Sunday, June 20, 2010

What Makes a Good Picture?

Blogger Mei Teng asked this question in her post:

What makes a great picture?

At first I wanted to drop comment. Then I decided to give my opinion in a separate post. But I will re-phrase the question to:

What makes a good picture?

It really depend what types of pictures we are referring to, and which level.

On basic level, landscape and portrait photography is about exposure and composition.

Documentary-type pictures, such as those you see in National Geographic, must be able to convey message. Exposure and composition, though still important, take back seat.

For portrait photography, at a higher level, aesthetic becomes important. How the subjects pose, how they dress – all these will make a break a picture.

Theme is another factor to consider. Here, there are portrait shooting events held from time to time whereby we invite beautiful models to pose for us. Some photographers will sign up if they like – read: are attracted to – the models. But for me, more important than the models is the theme.

Take, for example, the event I joined in April. The theme was: The Violinist. No doubt, the model is pretty, but my shots would be more boring without that piece of music instrument. (Click here to see more photos.)

Of course, these are my views as a lousy photographer. As my skills improve, I may have different ideas.


  1. War...if you are a lousy photographer...then the rest of us...shouldn't be holding a camera at all. :D

  2. I love looking at beautiful pictures, they include wild animals, action shots, macros of insects, great panoramic, portrait etc.

    Somehow the good pictures are able to attract attention and admiration, I guess it is difficult to list down all aspects other than the basic fundamentals such as composition, exposure, sharp focus etc.....

  3. You should post more pictures... love them!

  4. i think how good a photo is, depends really on the one who look at it..

  5. because everyone would have different perception on a good photo, it's rather a very subjective matter..

  6. There's more to a good pic than just getting the technical aspects right. Just my opinion.

  7. No matter how simple or complicated the picture, it must convey a message. It moves and touches my heart. The photograph must speak to me!

  8. Beautiful view and beautiful person.

  9. well..theme and the model come together as one.

  10. Right setting, angle + timing makes a good picture.

  11. hi everyone
    Thanks for your comments :)

  12. I don't think I am even qualified to comment here so I'll just read and learn! Haha