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:

Same location as yesterday's image, but without the moon.

What I don't like in the picture:

The pokies in the lower right have to go, but the real problem with the above is that a few of the pine needles are touching or cut off on the edges. Feels like sloppy framing — because it was sloppy framing.

What I learned:

When edges are super critical like in this image, I always chimp to see if I might have moved the camera/composition in the process of pressing the shutter release. I had, so I made another with the same issue. Finally on the third time I got one right.

2nd Chances: What I might try next

Unlike yesterday's image, this was shot at f/3.2 and there are no small aperture dust spots. Whew!