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What makes a really good shot

 
Paul JohnsonPremier Member - Click for more info
Paul Johnson
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Joined: 12th Aug 2018
Location: UK
quotePosted at 21:28 on 24th July 2019

Having looked through hundeds of older submissions I am amazed at the number of 5 star comments that have been made on quite mediocre shots. I have rarely seen anything below 4 stars. So what do members regard as requirements for a really great photograph.Good composition. Correct exposure. Good subject. Good lighting.?  What else?

Why are there very few constructive comments on poor shots. Comments don't have to be unpleasant in any way but could well improve the overall quality of submissions.

There are many truly excellent shots on the site but they are diluted by many below standard.

If something could be improved with one of my shots I want to know, don't you?

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Edward LeverPremier Member - Click for more info
Edward Lever
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quotePosted at 23:27 on 24th July 2019

I am disappointed to see that no other members have an opinion on the point Paul raises. I have therefore edited my contribution to see if this provokes any response.

What is good or poor ? Apart from obvious technical faults, it is very much a matter of opinion. Perhaps the best objective test is the question Did the picture sell ? If someone is prepared to pay, then the image must have something good going for it. I have not sold many images, but it can be illuminating to reflect on why a particular image sold. Generally, a clear, uncluttered and interesting composition seems to help, although In some cases, the successful sale of an image will not be due to its merit, but rather that it is of a specific location of interest to the purchaser.

My general impression is that there are too many similar images, which do not merit any comment, other than that they are boring when presented en masse, but that is my personal opinion and others may well disagree. It is for this reason that I rarely comment for fear of offending. At least it is now possible to comment without having to assign a 'Star' rating, which made one feel it was unkind to award a low rating. 



Edited by: Edward Lever at:26th July 2019 16:23
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Rod BurkeyPremier Member - Click for more info
Rod Burkey
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quotePosted at 01:02 on 29th July 2019

A really good shot is really a very hard thing to tie down as it's down to personal taste. 

Bad shots involve slanting verticals, whch really should never be submitted. It's really poor to see buildings that seem about to topple over, and I sadly see many here. This is so easy to avoid, or correct by post production. Burned out highlights should never pass muster either. No image that is not in focus could ever be thought of as remotely good in my view. However, I have seen fantastic images taken at the D Day landings that certainly are mind bendingly good, because of when they were taken, in the carnage and absolute horror of the moment.

As Edward points out, the success of a picture may well be judged by its commercial potential. I however also feel that many wonderful images are shot that are certainly not going to sell. For me, a picture should hold the attention for more than a few seconds. That perhaps is the best way to judge what makes a good shot. Of course, what I find interesting may well leave many others finding it the complete opposite.

Rating by stars will always be subjective too.  

I suppose this is an almost impossible question to answer, so I'll head off back to my darkened room.  

 

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Edward LeverPremier Member - Click for more info
Edward Lever
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quotePosted at 09:21 on 30th July 2019
On 29th July 2019 01:02, Rod Burkey wrote:

(CUT)

>>>> For me, a picture should hold the attention for more than a few seconds. That perhaps is the best way to judge what makes a good shot. Of course, what I find interesting may well leave many others finding it the complete opposite >>>>>>> 


That's a very good point, Rod. Sadly, there is rarely a shot that makes me pause that long.
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Rod BurkeyPremier Member - Click for more info
Rod Burkey
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quotePosted at 13:06 on 30th July 2019

I think that anyone who can't be bothered to look at their own work, image by image with care, is insulting any would be viewer here, and showing a distinct lack of respect (even for themselves) or consideration. 

My sad view is by allowing all pictures regardless of quality it is letting down the image of POE to visitors viewing the site. Looking at poorly composed "snap shots", sometimes in batches of 30 plus must give out the wrong signals. I do realise that filtering incoming submissions is probably beyond the resources of POE, and I feel that those who submit dire images will be very hard to deal with, other than by closing their memberships. 

A good picture is always that. A poor picture interests nobody, and bores many.

Time for me to step off the soap box.   



Edited by: Rod Burkey at:30th July 2019 16:15
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Edward LeverPremier Member - Click for more info
Edward Lever
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quotePosted at 16:29 on 30th July 2019
When it comes to posting images, I am extremely critical of my own work. If I uploaded all the images I had taken, without critical review, they would be very boring indeed. As Rod suggests, it is preferable to be selective when posting.  In fact, over the 14 years of my membership of PoE, I have an average upload rate of about one image per week,   
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Rod BurkeyPremier Member - Click for more info
Rod Burkey
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quotePosted at 12:14 on 31st July 2019

If you can't be critical of your own work then better to take up another pastime.  

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Dave Thatcher
Dave Thatcher
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quotePosted at 18:48 on 31st July 2019

I only pop my head in occasionally, and was under the impression the site is about Pics members have taken.....good or bad. I don't see it as a competion as to who is best technically at taking a pic, bad angles etc.

I sse that some take it very seriously from a technical point of view, but I just admire the pics people have taken....good or bad!! 

There was an article in one of the mainstream papers, DM I think, on the subject of taking the perfect? shot, with a few examples.

One was of Horse Guards Parade ground, showing the London eye, well half of it that looked like it was sitting on top of Horse Guards Building, saying that was a good shot......in the past, that would have been criticised for ruining the shot.....seems you can't please all the people all of the timeWink 



Edited by: Dave Thatcher at:31st July 2019 18:50
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Edward LeverPremier Member - Click for more info
Edward Lever
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quotePosted at 23:40 on 31st July 2019

Certainly, the question of what is good or bad about a picture is subjective, but there is little excuse for gross technical errors, given the capabilities of even modest cameras these days. The exceptions perhaps are 'grab shots', where the emphasis is primarily on capturing the moment, or where the camera has deliberately been set abnormally for artistic effect. 

To make an analogy with music, we all have different tastes in what type of music pleases us, but to hear it through a defective or badly adjusted sound system can be painful and an unnecessary distraction.

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