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What Makes a Good Photograph?

Autor:   •  April 10, 2016  •  Essay  •  1,253 Words (6 Pages)  •  302 Views

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Empire State College

What Makes A Good Photograph?

A Term Paper Submitted to the Faculty of

Empire State College

For the Partial Fulfillment of the Degree Requirements Of a

Business Administration & Economics


Mayaa Tucker Cunningham


Mayaa Tucker Cunningham

JoAnn Kingsley

Advanced Photography

22 February 2016

What Makes A Good Photograph?


 A good photograph, its one that catches the eye and moves the viewer, it conveys a message that connects with the viewer, calls upon an emotion, or feeling. What makes a photograph “good”? There are many facets in what goes into a photograph. Is it the exposure? Could it be the shutter speed? Maybe it is in the technical skill of the photographer? Is it the subject or how the subject is situated in the shot? Or is it something more? What is it what differentiates a “good “photograph from and “okay” or even a “bad” photograph?


Exposure, is vital in photography. It represents how much light sensor inside the camera is “exposed” to when shooting an image. There are many components to exposure. Each is important, each plays a part and all have an impact of the final result of the picture. Think of the elements of exposure like a team, each member of the team contributes to the final result.

The shutter speed is the timekeeper so to speak. The shutter speed regulates the length of time the sensor in the camera will be exposed to light. The shorter the time, the less light is allowed to reach the sensor, the longer the shutter speed , the more light is let in. shorter shutter speeds produces darker images than longer speeds, and they capture a shorter span of time they are, they cap. A longer shutter captures a longer period of time and is often used in very dark environments or to capture images that convey motion or fluidity. However, improperly used, a long shutter speed can add unwanted motion blur to an image. A shorter shutter speed improperly applied, can leave a picture too dark, or with too many shadows and obscure detail.

ISO (Light Sensitivity)

The ISO on the camera measures and metes out the cameras sensitivity to light. The lower the ISO the less sensitive the camera is to incoming light and the higher the ISO, the more sensitive the camera is to incoming light. The ISO is another important setting in terms of the lighting of the image and the quality of the image. Images with a lower ISO tend to have more detail and be sharper. Images with a higher ISO tend to be softer, less detailed and can even wind up grainy or fuzzy. I have seen images with a high ISO where the colors are distorted as well because too much light entered the sensor, and “washed out” the image, leaving it very light and lacking in detail.


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