When it comes down to it, good photographs have three key ingredients: an interesting subject, good composition and a good exposure.
Interesting subjects are subjective to a degree. Good composition and a good exposure are subjective, too. That's what makes photography – and all art forms – so personal.
From your personal point of you, it's important to pay careful attention to these key ingredients. Sure there are rules to follow, but it's important to break those rules . . . to follow your heart. And sure, it's good to listen to the advice of pros in portfolio reviews, but first listen, and then digest what they say. "To thine own self be true," as my mother used to say.
I'm not big on photo competitions, as judges choose winners based on their own subjectivity. But that is not to say that you should not enter a competition. Getting feedback is always good, as long as you take it with a grain salt.
And speaking of rules, you'll see that I started two sentences here with "And" and "But," something the nuns in Catholic grammar school told me was against the rules. Hey, it works for me, but might not work for an English teacher reading this blog. Or you.
All that said, a starting point for a good photograph is a good idea. I have two classes on Kelby Training that will help you get started. One is on Composition and the other is on Light. Check 'em out on my On-Line Training page. Both classes have been viewed more than 7,000 times, and I'm happy I got (a word the nuns frowned upon) a few folks started.
In viewing these classes, keep
in mind the very personal aspect of photography . . . yours and mine. As
1960s rockstar/heartthrob Ricky Nelson sang, "You can't please everyone,
so you gotta please yourself."
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Also, leave a comment on how you feel about your photography. Are you out to please others, or yourself? I'd love to hear from you.
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Explore the light,
P.S. I took the opening photograph for this post in Antarctica, where the photo below of me was taken. Brrrrrrrrrr.This post sponsored by Perfectly Clear - super sharp photos with super low noise.