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Thread: Forget boring, ...

  1. #1

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    Forget boring, ...

    ...what makes a photograph good?

  2. #2

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    Re: Forget boring, ...

    If you like it, you like it.

  3. #3

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    Re: Forget boring, ...

    I'm going to be like Jac in the other thread and say you're copping out, Ken!

    I'm not talking about whether I like it, but whether it is good. There are many photographs that I don't like that are good, but now that I've seen a lot of photography I never like a photograph that is not good.

    I think that there are many on this forum who are qualified to speak to elements that make a photograph good, and I'd like to hear what they are. For example, one photographer I've visited with says the first thing he looks at in a photo is the corners, another told me he first looks at whether it is sharp.

    One thing I look for is a simple, strong composition, which your work always exhibits, Mr. Lee!

    I've also heard a well established photographer say that "Rule number one is that there are no rules," so we would all understand that nothing any of us might say about this is absolute.

    So the goal here is for some of you to volunteer elements that you think make for a good photograph.

  4. #4
    Corran's Avatar
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    Re: Forget boring, ...

    For me it's a strong composition first and foremost. Even a boring subject to me can be eclipsed by this element.

    I'm becoming less concerned about some of the technical things. I've printed a few photos recently that aren't all that sharp because of mistakes I've made, but I still think they are strong images. Your friend who first looks for sharpness...well I see that a lot, unfortunately, and I think it is a bit sad to think about such a shallow interpretation of a photograph.

    More importantly for me, I've been wondering what, exactly, does "good" mean? If it just means an acceptable image at an acceptable quality, with a modicum of thought put into it, then most photos are at least "good." How about great? Or superlative?
    Bryan | Blog | YouTube | Instagram
    All comments and thoughtful critique welcome

  5. #5

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    Re: Forget boring, ...

    Quotha Louis Armstrong: "If you like it, it's good music!"
    Peter Collins

    "Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it." Song of Songs 8:7

  6. #6

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    Re: Forget boring, ...

    I have this notion that if one took..say 1000 photographs ..or 10,000 even.. and a bunch of us were asked to (individually) pick the 'good' ones out from that large group

    there would be a lot of different images picked for one reason or another..however - there would also be a small group of photos that all or most of us would have all chosen...it is this small group of photos.. that interests me as I'm not sure the reasons given by each individual would match up - yet..there it is in the group

  7. #7

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    Re: Forget boring, ...

    My answer: Some visual evidence in the image that the photographer understands that making a photographic image has much in common with the other ways of making pictures, drawing engraving and painting, and that the study of pictures made by these methods is relevant to photography, not the technical methods, the aesthetic methods that address the questions what subject? what intention? what viewpoint? what perspective? what framing? what size? what tonalities? what textures? what background? etc..........

  8. #8

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    Re: Forget boring, ...

    How can you possibly make a definition of 'good'? It's completely subjective (as indeed is 'bad' but one can make at least a case that technically incompetent images are bad by definition).

    Certainly my definition of 'good' is unlikely to be the same as anyone else's here. And my definition of 'boring' similarly.

    Neil

  9. #9

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    Re: Forget boring, ...

    Quote Originally Posted by barnacle View Post
    How can you possibly make a definition of 'good'?
    Consult Plato The Republic, Book Vi, 508e:

    “This reality, then, that gives their truth to the objects of knowledge and the power of knowing to the knower, you must say is the idea of good, and you must conceive it as being the cause of knowledge, and of truth in so far as known."

    Also wouldn't hurt to take a glance at the Hippias Major for his thoughts on beauty, since hopefully we are talking aesthetics and not something which is merely technically good, as in competent.

    I mention these two in passing because they are accessible. There is a whole branch of philosophy - Aesthetics - which deals with the subject of art and beauty, and simply saying its all relative, or in the eye of the beholder, is to ignore centuries of profound thinking. The suggestion of aesthetic relativism is lazy thinking.
    Last edited by faberryman; 15-Dec-2017 at 17:30.

  10. #10
    Jac@stafford.net's Avatar
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    Re: Forget boring, ...

    Quote Originally Posted by faberryman View Post
    Consult Plato The Republic, Book Vi, 508e:

    “This reality, then, that gives their truth to the objects of knowledge and the power of knowing to the knower, you must say is the idea of good, and you must conceive it as being the cause of knowledge, and of truth in so far as known."
    The perennial Akashic, which is beyond relativism.

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