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:

Can't drive past a wall of rocks. Just can't do it.

What I don't like in the picture:

This is a straight shot. Point and shoot. Doesn't get any easier.

What I learned:

Except . . . for that cluster of green grass at the bottom edge near the center. That's the only green thing in the composition and to my eye is distracting. A quick color shift of green to yellow and it disappears. Whew!

2nd Chances: What I might try next

Isn't it fascinating how this almost looks like a stack of cord wood?