Analyze This


When I give a workshop, seminar or Godfatherly Advice session, I am often asked, "What makes a photograph a good photograph?" A good question for sure.

I suggest that a "good photograph" is subjective, just like a piece of music. For example, just because you may not like opera or rap, that does not mean those types of music are bad.

There are, however, certain factors that make, what most would consider, a good photograph, such as and interesting subject, composition and lighting – stuff I talk about on my on-line classes.

I also suggest that a photographer analyze a photograph to look for elements that make a so-called good photograph.

Here is one example.

I think this photograph, which I took in Llanrwst, Conwy Valley, North Wales, is a good photograph. Of course, you may not agree – as all art is subjective.

The colors below correspond to my reasoning.


White - Light on the underside of the bridge contrasts with the shadows on the bridge, adding a sense of depth and dimension to the image. That light is why I got up early to take the shot.

Red – Photographing the scene at an angle draws the viewer's attention to the beautiful small building (great restaurant) in the frame.

Yellow – Beautiful side-light adds shadows, which also add a sense of depth to the image.

Blue – Everything in the scene is in focus, so the scene looks as it would look to your eyes if you were standing there. The depth-of-field was achieved by using a wide-angle lens, setting a small aperture, and focusing 1/3 into the scene.

Green – "Breathing room" at the top of the frame gives an open feeling to the image.

Analyze your images. It will help you weed out your weak shots – and help you pick your "good photographs."

Interested in having me analyze your images? See my Godfatherly Advice page.