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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and to see its histogram

What I saw that I liked:

Green, green, and more green.

What I don't like in the picture:

It's amazing how much yellow is in the green of the world. Click on the larger image above to see the histogram on the unedited version of this image. Look at all that yellow!

What I learned:

To make a truer eyeball green, it's necessary to take out a bit of the yellow the camera sees. I do this with the HSL slider to change the yellow hues into green. It takes a delicate touch and it is easy to go too far. But if your intent is to say GREEN, a bit of that yellow has got to go.

2nd Chances: What I might try next

Maybe bring the shadows up a bit?