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?”).
#2. Kenneth Van Sickle: Details: Mary Glasses 1955
Upon first glance, the photograph appear uninspired — glasses, women drinking. But in fact it is a brilliant play on the properties of light and glass. The blurred face of the woman dressed in a polka-dotted shirt is similar to what one experience when one is intoxicated.
#3. Simpson Kalisher
A taxi driver, two pedestrians, all are potential subjects yet none of their faces are visible. Instead, their shadows have became the subjects. In a moment of whimsical fancy, what usually resides in darkness steps into the light — seen becomes invisible, unseen visible.
David Greenberg Gallery The Fuller Building / 41 East 57th St. Suite 1406, New York Tues-Sun 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM, current exhibition ends Feb. 22, 2014