05-09-2007, 08:38 AM
Ok, so with TS's Fens post a discussion was kind of started about what makes a good photograph. This is all of course subjective to the photographer and also to the viewer of the image, but the discussion can be fun.
Feel free to add to this list, or make your own...
1. Sharp focus. The subject has got to be sharp, generally the entire subject but if it has eyes then in particular the eyes must be tack sharp. Using a shallow depth of field to bring attention to a subject is a great tool, but be sure the subject is in focus.
2. Correct Colors. Your white balance should be correct, that does not mean that every shot should look as though it was taken in afternoon sunlight, color casts are a natural event however over saturation or poor white balance can have a huge effect on an image.
3. Strong subject. For most images, you should be able to hold the negative/slide up to light at arms length and be able to make out the subject. Again, this is a general rule and there are exceptions...and for those who do not know "Negatives" and "Slides" are what you get from film cameras.
3. Good Composition. This is that "Rule of Thirds" you have more than likely heard of. What that is basically suggesting too you is that your subject is not placed in the center of frame. If you have a subject with eyes, give them room in the direction they are looking...If your shooting a landscape use the leading edges of roads/streams/hills to draw the eye to the subject but have the subject uncentered.
4. Unique. Plain and simple, if you are able to get most of the above and also get a photograph that is something not seen all the time it immediately gets brownie points. A shot of a warbler for instance is tough to get, but many many people get shots (good stationary shots) of warblers. You get a good sharp shot of a warbler in flight catching an insect...then you have an excellent shot.
So, what would you add to this list or discussion?