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:

White aspens are so much fun to photograph!

What I don't like in the picture:

In the composition above, I remembered that old maxim about odd numbers in compositions. I tried to make the three trunks work as the driving force of the composition. It's okay, but not great.

What I learned:

The larger view with the chaos of white branches that you can see in the image at left is much more interesting to me. I think this has to do with the light and the whiteness of the trees. The composition is chaotic, but the trees seem to glow more — and I like that a lot.

2nd Chances: What I might try next

I haven't printed either of these, but I'm anxious to do so.