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:

I've played with this idea of the moon and a tree before. The one above was recent — May 2023. The better version at left was from 2018.

What I learned:

In general, I support the idea of going back and trying things again. Maybe I learned something in the meantime. Maybe there is a variation on the idea I want to pusy to the forefront and play with. In this case, however, the earlier version at left is way more intresting because of the birds. Nonetheless, I don't consider the above a waste of time. Who knows? Maybe I'll need a version with new spring foliage and no birds in a project I can't currently predict!