Posted by SnapPro on 02/06/2016

How To Tell Good Photography From Bad


GOOD Versus BAD photography how to measure quality and value in photography

How to critique your own photography work

In this article I would like to propose a systematic evaluation tool to help people judge the quality of their own work and of others. I hope you have already seen me in many videos and you understand something about me: I like to have a systematic approach to photography, I like having a model, tools and recipes that eliminate the guess work, the risk of failing the shots. Despite the claimed subjectivity of an art form, like anything else, there is a methodology to help you get across the line. Having a method will ensure quality in your work, just like any other activity. For those of you who are in the corporate world, and are aware how to implement quality into a business, this will sound familiar. Photography like any other art is 99% perspiration and 1% inspiration. Today I will teach you how to get the 99% done properly.


Advantages of having a methodology are clear to me: you will have a recipe applicable in 99% of the cases, your system is proven to work, and I will call it the Tudor Rating System in photography.


Elements that define good photography:


1. Content or subject, the story


Photography tells a story, one picture is worth a thousands words. I am sure you have heard that before. It is a known fact that content is the king. The quality of your story will define the quality of the photograph. Content can impress and leave the viewer with a emotional reaction.


Examples: photojournalistic images of human events, war, hunger, actions, events etc. Everything interesting that happens in the world and captured on film. It does not matter much if you have a composition or the image is sharp if you see a someone hurt on a death bed, or you see the lyon attacking the gazelle. It is drama that sells, that appeals to people. The more people relate to your image, the better value. Also to more difficult to recreate your image, the higher the value as it will be less likely to be copied an duplicated by others.


Like any movies, music, painting, a strong content can promote a photograph. Imaging music created just for the message, I terms of quality, it does not have to be the best, but the message behind it will make people connect.


2. Language -- how you want the tell the story -- composition


this aspects addresses to human understanding of beauty. This appeals to the subconscious level telling us that the image is beautiful or not and also support the content and visual arrangements in a photograh. Not having a composition creates a chaotic arrangements and prevents us understanding the subject and creates difficulty identifying the story. I have provided a comprehensive composition article and video already. You might want to have a look at it again to refresh your understanding of composition as a language to convey a message

A story told in a poor language destroys the experience.



3. Visual quality -- sharpness, contrast, colours, quality of the presentation -- in one work the packaging

Last but not least, the packaging is the quality of the image, the sharpness, the focus, the colour range, the brightness contrast, and everything else that requires a good tool, a good knowledge of your camera. This can raise or destroy a photo. what point is to photograph something dramatic it is completely out of focus. The technical ability to produce a high quality image, will support the other elements but plays also a critical role in the final value of photography.


Tudor Rating System

I am proposing a rating system from 1 to 10, for each element above and the final rating will be the average of the 3. I would say that a full 10 is very difficult to achieve from many reasons. One of them is also from the fact that not everyone has the same perception and the same value in terms of content. For example a wedding photo with a perfect execution in terms of quality and composition will rate 10 for the bride and 4 for anyone else in the world as the wedding is not an event which is that special in the world context.


I would rate the value of a photograph between 1-4 -- not valuable at all, 5-6 mediocre, 7,8,9 good quality and 10, the best which will be rarely achieved

Ask yourself the following basic questions before pressing the send button:

- what do I want to tell with this photo

- how do I make myself clear in the photo

- why is this image an not other

- is anyone else able to take the same image

- why is this image mine and how that reflects me, and me only?


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