What makes a great image?

Some argue it’s the Composition, lighting, technical aspects or the story. 

The admonition of “Show, don’t tell” was used with fictional writers so that readers can experience the story rather than have it read as a narrative. With photography your experience is used to interpret or make meaning of an image.  Images that let you bring your own thoughts to it. 

What do you think of these?


Photograph by Martin Parr



Robert Frank, 'New Orleans' 1950


A room at a motel near Niagara Falls, Alec Soth



This sunset is courtesy of http://www.freefoto.com


What makes a great image? Perhaps it’s the images that stay with you long after you first encounter them. Constantly carrying around minature photos and going through the process of contact sheets seems like a useful habit to get into?



One thought on “What makes a great image?

  1. In a world brimming with images, all whispering constantly in the background, how nice it would be to look at one picture, in great detail, whenever you wanted to and to still not understand it and to love it all the more for that reason.

    Maybe there should be a sort of desert island discs of photography, where each person picks one picture to look at during their tropical exile. But then would you choose a picture that you love or a picture of someone you love?

    Are you drawn to pictures or what those pictures depict?

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