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:

Another example of the landscape/sky issue I was examining yesterday.

What I don't like in the picture:

The mountain in the background is shrouded in haze and some smoke from nearby fires.

What I learned:

Dehaze, contrast, and brightening the whites makes a much better composition. I find extreme Dehaze tends to make some ugly colors. Hence, I converted my approach to this image to b/w.

2nd Chances: What I might try next

I could make that small house in the foreground white. That might help a lot.