If you were to ask the question, “What makes a great photograph?”, you would get varied responses.
“Great light.” ”
The subject has strong emotional appeal.”
Or simply, “I love it!” There is no set formula. Perhaps the best way to understanding what makes great photographs is to, well, look at great photographs.
#1. David Heath
The single white line in the background and the two boys’ gaze extend and meet at a focal point outside of the photograph. By leaving the gazed object/person blank, Heath imbues a sense of urgency. The emotional draw is heightened because of viewers’ involvement in the act of looking (“What’s there? What are they looking at?”).