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:

I love photographing the repeating patterns of nature.

What I don't like in the picture:

But it is, after all, nature and growing wild. In every pattern there are non-pattern elements that are distractions.

What I learned:

Clone tool to the rescue! Several misplace twigs and competing plants were cloned out of the above. A careful comparison of the two and you can probably spot them. I also took out a bit of the yellow to "green it up a bit."

2nd Chances: What I might try next

I have so many of these types of shots, I wonder if I could put together a small project "Patterns of Nature"? I'll bet I could.