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:

It's primarily the shape of that compositional line that attracted me. From top right, to middle left, then racing back to bottom right. Sweet.

What I don't like in the picture:

In the above, all the surfaces are the same.

What I learned:

Keeping that basic shape in mind, I found another opportunity just down the road a bit that also added a tree into the mix. The rock face in the lower left is far more interesting and textured than the same space in the above example.

2nd Chances: What I might try next

Based on that rock face, I think I'd like to take a look at this as a b/w image.