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Thread: What's a good photo?

  1. #1

    Default What's a good photo?

    greetings to All CSers,

    How do you define a good picture? Is it one that does not require any form of editing?

    Does it make you a bad photographer if you use multiple shot to capture that single moment or using editing software to enhance the image? That brings me to ask what is your ratio between un-process and processed you consider great.

    Or maybe, it doesn't matter if it is edited or not, as long as you consider it great.

    Just a noob question
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  2. #2

    Default Re: What's a good photo?

    Personally I only have one very simple requirement. If it makes me go "wow" it's a great pic (to me at least ). Edited or not, doesn't matter to me. Oh ya, and good photographer = can do this standard of photos consistently. Not the take 1000 photos and only 1 good photo come out type. Course is all my personal views only.
    Last edited by AlteredVision; 27th September 2008 at 05:26 PM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: What's a good photo?

    Quote Originally Posted by Info Overflow View Post
    How do you define a good picture? Is it one that does not require any form of editing?

    Does it make you a bad photographer if you use multiple shot to capture that single moment or using editing software to enhance the image? That brings me to ask what is your ratio between un-process and processed you consider great.

    Or maybe, it doesn't matter if it is edited or not, as long as you consider it great.
    to me a good photo is simple

    it is good. end of story. it doesn't matter if it's been manipulated, so long as the producer knew what the hell he was doing and wasn't doing some mutant mix that produced something good by chance (which is hard in the first place).

    and those who sneer on enhnacing/photoshopping should do well to remember that almost every famous photographer in history had quite some work to do in the darkroom, e.g. ansel adams.. and THAT is what photoshop is based on, not some new fangled conceived from hell nonsense dreamt up by a random computer programmer.

    i would like to ask you though, what does it mean by "using multiple shots to capture a moment". a moment is a moment. how do you use multiple shots to capture it?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: What's a good photo?

    Quote Originally Posted by Info Overflow View Post
    greetings to All CSers,

    How do you define a good picture? Is it one that does not require any form of editing?

    Does it make you a bad photographer if you use multiple shot to capture that single moment or using editing software to enhance the image? That brings me to ask what is your ratio between un-process and processed you consider great.

    Or maybe, it doesn't matter if it is edited or not, as long as you consider it great.

    Just a noob question
    good picture.. no need to go into technicalities on how its being done. the moment you see it you tell yourself, wow this guy really has an eye for composition, picture captivates you.
    chezburgr i can haz?

  5. #5
    Senior Member dennisc's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's a good photo?

    A good pic is what most if not everyone likes

  6. #6
    Member lennyl's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's a good photo?

    Quote Originally Posted by night86mare View Post
    i would like to ask you though, what does it mean by "using multiple shots to capture a moment". a moment is a moment. how do you use multiple shots to capture it?
    This from someone who accused a poster of being pedantic in another thread?

    C'mon, you know what he means.

    Anyway, my take on this particular issue, is the very profound "it depends" Do you know why you're pressing the shutter? The answer would tell you whether you're a good or bad photographer. Or maybe just a lazy one.

    Edit : regarding that poster in another thread, BTW he fully deserves it
    Last edited by lennyl; 27th September 2008 at 05:52 PM.

  7. #7
    Member lennyl's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's a good photo?

    To a pro, a good photo is what sells.

    To a parent, a good photo is a photo of his / her kid(s) that can bring back memories. Actually, this is probably true for any personal photo.

    But that's probably not what you mean. I'm afraid I can't define what is good art. I'll take the easy way out and ask you to define "good"

  8. #8

    Default Re: What's a good photo?

    Quote Originally Posted by lennyl View Post
    To a pro, a good photo is what sells.

    To a parent, a good photo is a photo of his / her kid(s) that can bring back memories. Actually, this is probably true for any personal photo.

    But that's probably not what you mean. I'm afraid I can't define what is good art. I'll take the easy way out and ask you to define "good"
    Reminds me... for a lot of people, a good photo of you is one that is as flattering as possible. Composition bad and whatever technicalities, who cares?

  9. #9

    Default Re: What's a good photo?

    Quote Originally Posted by lennyl View Post
    This from someone who accused a poster of being pedantic in another thread?

    C'mon, you know what he means.
    not really..

    because he can either mean HDR or he can mean burst mode.. maybe i think too much.

    that said, i once saw this in a book:

    photography is all about chance, but good photographers are more likely to come by chance than bad ones. cheers!

  10. #10

    Default Re: What's a good photo?

    Many thanks for sharing your opinions.

    Quote Originally Posted by lennyl View Post
    This from someone who accused a poster of being pedantic in another thread?
    I am not aware of the above thread but will find out.

    Quote Originally Posted by night86mare View Post
    i would like to ask you though, what does it mean by "using multiple shots to capture a moment". a moment is a moment. how do you use multiple shots to capture it?
    I went to a seminar recently and he mentioned that because his colleague used the burst mode, he does not bother to view his colleague's photos. Everyone is entitled to his own opinions but is this the common thinking of other photographers?

    Quote Originally Posted by lennyl View Post
    To a pro, a good photo is what sells.

    To a parent, a good photo is a photo of his / her kid(s) that can bring back memories. Actually, this is probably true for any personal photo.

    But that's probably not what you mean. I'm afraid I can't define what is good art. I'll take the easy way out and ask you to define "good"
    good sometimes can be due to the eyes of the beholder, as per your examples.

    Quote Originally Posted by night86mare View Post
    not really..

    because he can either mean HDR or he can mean burst mode.. maybe i think too much.

    that said, i once saw this in a book:

    photography is all about chance, but good photographers are more likely to come by chance than bad ones. cheers!
    Yes, HDR, burst mode, layering, etc. And I must say, because of 'by chance' 2 years ago, I captured a wonderful view of sunset (using a compact digital cam).
    Canon EOS 400D, 28-135mm USM IS, EF-S 18-55mm, EF 75-300mm, Canon580EX II, BG-E3 grip.
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  11. #11

    Default Re: What's a good photo?

    Quote Originally Posted by Info Overflow View Post
    greetings to All CSers,

    How do you define a good picture? Is it one that does not require any form of editing?

    Does it make you a bad photographer if you use multiple shot to capture that single moment or using editing software to enhance the image? That brings me to ask what is your ratio between un-process and processed you consider great.

    Or maybe, it doesn't matter if it is edited or not, as long as you consider it great.

    Just a noob question
    its really a perspective issue...
    A good photo is most prob something that captures your attention and editing has no bearing whatsoever on a good photo.

    Editing to bring out the best in a photo should be encouraged...not sneer at..

  12. #12

    Default Re: What's a good photo?

    For a start it implies you accepts the notion of "good".

    There are people who disagrees there is even such a thing.

    If so we cannot even begin to talk, let alone try to discuss/argue/reason/debate what is "good". (Why argue how long a unicorn's horn is when there are no unicorns? or imagine two blind men arguing about whether a thing is red or green, or a blind man giving you directions.)

    In one sense "good" is a measure, which then entail a "ruler", namely a thing against which you can compare/check the thing you want to measure, or in a loose sense, a "standard".

    There will be many that say that "good" is relative, ie it is always a case of one man's meat, another's poison.

    A measurement is relative, ie relative to your chosen ruler or standard. And some of these standards can be technical, aesthetic, "fit for purpose", or even "personal".

    So in photos, technical can means focused - subject is focused, well detailed; exposure - no blown highlights, no deep shadows, everything within sensor's dynamic range; noise - the lowest possible in a situation with a given sensor; WB - correct colour temperature, etc etc. Most of the so-called critique you get here in Clubsnap are of these nature. But being technically correct or good - or flawed for that matter - may be entirely unrelated, even irrelevant, to the content or the aesthetic merits, or lack thereof, of the photo. Technical and technics, just like tools, are means to an ends.

    And aesthetic or beauty can be such an end. There are rules or criteria here too, eg rules of third/golden mean, symmetry, and other compositional rules, etc, developed long ago by the Greeks who fully appreciate beauty. But again many these days think that these are archaic, irrelevant or just plain wrong, and ought to be thrown away, and that aesthetic is something entirely personal and "unmeasurable". I will come to this later.

    Then there is "fit for purpose". As a camera is not an ends in itself, so is its output: a photo too may not be an ends in itself. And so in this measure, a photo is good if it fulfills another intent, eg news, advertisement, propaganda, educational, science, art, etc etc. And for commercial or competition, what sells or wins prizes is certainly good.

    And you also allude to taking a photo one time, ie one shot, and post imaging processing, etc. That is,really, another thing altogether, namely you trying to distinguish between a good photo and a good photographer. A good photographer makes good photos, but, very obviously, a good photo do not imply a good photographer: a good tree bears good fruit, but bad trees do good fruits too.

    The art, the photo, may in the end justify whatever the photographer does, or does not. Not every photo needs to be one shot, but if you're into sports, or journalism, or wildlife, one shot may be all you have.

    And finally on the personal standard, on the inexpressible, cannot-be-put-into-words measure by which you yourself know whether your photo is good or not.

    The other "standards" are external, objective and expressible in an understandable language, so that all can see and understand what these are, and whether you have chosen a good standard and made a proper measure.

    But when people say "good is relative", they usually do no mean relative to such external objective standards, but rather relative to their internal, unseen, even unknowable, personal and private sense of the "good", which being inexpressible cannot be argued against, and even cannot be wrong.

    It may well be so, but it may not be too. And nobody will know what you are talking about. It tantamount to a thing is "good" just because its your choice. And there is no point then asking for critique and comments if you already know that your picture is "good", a "good" that you cannot share with anyone.

    Rules can be broken - for rules are not everything - but it ought not to be broken just because you can break it. There are surely new things to be discovered, but unless you can say it, it remains hidden yet to the whole wide world.
    Last edited by espion; 28th September 2008 at 11:46 AM.

  13. #13

    Default Re: What's a good photo?

    Quote Originally Posted by Info Overflow View Post


    I went to a seminar recently and he mentioned that because his colleague used the burst mode, he does not bother to view his colleague's photos. Everyone is entitled to his own opinions but is this the common thinking of other photographers?
    it depends on your philosophy.

    after all, if the colleague and "he" embark on a common trip.. and the colleague uses burst mode and captures the moment incidentally, and he doesn't, even though he tries and his years of experience fail him..

    think about it. who's going to have the last laugh?

    and once again, if both of them manage to get the moment.. and you show a layman both the pictures, they are identical, they are sharp, do you think he cares which one was taken with burst mode, which one was taken with sheer skill?

    i am pushing the example very hard, i assure you.. frankly speaking perhaps the anticipator will always have a slight edge over the whacker (the burst mode guy).. but we all have our ways of getting the shot. to me, there is really no real basis to "judge".

    have you seen this photo called "suicide"? (if i didn't remember wrongly) it is an accidental capture of a guy committing suicide. the photographer was aiming at a cornero f the building, he shot, and he caught the guy falling by accident. it is supposedly the shot that made him famous. did people care that he was just bloody lucky?

  14. #14

    Default Re: What's a good photo?

    Many thanks again sharing.
    Canon EOS 400D, 28-135mm USM IS, EF-S 18-55mm, EF 75-300mm, Canon580EX II, BG-E3 grip.
    flickr

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