Artistic and Compositional Aspects of a Great Photograph

Started Mar 24, 2014 | Discussions thread
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Florida Nature Photographer Veteran Member • Posts: 8,107
Artistic and Compositional Aspects of a Great Photograph

There was a recent thread How a great photo is produced? where the OP wanted to discuss the technical aspects of a great photograph.

A great side conversation developed about what makes a great photograph from an artistic and compositional stand point. The thread reached the maximum post limit so I wanted to provide an opportunity for the discussion about the non technical aspects of a great photograph to continue.

Many of us chose m43 gear knowing we were making some sacrifice to the absolute best image quality in exchange for the benefit of reduced bulk and weight. As a result of this we are more likely to have a camera with "good enough" image quality available when a shot presents itself.

Given this mindset, I'm surprised we m43 photographers don't have more discussions about the content of the photographs we take with our gear.

I'm still in the process of working hard to learn important things about how to get the most out of my camera and post processing. The discussion that began in the earlier thread made me realize that it is important not to lose sight of what really makes a photograph special, the content.

This two minute video that FrankS009 linked to in the thread referenced above describes perfectly what I would like to discus in this thread.

This quote from jalywol from that same thread does as well.

jalywol wrote:

Photographers today (and especially those on DPReview) seem to strive for technical perfection above all else. I can't tell you how many soulless sunsets that I have looked at in people's galleries and challenge much HDR and how much image manipulation people are doing to try and capture technically perfect images. Sure, it's impressive the first dozen or so times you see it, but after that it becomes numbingly similar. What is far harder, and far less likely to get instant cheers from the crowd, is capturing a compelling image that ISN'T a technical wonder first, but that has an emotional connection to the viewer, and has, yes, soul.

I'm not the only person to feel this way....look at the interest in Lomography and toy lenses. Figuring out what the minimum you need to extract a compelling image from a scene is, is an art, too....

Finding your photographic voice is the single hardest part of doing this as a hobby or a vocation. It's a lifetime of work, and it's just not all about the gear or the sharpness of an image.


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