved underneath him and aimed my camera up at his head. Now he looks like a bloodied, ravenous, maniacal monster with dark blood on his teeth and running down his chin. Yikes. Hope I haven't disturbed your sleep tonight.

2nd Chances: What I might try next

Forget I ever took this one and move on.