Tuesday, March 27, 2007

What Makes a Great Photo?

Colorado Springs, Colorado, 1968 © Robert Adams
Joerg Colberg of Conscientious fame asked a number of photographers to help him answer the eternal question: what makes a great photo? Joerg's inquiry prompted some very thoughtful answers and produced some truly great photos. There is no recipe for a great photo and most folks, myself included, wrestled with describing their emotional response to the photo rather than defining the technical elements that made the photo great. Ultimately, the photographs mentioned have nothing in common except the punch-in-the-gut response they elicit. The truest answer to the question of what makes a great photo may be as equivocal as Justice Stewart's definition of pornography: I know it when I see it.
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