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Hambone Lewinski 4:04pm, 30 January 2008
This promises to be an awesome flamewar.

Is it technique? Subject? Composition? Gear? I have seen many photographs on flickr that are made on the finest gear, follow all the rules of composition and are vivid but dreadfully boring. Likewise, I've seen flash-blown point and shoot shots that are fascinating photos.

So, what is the magical property that makes a photo good?

Jason

EDIT: Note, I intentionally and shamelessly made this topic very broad.
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HBRstudios Posted 11 years ago. Edited by HBRstudios (admin) 11 years ago
It all boils down to the number one area of judging competition images ---- IMPACT. This can be visual or emotional, but in the cases of the really great images -- both.

Everything else is secondary. But if you have 2 images with the same level of impact, the one that is sharper where it needs to be or composed in a more pleasing manner, you usually have a better image.
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Hambone Lewinski 11 years ago
Is impact completely subjective?

Jason
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K. Praslowicz 11 years ago
My preference on what makes a good photo is basically how well it can age.

Give me a hastily taken photo of two kids playing in the street taken in 1924, and set it next to a masterfully composed, & printed still life that was contact printed from an 8x10 negative taken the same year, and I’ll spend 95% of the time studying the kids playing.

The ability to preserve the past is what draws me most to photography, and that ability is what I look for most in a good photo. Add on top of this the ability to masterfully compose, and then start piling on the photographers technical excellence and they only get better.
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Hambone Lewinski 11 years ago
"Give me a hastily taken photo of two kids playing in the street taken in 1924, and set it next to a masterfully composed, & printed still life that was contact printed from an 8x10 negative taken the same year, and I’ll spend 95% of the time studying the kids playing."

I think, though, that part of the reason why you feel this way is because you are interested in people. Or at least, photographs of people. I'm the same way... I find photographs of people to be much more interesting than photos of landscapes or flowers or whatever. I'm also a much bigger fan of chocolate ice cream than vanilla.

Jason
.K 11 years ago
Impact is totally subjective.

While browsing through some of the photos from people in this group, I'm in awe. There are photos that are GREAT like HBR said. Then I look at my collection and wonder when I'll have one of those 'good' photos. If thought about though, some of mine that I think are nothing on the scale of impact could be that 'great' photo to someone else. It's totally "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" right?

Haha, I've never commented on anything in this group before. Leave it to me to join in on a topic that I really know nothing about :)
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K. Praslowicz 11 years ago
Well, not people in particular, but rather where humans lay their hands on things.

No people are obvious in this photo, but it meets my requirment for aging well. With the construction of the Sheraton, it is already leagues more interesting then the day I took it. Give it another 10-50-100 yeras and it should only improve.
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Jason~
I have no idea how to answer your question as I really have no idea myself. I mean, there are times that I will look at a photo, either mine or someone else's, and I will think "Wow, this is good". Often photos will have that emotional impact that others have talked about, and/or great composition. But then I'll see critiques from people that basically say they are not impressed by the photo at all, and I find myself confused as to how one person can think a photo is great and another can think that the same photo sucks. So while I know that there are certain factors that a photo needs in order to be technically good, I think the rest is largely the "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" thing.
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.K~ It's good to see you posting. You've got some great stuff in your stream!
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It all boils down to what you like and how an image strikes you. I have images that I think are extremely well done but others think they are piles of crap.
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Sweetlake Posted 11 years ago. Edited by Sweetlake (moderator) 11 years ago
It's all about the person looking at the picture. I was looking at a print with Brian at the last meeting and was surprised at our different reactions to the shot. I loved the things going on and thats what made the picture good in my eyes. He was much less impressed with the picture, it didn't 'do it' for him. good for me, not for him.

Looking through peoples favs you'll see what they value in a picture. I'a surprised by people that fav some of mine because I wouldn't.

Hi .K ~ I'll check out your pictures, welcome!
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Sweetlake 11 years ago
Jason, Why does this need to be a flame war? Its a question we all ask ourselves now and then, but war?
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Randall Cottrell Posted 11 years ago. Edited by Randall Cottrell (moderator) 11 years ago
ted
he said "flame a war" cause the thread could have gone this way, like so many have gone before...

nikon vs canon!!! blah... ;-) people seem to get to that topic by being asked their favorite type of sandwich...

*anyways...

first...i agree w/ brian in respect that impact is what makes a photo good. of course that 100% depends on who you are. some of us are impacted by kids playing in 1924 and some of us are impacted by a macro shot of a flower. it all depends.

along w/ kip and jason...i am much more drawn to photographs of people, no matter what they are doing, than anything else. and it doesn't have to be pictures of man, but also man made objects as well. i could look at photos classified as "street photography" and "city life" all day. i'd just get bored if i looked at that many landscape shots. [although i do appreciate the latter, i'm simply not as interested.]

and i'll repeat others again here as this is what i think as well...but after the initial impact of a piece, then i'll start to take a more detailed look and the composition and how the picture was done technically. it sometimes may be a this point that i do not like a particular photograph as much as i first thought i did...but that happens rarely. most of the time it happens vice versa...

thanks for actually making me think and add a reasonably intelligent comment to this discussion. now i'm going to go eat some spaghetti-o's
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JustinSinks Posted 11 years ago. Edited by JustinSinks (admin) 11 years ago
WOW, this is deep. I agree with impact. But, it is completely subjective to the viewer. Getting a photo that impacts with the majority of people is the name of the game. So, following that line of thought, if you have photos that impact a majority of people, that makes you just another sheep.
:) i kid
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Sweetlake 11 years ago
you kid, but you know it's true.
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JustinSinks 11 years ago
lol, i only say that until Im good enough to be a sheep... jealousy :)
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waphoto 11 years ago
Its the fact that you can try anything you want, you can break the rules and get something good but you can follow the rules and get something good. I love talking about gear, its just fun, talking about someones pictures is just as fun. I really love critiquing and being critiqued, its just hard to find people that like to do it. There are so many things you can do the list is endless. I love having something like football where you need to have anticipation and the ability to know where something is going, the path that it will, take and where it will end up. Shooting sports is fun for me but i love experimenting with other things...My last thing that i really like is the people, all through high school i was friends with everyone in our department and knew everyone well, everyone is good at something different, its fascinating shooting with different people and seeing what they like to do...
Anyways, there is a lot to love about photography
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JustinSinks 11 years ago
Well said!
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