What Makes a Photograph "Good"?

This will depend entirely on whom you're asking. Of course, there are technical specifications that can deem a photograph worthy of viewing. Is there noise? Is it in focus? How is the composition? Distracting items in the background? Bokeh? And a million other details that many photographers spend hours perfecting to create that one infallible image. While all of these things are important (indeed, I strive to create flawless images as well), sometimes, the most important aspect of a photograph is its audience. I own pictures that no amount of post processing can fix, and though they'll never be in competition, or next to other works of art to be taken apart and criticized, they'll always have a home in my personal gallery.

This image was originally much noisier, and in order to fix that I had to lose a lot of detail. I found that unimportant though, as really, for me, this picture was about shape and the feeling conveyed in how the musician is bent around his istrument.

This image was originally much noisier, and in order to fix that I had to lose a lot of detail. I found that unimportant though, as really, for me, this picture was about shape and the feeling conveyed in how the musician is bent around his istrument.

What a mess! It lacks focus, proper exposure, terrible composition...and I love it. The color here is what really stands out to me.

What a mess! It lacks focus, proper exposure, terrible composition...and I love it. The color here is what really stands out to me.

Arguably one of the worst photos I've ever taken, I've actually held onto it for years. I find the softness and blur of the colors calming, while the movement somewhat lends to her costume. Never underestimate the power of the subject - as this is actually my youngest daughter, and it reminds me of a time when she was sweeter...and fast, very fast.

Arguably one of the worst photos I've ever taken, I've actually held onto it for years. I find the softness and blur of the colors calming, while the movement somewhat lends to her costume. Never underestimate the power of the subject - as this is actually my youngest daughter, and it reminds me of a time when she was sweeter...and fast, very fast.

There you have it. Not all photos are good, but if beauty is in the eye of the beholder, then all photos can not be bad either. Every picture is important to its intended audience.