Tuesday, February 24, 2009

What makes a good photo, good?

Thought/Question:

I have been spending a lot of my time looking through photographs lately - other peoples' and my own.

Here's the thought I keep having. Is a picture really a good picture just because the model is pretty? Is that really interesting enough to equate to quality?

Is a picture a good picture just because you happened to capture someone else performing something they are good at? Is that a picture of a talented individual or is that a great photo?

I know that there is a distinct need for pictures of models AND that photo journalism is a skill as well.

I'm posing the question in general.

What makes a photo good to you?

4 comments:

cdefrank said...

Vignettes are what make good photographs. ;)

I think there is a way to test if you have a good photo or not and it has to do with your gut reaction when you see a photo. You see it and you think "WOW!" immediately. You don't need to explore it or even find out about it. You are just drawn to it for some reason. It can be a photo of anything, it can be something as simple and ordinary as a tea cup. But it's how the photographer chose to photograph that tea cup that gives it life and makes it good.

I don't think everyone will have to same reaction to every photo. And the most frustrating thing is most of the time you will never experience that wow reaction to your own photo. You're too close to it.

In my opinion, that photo you took of the man on the street, holding a sign...that picture was WOW! to me.

Lindy Loo said...

I say no to your first batch of questions. I mean, a monkey could snap a picture of a pretty model or someone doing something they're good at. All you need is a finger and a camera.

What makes a person a "photographer" and not just a "taker of pictures" is an eye to HOW they're taking them, the framing, the nuances, the composition etc etc.

Or at least that's what I'd like to think. =)

Catherine Widemire Photography said...

Hey Jamie... I had to get my two-cents in ;)

Great post idea btw.

Ok, so what makes a good photo, good?... In the case of portrait work, like I do, I feel it's all in that very moment I SEE the moment unfolding. It's capturing the story of a person or people in imagery. Understanding the technical and artistry of a camera and processing helps - but you better have that shot right, right out of the camera. You better be able to FEEL the moment otherwise, scrap it.

I agree with cdefrank about the WOW factor too. That's the great part about photography as an art - each person can be moved or motivated by a single piece. I have had that feeling with many images I have seen by other photographers. I love that! It's a great feeling, as a photographer, when you realize how an image affected a person... when you know they felt that WOW.

The moral of the story...

When you look at an image and it moves you... When it makes you stop and gasp, cry, laugh or simply ponder. THAT's what makes a GREAT photograph.

Queen Mama Mia said...

I think whatever takes your breath away would be a great photo. Your instinct and feeling about a subject and whatever "floats your boat!" True, every person will have their own perception. Keep up the good work J.