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What makes an image "worth looking at" ?
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Jun 10, 2022 21:20:51   #
User ID
 
What makes an image worth looking at ? Clearly theres no single definitive answer, yet there must be many good answers.

Please feel welcome to post images, from any source, as both positive and negative examples of your own thoughts about the question. Thank you.


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Jun 10, 2022 23:08:10   #
bikinkawboy Loc: north central Missouri
 
I figure an interesting photo is one that you will view multiple times over days to years. Also one that you will study rather than glance at and go on. Or one that sticks in your mind. The one that sticks in my mind was of a wet little kitten on a European street with the feet of people walking by. I wanted nothing more than to be able to take the little guy home.

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Jun 11, 2022 01:34:53   #
RichardTaylor Loc: Sydney, Australia
 
On a personal level it is images that invoke memories and that means mostly family, and some vacation photographs.
It is not the 'scapes or sports or bird photographs.
Here is an example.

My wife, who now has dementia (and as she says "no memories so I don't have anything to forget") and our grandaughter.
My wife, who now has dementia (and as she says "no...
(Download)

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Jun 11, 2022 02:51:47   #
R.G. Loc: Scotland
 
User ID wrote:
What makes an image worth looking at ? Clearly theres no single definitive answer....


No single definitive answer, but there are probably one or two key words that point to necessary basic ingredients. One such key word is "interest", which is multi-faceted and has far reaching implications. For example, an image can evoke personal interest, and that can take various forms such as emotional interest, intellectual interest, curiosity etc. On a less personal level we could add things like visual interest.

Images can evoke many things apart from interest, so on an even more basic level we could include "evocative" as another key word. There are no doubt various other ways an image can engage our attention (which points to another key word -"engaging").

The title of the thread asks "What" as opposed to "In what way", so I suppose an answer requires specifics rather than general concepts. But the key words give us a starting point and specific areas to focus on. Apart from that, defining concepts like visual interest could be tricky, so I'll resort to the old saying "I know it when I see it".

I would rate the following image as one of the more engaging photos I've taken in recent years. Technically the foreground trees are a bit soft so it's not without its flaws, but the play of light on the mountainside makes it a very viewable image IMO, and that is where the viewer's attention will tend to gravitate. Because the focus of attention is off in the distance, the image has a noticeable 3D quality. Apart from that, a common quality that landscape photos often have is pleasantness.
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Jun 11, 2022 06:33:57   #
ceallachain Loc: Cape May, NJ
 
R.G. wrote:
No single definitive answer, but there are probably one or two key words that point to necessary basic ingredients. One such key word is "interest", which is multi-faceted and has far reaching implications. For example, an image can evoke personal interest, and that can take various forms such as emotional interest, intellectual interest, curiosity etc. On a less personal level we could add things like visual interest.

Images can evoke many things apart from interest, so on an even more basic level we could include "evocative" as another key word. There are no doubt various other ways an image can engage our attention (which points to another key word -"engaging").

this one pulls you into irs center, Nice shot
The title of the thread asks "What" as opposed to "In what way", so I suppose an answer requires specifics rather than general concepts. But the key words give us a starting point and specific areas to focus on. Apart from that, defining concepts like visual interest could be tricky, so I'll resort to the old saying "I know it when I see it".

I would rate the following image as one of the more engaging photos I've taken in recent years. Technically the foreground trees are a bit soft so it's not without its flaws, but the play of light on the mountainside makes it a very viewable image IMO, and that is where the viewer's attention will tend to gravitate. Because the focus of attention is off in the distance, the image has a noticeable 3D quality. Apart from that, a common quality that landscape photos often have is pleasantness.
.
No single definitive answer, but there are probabl... (show quote)

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Jun 11, 2022 06:34:13   #
User ID
 
R.G. wrote:
No single definitive answer, but there are probably one or two key words that point to necessary basic ingredients. One such key word is "interest", which is multi-faceted and has far reaching implications. For example, an image can evoke personal interest, and that can take various forms such as emotional interest, intellectual interest, curiosity etc. On a less personal level we could add things like visual interest.

Images can evoke many things apart from interest, so on an even more basic level we could include "evocative" as another key word. There are no doubt various other ways an image can engage our attention (which points to another key word -"engaging").

The title of the thread asks "What" as opposed to "In what way", so I suppose an answer requires specifics rather than general concepts. But the key words give us a starting point and specific areas to focus on. Apart from that, defining concepts like visual interest could be tricky, so I'll resort to the old saying "I know it when I see it".

I would rate the following image as one of the more engaging photos I've taken in recent years. Technically the foreground trees are a bit soft so it's not without its flaws, but the play of light on the mountainside makes it a very viewable image IMO, and that is where the viewer's attention will tend to gravitate. Because the focus of attention is off in the distance, the image has a noticeable 3D quality. Apart from that, a common quality that landscape photos often have is pleasantness.
.
No single definitive answer, but there are probabl... (show quote)

JD750 wrote that question within a reply in a recent thread. He wrote "what", not "in what way".

He remarked that the question should be a thread of its own. And so, voila ! I used his wording verbatim. I really dont know if he cares about "what" vs "in what way". Perhaps he will soon shine some light on it ... or perhaps not.

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Jun 11, 2022 06:35:11   #
ceallachain Loc: Cape May, NJ
 
this one pulls you onto its center. Nice shot.

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Jun 11, 2022 06:38:51   #
R.G. Loc: Scotland
 
ceallachain wrote:
this one pulls you onto its center. Nice shot.


Thanks.

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Jun 11, 2022 06:53:17   #
R.G. Loc: Scotland
 
User ID wrote:
JD750 wrote that question within a reply in a recent thread. He wrote "what", not "in what way".

He remarked that the question should be a thread of its own. And so, voila ! I used his wording verbatim. I dont know if he cares about "what" vs "in what way". Perhaps he will shine some light on it ... or perhaps not.


The answer to "What" should give us useable suggestions, whereas the answer to "In what way" is more likely to result in theorising and speculation - which is all very nice and entertaining but not always easy to translate into useable insights.

If I remember right, you used the expression "visually arresting" a while back to describe the look that you were trying to achieve. Have you been able to identify specific ingredients to achieve that look, or do you just know it when you see it? I appreciate that thinking can get in the way of the creative processes and overthinking can kill them completely, but sometimes knowing what we're doing can get us looking in the right direction.

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Jun 11, 2022 07:01:57   #
billnikon Loc: Pennsylvania/Ohio/Florida/Maui/Oregon/Vermont
 
User ID wrote:
What makes an image worth looking at ? Clearly theres no single definitive answer, yet there must be many good answers.

Please feel welcome to post images, from any source, as both positive and negative examples of your own thoughts about the question. Thank you.


An interesting photo is one that invokes an emotional response from the viewer.

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Jun 11, 2022 08:14:11   #
Longshadow Loc: Audubon, PA, United States
 
It depends.....


What has an effect on some may not affect others.
But the "majority" may feel one way or the other.

Context may help shift a perception.

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Jun 11, 2022 08:15:36   #
Abo
 
One could answer that with;

"A good photograph is one that holds the viewers attention"; however that
gives no clue on what that image might be.

Cell phone cameras are ubiquitous, and the computer within
is adept at automatically getting the "settings'' right... and even more
poignantly, applying for the greater part, outstanding processing.

Consequently there's billions, maybe trillions of sharp, well exposed and well processed images
created... and we are bombarded with them via the internet.

So as time marches onward it is harder and harder to find, (or make) an image that has, originality.

Because of that, originality is a greater component of a photo that may hold a viewers attention.

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Jun 11, 2022 08:20:58   #
mindzye Loc: WV
 
billnikon wrote:
An interesting photo is one that invokes an emotional response from the viewer.

Succinct and spot on.
Question for you Bill; in an image that is, let's say geometric in nature - lines that draw the eye or forms an 'interesting' pattern - landscape, architecture etc., how would you define an emotion from these types of images, let's say more mechanical in nature?
The question is in the form of asking, as opposed to 'questioning' as in an opposing thought, and presented in respect for your photography and direction. Interested in your take.

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Jun 11, 2022 08:33:35   #
Abo
 
R.G. wrote:
No single definitive answer, but there are probably one or two key words that point to necessary basic ingredients. One such key word is "interest", which is multi-faceted and has far reaching implications. For example, an image can evoke personal interest, and that can take various forms such as emotional interest, intellectual interest, curiosity etc. On a less personal level we could add things like visual interest.

Images can evoke many things apart from interest, so on an even more basic level we could include "evocative" as another key word. There are no doubt various other ways an image can engage our attention (which points to another key word -"engaging").

The title of the thread asks "What" as opposed to "In what way", so I suppose an answer requires specifics rather than general concepts. But the key words give us a starting point and specific areas to focus on. Apart from that, defining concepts like visual interest could be tricky, so I'll resort to the old saying "I know it when I see it".

I would rate the following image as one of the more engaging photos I've taken in recent years. Technically the foreground trees are a bit soft so it's not without its flaws, but the play of light on the mountainside makes it a very viewable image IMO, and that is where the viewer's attention will tend to gravitate. Because the focus of attention is off in the distance, the image has a noticeable 3D quality. Apart from that, a common quality that landscape photos often have is pleasantness.
.
No single definitive answer, but there are probabl... (show quote)


RG,

I must say that it's not originality (of your photo) that did hold my attention.

As well as good depth, what held my attention was the skillful use of the stocks in trade of a visual artist.

Composition and tonality.

Nice work.

Regards,

Alan

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Jun 11, 2022 08:42:17   #
R.G. Loc: Scotland
 
Abo wrote:
RG,

I must say that it's not originality (of your photo) that did hold my attention.

As well as good depth, what held my attention was the skillful use of the stocks in trade of a visual artist.

Composition and tonality.

Nice work.

Regards,

Alan


Thank you Alan.

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