Thinks happen

Comments and journal pages.


Gee, that's good....

Sometimes a photograph is good, just not, well... good enough.

Sometimes a photograph appeals to you while another just doesn’t. Sometimes a person likes a photograph while another person just doesn’t.

Some photographs appeal so strongly that any flaws or shortcomings are just ignored. Sometimes the flaws and shortcomings are great enough to overshadow some fine qualities in a photograph.

But you knew all this, and probably much more.

Flickr offers many opportunities to analyze a photograph and decide not only if it is a good photograph but why it is a good photograph.

What is collected here are a few (read “few”) of the elements that make a photograph. Suggestions for additions to this list of elements are welcome.

Once a woman was heard asserting simply that the first thing she sees in a man are his shoes. Forgetting that isn’t easy. It demonstrates that when it comes to beauty, each set of eyes has its own set of rules, values.

There are many elements that singly or collectively raise a photo from the average to the exceptional. Some elements are important to some individuals, some are not.

Now it is not the finger shadow in front of the lens or the blur of an unwilling hamster, or the white washed-out frame of a relentless automatic flash. Those are just pictures; pictures valuable only to those who know the moment. If you weren’t there, you have little connection to the photo, have little reason to make a connection.

A friend once described the difference between “taking pictures” and being a “photographer.” “You have to have the eye.” Taking a picture often catches the moment, a photographer catches the mood, the aura, the personality, the action. A picture shows you Grandma Hattie in her best dress. A photograph shows you how she felt that day. A photographer knows how to use the medium to capture more than the image. The elements.

Think about that: The Elements.

Color, balance, texture, design, rhythm and detail all are parts of most photographs, illustrations or paintings. These are basic elements of visual arts. There are probably others. Start with these.

In some photographs there can be seen action, story, drama, emotion, mood. Some others record a moment, predict an outcome, ask a question, decide an argument, set a course.
In some photographs the subject matter alone can be an element of its beauty or worthiness. In another photograph, there may be no identifiable subject at all but other elements, color, action, mood are there. In a sports photo for instance, the subject can be quite secondary to the excitement, the event, the action.

Sometimes it is just a picture of a baby, sometimes it is a picture of the future of mankind. Both pictures are wonderful but one is just an image of a child while the other is a legend.

Physical elements: Color, balance, texture, design, rhythm and detail. Intangible elements: action, story, drama, emotion and mood.

If a photograph combines several of these elements then it is likely an exceptional photograph.

What are your “elements?” Take these and supplement them with your values.

Thinking of these things, pick out as many elements as you can in these excellent photographs:

Stormy Monday Blues
originally uploaded by Dunottar

"Ruffles have ridges"
originally uploaded by kelsana

watermelon (2)
originally uploaded by soozika

Stridin' Out
originally uploaded by elhawk

originally uploaded by ed ed

originally uploaded by art_es_anna

originally uploaded by nyxx

meagain debbie Fog Light

Fog Light, originally uploaded by meagain625.

Angel Trumpet
originally uploaded by graphicgreg.

What am I?, originally uploaded by Machuca

stones background
originally uploaded by mluisa_

Hobbits' Trail
originally uploaded by onecurlycat.

'It'll Cost You' - Montreal 1987
originally uploaded by Mikey G Ottawa

rural delivery
originally uploaded by JKonig

originally uploaded by glenn.

Nonchalance...Laughing Gulls, St. Michaels, Maryland
originally uploaded by ozoni11

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