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:

The dark water intrigued me.

What I don't like in the picture:

I didn't push it enough. The water needs to be darker; the white water need to be emotive.

What I learned:

Out of the dozen or so exposures I made at this location, the one at the left is the most successful because the white water appears to be trying to go upstream. Then again, maybe that's just me being anthropomorphic.

2nd Chances: What I might try next

Even more contrast? Maybe. . .