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:

I can't say the above is a great picture, but it's certainly ok. I can't say the one at left is a great picture, but it's ok. Hmmmm....

What I don't like in the picture:

The above is context; the left image is the detail of interest. Either by themselves is incomplete.

What I learned:

This is a good example of a small, multi-image project that requires more than one image to really tell the story. In fact, this could require half a dozen or more images of details to complete what the above image sets in motion. In fact, I have 9 images from this one room that tell a story. Grid, anyone?

2nd Chances: What I might try next

I could also see this as a chapbook with 8 or so images.