Thursday, November 30, 2006

What's a "Good Photograph"?

Quite often i have been affronted with this question.. What is a good photograph and how does one judge a photograph?
I recently came across this article which i believe summarizes the points involved pretty well.

The following is a list of basic judging and critiquing criteria for photographs, compiled by George Kalem III, Manchester, New Hampshire. The items are given in descending order of importance.

Impact - what you see first; first impression; strong feeling of power; hold your eye.
Keep Smiling

Creativity - use of imagination; freshness of approach; unusual cropping/use of subject matter; invention, design, feeling and imagination that lifts the work into the realm of art; could be abstract.
Creation 6 | Pottery Town, Bangalore

- part that sets the work apart from others; different but consistent way of seeing; different approach; real, not contrived; experimental; individual.
Indian Essence

Composition - good placement of subject; successful arrangement; harmonious proportions; use dynamic symmetry in placing the most important objects; good rhythm in repetition; color, spaces, moods, divisions of photograph.
Doorway to Heaven

Print Presentation - does presentation enhance the photograph?; good cropping; good color for matting or mounting; using something dynamic or very traditional; creative mounting.
Jump to Glory

Color Balance - good technique; good selection of color for subject matter; using very interpretive color (maybe not normal); creative use of color (complementary colors, dark against light, strong against weak)
3 Kalis and a Shiva

Center of Interest
- dominance of subject matter; grouping of subject and arrangement of objects so one center of interest prevails, subject hold the eye without distractions; mood or misty; strength and definition gives center of interest; secondary subjects don't overpower main subject.

- good statement of light; good portrait lighting; dynamic lighting pattern of light can enhance, create strong mood.
On The Streets

Subject Matter
- outstanding interpretation for the subject matter; good camera angle; good selection of photographic model or object; contrast can be very creative in selection (old and young, warm and cold).

Print Quality
- strong contrast; middle tones; good color balance; expressions and artistic lighting; simple statements are strongest; good angle on buildings; backgrounds in harmony with subject matter.
Two | Lalbagh Flower Show

- different technique for subject matter; technique is foundation of photography but knowledge of art principles are very necessary; using creativity and abstraction can help; design brings abstract ideas into concrete form.
Express Yourself: Hunger

Story Telling
- complete story within photograph; successful presentation; achievement of purpose; complete meeting at first glance; strong mood or emotion using strong complementary colors next to each other; strong mood builds emotional response challenging your imagination.
I know a Secret

Thats a long post! But definitely worth pondering over when I try to look for images that satisfy these criteria. Do let me know what you think.

Sunday, November 19, 2006


I just realized that I have finished a quarter century of my existence on this planet.
I think its just the right moment to stop.. look at the years past by.. experience it..learn from it..
Dare to look through the window of opportunities.. to the hope that exists..

Hope | Nandi Hills, Bangalore

I seek to fly.. I wanna be a free bird...

Homeward | Haserghatta Lake, Bangalore

I wish to conquer all horizons...
All against myself | Mahabalipuram Beach

Thursday, November 02, 2006


Today I just came back from IIT Guwahati .. I had a short but interesting visit to my alma mater..
There are quite a few changes that have happened.. some for the better and some definitely for the worse... I felt its time for some retrospection...
Also in the meantime I have complete a year and quarter with my job.
Got a new camera with a couple of new lenses. This has made me roam places.
Covered many states across India. Traveled far and wide.
The soul however still seeks for that satisfaction which i see on the children's faces. This is perhaps going to keep me going all my life and I may still land up not finding an answer to it. Thats life i guess!