Off the top of my head I made this list of thoughts about what makes a good photograph vs a bad photograph after looking through a rather mundane portfolio of snapshots offered for sale on an online gallery. Open for controversy, feedback and discussion!
Good photography is clear and to the point. Painters add to the canvas, photographers subtract. In a good photograph you know the photographer took the time to eliminate distracting elements to provide a clear message. In a bad photograph you know immediately that the photographer stood in the most convenient spot or maybe never even bothered to get out of the car.
Good photography is purposeful. You know immediately why the photograph was taken.
Good photography isn’t boring. In a good photograph the photographer brings something new even to familiar subjects. Boring photographs are always taken with the same boring angle at the same boring height and aimed at the same boring subjects. “When finding the right angle for a shot…’Move your ass.’” – Jay Maisel
Good photography shows consistency. You know a good photographer when they consistently bring the goods. Each photograph in their portfolio is presented with care and attention to detail.
Good photography evokes an emotional response. Good photography grabs you deeply. Bad photography makes you wonder what attracted the photographers attention in the first place.
Good photography is selecting only the best to show. Bad photography is lulling you to sleep with every shot off the camera.
Good photography makes you want to be there, bad photography shows you places to avoid. In other words the bad photographer takes a great dramatic place and makes it look boring. A good photographer could take a boring place and make it look interesting.
Good photography shows the photographer got up early, stayed out late, has their camera with them always. Bad photography is the camera dusted off for vacation.
Good photography brings back a few great shots on every outing. Bad photography is the lucky shot.
Good photography is a unique vision. Bad photography is being satisfied with the same shot everyone else gets.
Good photography shows you something you never saw before or makes you stop and see something you’ve walked by a thousand times without even noticing. Bad photography shows you what you’ve seen a thousand times before. – Edward M. Fielding – http://www.edwardfielding.com
WHAT SAY YOU?