Steven Brokaw Photography

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The Photographer’s Mind by Michael Freeman

I’m reading a really good book about the concept behind what makes good photography including the physiology of how the mind interprets an image. It’s all good stuff. The nice thing about the book is that it takes for granted you know “how” to take a photograph technically, and instead focuses on “how” to make a great photography.

The book starts off on what makes a good photograph. I thought I would share these principles as I personally feel they are spot on. I quote:

  1. Understands what generally satisfies. Even if an image flouts technical and esthetic basics, it really does need to be in the context of knowing these.
  2. Stimulates and provokes. If a photograph does not excite or catch interest, then it is merely competent, no more.
  3. Is multi-layered. An image that works on more than one level, such as surface graphics plus deeper meaning, works better. As viewer, we like to discover.
  4. Fits the cultural context. Photography is so much a part of everyone’s visual diet that it is by nature contemporary. Most people like it that way, dealing with the here and now.
  5. Contains an idea. Any work of art has some depth of thought that went into it. An image needs to catch the viewer’s imagination as well as simply attract the eye.
  6. Is true to the medium. This is a long-held view in art criticism, that each medium should explore and exploit what it is good at, and not mimic other artforms, at least not without irony.
No truer words,

Andy Chen, Part Deux

The PVCC Club