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:


What I don't like in the picture:

We've all got to know our limitations. I am as bad a wildlife photographer as I've ever seen. Really, does it get any worst that baby buffalo butts?

What I learned:

Just buy the Art Wolfe books. We don't have to be good at everything in photography to be a photographer. I promise, I'll never make another buffalo shot in my life. Ever.

2nd Chances: What I might try next

Sure am glad my kids are too old for the zoo. However, my grandkids . . .