Part 4. What is Excellence in Photography?
Photography is not, as many think, all about properly setting your focus and zoom and such. In 2017 it is no longer primarily about traditional cameras. Rather, it’s significantly about using images for multiple purposes, such as enjoyment and sharing, as a means of learning to better perceive our world, as a means for self-expression and communication, and so on.
A photo that is well-crafted and meaningful has four characteristics:
1) It makes a clear Connection to the viewer: There is a clear and obvious focal point in the photo: a Subject, a Mood, Puzzle and/or Message. It also:
2) Holds interest, usually by giving the viewer something to search for, think about, be interested in, or simply enjoy…; and is:
3) Unusual/Different/Distinctive: it has something that viewers seldom see. People don't say "Not another one of those,” but “Hey, that’s different;” and finally, the photo is:
4) Technically good: Exposure is good (not too light or dark, given the subject), is in focus/sharp where it should be; and the Light(ing) is appropriate.
In short, the photo: Makes a Connection, Is Interesting, Distinctive, & Technically good.
So it may portray beauty, make us feel an emotion, tell a story, entertain, help us to see something we haven't really seen before or see it in a new way. If it does any of that, then you've got a worthwhile image, with meaning and purpose, that communicates to another human being. What more could you ask? - JNV