Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Wednesday Commentary: All About Photos

Recently I've talked about camera equipment on these Wednesday posts, but today the focus will be all about photos.

What components lead to a great image? From a technical standpoint, placement of the primary subject and the lighting are the key elements. The question that remains is this, are composition and lighting the only elements that make a photo great, or even good? In an age where millions of photos are taken every day, where the bar for great images is raised well beyond where it was ten years ago, how do we know we are seeing a great image? To expend upon that thought, how do we even see a great image through the vast sea of options?

This leads me to a different question, are images today like nuts and bolts? Some images are great for some situations, but terrible in others. An image could be great for an advertisement, but be useless from an artistic standpoint. Another photo could be a masterpiece from an artistic standpoint, but hold no value otherwise. That kind of image could even been boring to look at, but be perfect. In fact there are boat loads of images that meet that criteria online today. This defines the technically perfect image, this image could even have an interesting subject, but lacks soul.

Many images are simply taken to archive a moment in time, and have no value beyond that. Meanwhile other images save a moment in such a way that the subject comes alive no matter what age it is viewed in. The idea of a still image capturing a living story, has been the goal of many photographers, but it isn't an easy goal to meet on a regular basis.

So the question is, what makes a great image in your mind?