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What’s Important in a Photograph, and What Isn’t

You know the drill.  You pick up a magazine or browse a website and flip through the photos.  Most you look at for less than a second, but a select few grab your attention and demand a longer look.  What’s different about these select photos?  What makes some photos great and others mediocre?


I’ve bounced this question off of several distinguished photographers and the answers are always quite similar.  They may disagree on some of the ordering, but the list of qualities goes something like this:

  1. Emotion

  2. Light

  3. Composition