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.

Click on the image to see it larger

Previous image  |  Next image

Original digital capture

Click on the image to see it larger

What I saw that I liked:

Fall leaves at Entuin Temple in Matsushima, Japan.

What I don't like in the picture:

A shallow depth of field resulted in the green bushes at the bottom corners being out of focus.

What I learned:

Panorama to the rescue! Which truth be told, turns out to be a stronger composition anyway. I have a surprising number of images that have been improved by this simple cropping trick. Panorama images need not always be conceived and photographed as a panorama. Maybe these can be thought of a "processed panoramas."

2nd Chances: What I might try next

This particular temple was an explosion of color the day I was there. I need to look for other panorama possibilities in the image capture from there.