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:

Same outdoor meat market in China as yesterday's post.

What I don't like in the picture:

We so easily become reliant on auto-focus that I'm surprised and shocked when if fails this badly.

What I learned:

Yet another reason to try several compositions with any subject that's worth photographing. I've previously mentioned that I like to shoot both a horizontal and a vertical so I have flexibility in editing and sequencing a project. With this subject, the vertical saved my bacon (yes, intended) because the horizontal was out of focus.

2nd Chances: What I might try next

I wonder if bar-b-que and soy sauces go good together?