A Familiar Question

People often ask me what makes a good picture.  What makes the good picture stand out from the average?

Here is one answer:
If we look at the photographers whose work we admire,  we see that they’ve found a particular place, theme, or subject, dug deep into it, and carved out something that’s become special.  That takes a lot of time and a lot of work; it’s not for everyone.  A great photograph really needs to say something about a person or give some insight into their life or how their life is different than yours and mine.  A good picture makes us curious and makes us want to know more.

21 Responses to “A Familiar Question”

  1. Reblogged this on Nasuko Japan and commented:

  2. so pleased i found your blog… INSPIRATIONAL and then some!

  3. So very true and, a good picture usually has a poem in it too.

  4. Reblogged this on Mou Ikkai and commented:
    Damn true!!!

  5. Really true ! A also believe the same thing Steve !

  6. A good picture is a piece of art. Like any other form of art it makes us want more… that’s how you know it’s really good; it touches you deep within and feeds the part of you craving for life. I love your work because, it makes me feel more alive. Thank you!

  7. most bookmark… when looking for today’s blog entry of “the best photo ever – in my books” – i did a bit of research, mention a few of the top classic poster models (actresses of yesteryears), the classic Adam Ansel, Dorethea Lange (photogs of yesteryears) – and of course, came across your – what i think – is your most famous photo – the Afghan Girl – and of course, have to mention you in the “photogs of today”

    if you ever wanted an assistant to carry your gear, just let me know:)

    best regards

    Rina – aka PTO – of the pixtakers

  8. Really enjoyed your blog and your words !! i guess you have no life beside photography, some times seeing your work or some other photographers makes me to think of leaving every thing, be crazy and do what i like…… thanks for sharing.

  9. J C Hood Says:

    First intro. in to ‘light’ was with a Contax camera. (gift from Grandfather)All blk & wht.
    Being a horsewoman & ‘older’ Mother, photo sessions, are fleeting. (Afgan Girl-cover) always the reason to notstop, even tho my only camera is one on a phone. As a beginner- I’d like to know, what is out there– to purchase,starting anew.
    In the desert, with respect to tiny reaches into
    nature’s display. Thank You for your heart of vision

  10. Asraf Dahari Says:

    love yr talk last week at the annexe central market kuala lumpur.I have the opportunity having my picture with u.U really inspired me steve..btw ,how old are u?

  11. Hi Steve
    In the very same manner you have been an inspiration for many others and myself, through your shots, I recall a moment when I visited the Taj Mahal and decided to get to the other side of the river, due to your picture made from the old train, I hope this blog will keep inspiring us through your writing.
    Thank you!

  12. Hi Steve and welcome to blogsville.

    Im really looking forward to following your posts. You have been an inspiration to so many for so long and now a blog as well. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    Tom Bourdon

  13. i quite agree!

    my friend and fellow photographer/blogger pointed me to your blog.

    so glad she did!

  14. Dear Steve,

    you were and still are my inspiration for becoming a travel photographer. How can the world ever thank you enough for your incredible, inspiring work. May you long continue to work on projects that enrich not only your own soul but ours as well.

    Paul Dymond, Cairns, Australia

  15. Hello Steve,
    I came across on your photograph book and was so much inspired of the photos you’ve taken!
    I just recently started to take photos, and you really inspired me!

    from Seoul, Vivian

  16. Steve:

    Thanks for your insight. I couldn’t agree more about your philosophy. My wife LOVES your photography (Julianne from http://www.photofabrique.biz). You have captured the essence of the world in your photos of people.

  17. Thank you for your epic vision. You make the most difficult seem effortless.

  18. Hi Steve,

    You have been my inspiration for photography and I am looking forward to this blog for some thoughts from your side. I wish to attend your workshops but it’s not always possible being in India. Thanks for starting this one.


  19. jooprubens Says:

    thanks for starting this blog.
    i am certainly looking forward to your thoughts etc.
    your images are classic and timeless
    thanks for sharing your talents with the world

  20. Hello Steve,

    It’s great that you start to blog and spread your charisma. We met in Tibet 2004; what an inspiration for me.

    Heard that you will be down again to Singapore in June 09. Hope to see you again.

    Visit my blog if you have time.

    Rgds, Leonardus

  21. Very simple answer, yet so difficult to achieve. Looking forward to following this blog!


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