On “Good” Photography

Michael Johnston, the Online Photographer, made a great point with a recent post that I think is really worth sharing. We photographers, and those of us who discuss photography in public, can do a pretty good job of focusing only on the visual content of pictures. Does the composition fit the rules, perhaps, or was the special effect applied in post production just right? What about when it’s the content that makes for an outstanding image? That’s the case with the accompanying photo by Jachin Mandeno. The image is, as Johnston says, not much to speak of in technical terms. But when you know the story of the image, it becomes quite powerful. Which is Johnston’s point: emotion, meaning and the story of an image are just as important—maybe even more so—than the visual elements that make up the physicality of a picture. And that’s not something we talk about enough in the photoblogosphere. Per Johnston, "now you know how I feel when I look at ravishingly gorgeous, richly colored, technically perfect digital confections that are devoid of even a scrap of meaning." Amen. Read the whole story, including what makes this picture so powerful, at Johnston’s Online Photographer blog.


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