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09-08-2018, 05:27 AM - 1 Like   #31
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I'm not sure that anyone has mentioned the reaction/feeling etc in the eyes and mind of the viewer, which I think is essential
I'd also reduce light down from natural/artificial to just light. You don't need natural light to take a great photo

09-08-2018, 05:31 AM - 3 Likes   #32
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If you really want to seriously start answering this question... start here....
09-08-2018, 08:47 AM   #33
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Er, actually pressing the shutter?

On a more serious note: Many posters, starting with the OP, have mentioned various factors that make great photos - light, composition, subject, moment, detail, sharpness, bokeh, colour, tonality, emotion - the list goes on. And any of them can play a role in photographic greatness.

But what's the point in trying to attach exact ranks, numbers, and percentages to any of those?

To begin with, truly great and enduring photographs rarely seem to be what they are for a single, but more typically for a number of factors. And secondly, the combination of those factors and their respective contributions will differ from photo to photo, won't they? Now you may argue that personal styles will often result in a certain mix of factors predominating, but even photographers with pretty persistent styles will try to evolve them over time and make their best work stand out for different reasons, I should think.
09-08-2018, 09:18 AM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by Madaboutpix Quote
Er, actually pressing the shutter?

On a more serious note: Many posters, starting with the OP, have mentioned various factors that make great photos - light, composition, subject, moment, detail, sharpness, bokeh, colour, tonality, emotion - the list goes on. And any of them can play a role in photographic greatness.

But what's the point in trying to attach exact ranks, numbers, and percentages to any of those?

To begin with, truly great and enduring photographs rarely seem to be what they are for a single, but more typically for a number of factors. And secondly, the combination of those factors and their respective contributions will differ from photo to photo, won't they? Now you may argue that personal styles will often result in a certain mix of factors predominating, but even photographers with pretty persistent styles will try to evolve them over time and make their best work stand out for different reasons, I should think.
All good points.

The factor that's most important for a given shot, is what's in front of the camera. So many things are useful for explaining why it works after the shot, looking at the image, having criteria in mind, and looking for those criteria is not as effective as recongizig what's there, recognizing a design element and building on it.

09-08-2018, 09:26 AM - 1 Like   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by BarryE Quote
The ICM supporters may disagree ...
Yes well, who cares what some alphabet soup group that no one has ever heard of thinks?

---------- Post added 09-08-18 at 08:34 AM ----------
QuoteQuote:
[/COLOR]

I agree. A good narrative is important ...
That would be the sharp concept part. Pretty much everything that has been fronted in this thread as required for a great image distills down to having a sharp concept.

Last edited by Wheatfield; 09-08-2018 at 04:02 PM.
09-08-2018, 12:56 PM   #36
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You haven't heard of the International Confederation of Midwives? No, I haven't a clue either.
09-08-2018, 01:34 PM - 1 Like   #37
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I'm sure I'm repeating what has been said by others, but what makes for a great photograph is the same as what makes for a great painting. Thinking about cameras & lenses is like obsessing about brushes and pigments. Complaining about sharpness is like dissing on 80% of paintings made after about 1850. Look across the spectrum of what are considered great paintings. Can you identify even one consistent quality other than "grabs your eye and holds your attention?"
09-08-2018, 01:52 PM - 1 Like   #38
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Two quotes

Jim Richardson - National Geographic photographer
"If you want to be a better photographer, stand in front of more interesting stuff."

John Szarkowski 2000 1925-2007 - Director of Photography MOMA (Introduced Ansel Adams photographs as Art not just documentaries)
"The truth is that anybody can make a photograph.
The trouble is not that photographs are hard to make.
The trouble is that they are hard to make intelligent and interesting”

So what makes a good photograph?
An image of something interesting. Equipment is just that - equipment. Paintings are not judged by the brush manufacturer, houses are not judged by the brand of hammer. Good photographs effect the viewer. What has meaning for me is bla bla bla to you.

09-08-2018, 02:45 PM - 1 Like   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by PDL Quote
Good photographs effect the viewer.
Sure, and what makes this hobby of ours so great is that there are so many paths to that.

Bernhard Edmaier does it through majestic aerial landscapes (he puts the volcanoes in the Canary Islands here on a leading line):



And Tim Flach through animal photography, here with artificial lighting:

09-08-2018, 05:38 PM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by PDL Quote
So what makes a good photograph?
An image of something interesting.
My take on this rearranges your words a bit: An interesting image of something.

Or, as Minor White put it variously:

all photographs are self-portraits

...

One should not only photograph things for what they are but for what else they are.
09-08-2018, 06:15 PM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
Sure, and what makes this hobby of ours so great is that there are so many paths to that.

Bernhard Edmaier does it through majestic aerial landscapes (he puts the volcanoes in the Canary Islands here on a leading line):



And Tim Flach through animal photography, here with artificial lighting:
Exactly!

Some people insist that a great photograph must have a great story and others say there's no need for any story as long as there is some compelling composition of color and form.

Some people insist that a great photograph must have a person in it and others insist that some of the best photographs are great because they have no person it in.

My photography teacher thought color was a crutch but plenty of people prize color over black-and-white.

I've seen great photographs that were fuzzy little polariods and others that were only great because they were huge and high-resolution.


Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and one of the fun things about Pentax Forums and this thread is that we have plenty of different beholders.
09-08-2018, 08:19 PM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by StiffLegged Quote
You haven't heard of the International Confederation of Midwives? No, I haven't a clue either.
I just knew that I was missing something.
09-08-2018, 08:32 PM   #43
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"What is important for a great photograph"

That is a question that has an answer that is both an opinion and facts. We all, as photographers, can sit down and list what it takes to make a great photograph and a lot of the answers might be the same across the board. For a great photo, that then becomes an opinion and with as many photographer that are in the world, you can get that amount of answers and they would all be correct.

There is a photo that was taken by Robert Capa on the morning of June 6th, 1944, that by all accounts would be a bad photo. It is out of focus due to camera shake, Shutter was also slow, the grain is really bad, it looks like the wrong aperture was set. On the other hand, when you know what was going on when the photo was taken (which, I am sure most people can guess by the date),you can see why it is one of the greatest photos taken that day. D-Day | 100 Photographs | The Most Influential Images of All Time

There are many things that can make a great photo. At the same time, there are many different opinions of what a great photo is.
09-08-2018, 10:48 PM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by bigdavephoto Quote
There is a photo that was taken by Robert Capa on the morning of June 6th, 1944, that by all accounts would be a bad photo. It is out of focus due to camera shake, Shutter was also slow, the grain is really bad, it looks like the wrong aperture was set. On the other hand, when you know what was going on when the photo was taken (which, I am sure most people can guess by the date),you can see why it is one of the greatest photos taken that day. D-Day | 100 Photographs | The Most Influential Images of All Time
I think that the characteristic you are referring to is context. The Capa series of images are good photos because they are the few images from the first wave on Omaha Beach, not because they were out of focus, using slow shutter speeds and the "wrong" aperture. They provide insight to the horrific actions of that morning.

As a illustrative point let me tell a story.
I was the primary instigator in a photography "club" at my place of employment. I was showing some images illustrating the eighteen rule I learned at a photo workshop and I got to the "context" rule. The image was a slightly out of focus image of a old woman sitting on a red couch in a living room. Not a very good picture if you look at most photographic criteria. Yes, it was my Grandmother and the context was that it was her last visit to my house. (I had just graduated from Highschool) The real context was that she passed away a few months later and it was the last time I was in her company.

The atmosphere changed in the room because the people then understood why I displayed that image as a "rule" illustration.
09-09-2018, 05:41 AM   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by PDL Quote
I think that the characteristic you are referring to is context. The Capa series of images are good photos because they are the few images from the first wave on Omaha Beach, not because they were out of focus, using slow shutter speeds and the "wrong" aperture. They provide insight to the horrific actions of that morning.

As a illustrative point let me tell a story.
I was the primary instigator in a photography "club" at my place of employment. I was showing some images illustrating the eighteen rule I learned at a photo workshop and I got to the "context" rule. The image was a slightly out of focus image of a old woman sitting on a red couch in a living room. Not a very good picture if you look at most photographic criteria. Yes, it was my Grandmother and the context was that it was her last visit to my house. (I had just graduated from Highschool) The real context was that she passed away a few months later and it was the last time I was in her company.

The atmosphere changed in the room because the people then understood why I displayed that image as a "rule" illustration.
SO what you're saying it wasn't a good enough photograph to stand on it's own, but with sufficient explanation people could understand what it meant to you?

My problem with commentaries like this is, it's not about the photograph, it's about a triggered memory of your grand mother that you were in a sense able to infect them with. I'm not sure that's about the photograph.
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