What does it mean to have a “good eye” in photography?

Answers staff note: This is the real Wee Khim, fashion and celebrity photographer! To take part in the Y!ureka contest for a chance to win Dopod phones, register at http://yahoo.com.sg/answers

380 Answers

  • A “good eye”…ahhh…..something you have to be born with. It can be cultivated or honed, but you must have that “X” factor in the first place. An infinitely intangible quality, it allows the gifted to portray his feelings in all ways beautiful, ugly, happy, sad or miserable. It enables the photographer to embrace the brotherhood of man, cutting across boundaries of languages, colours and continents. Many have tried in vain to attain a “good eye”; alas, only few shall prevail.

  • I believe to have a “good eye” in photography is, on top of extensive training, excellent skills, and expensive equipment, the key to photographic success. It allows the photographer to catch those moments that are missed easily and distinguishes a good photographer from an average one.

    Indeed, there is probably no standard “good eye”, but rather it is a like kind of signature of the photographer, to see things in a special way. However, there are a few signs which I feel are hallmarks of a “good eye”.

    1) Alertness – Being able to spot a potential photographic moment, observe any important details and not be lazy to whip out the camera to immortalize it before the picture is lost.

    2) Openness of Mind – Being able to consider and picture in the mind all ways – unorthodox methods included – to get that perfect frame. But a “good eye” also requires one to do what is necessary even if it means risking getting dirty, looking funny or eventually failing to get the desired effect

    3) Sense of Balance – Not physically of course, but visualising and assessing what composition of objects, contrast and brightness levels, and focus targets would produce the most meaningful or beautiful photo.

    4) Emotional Maturity – Being able understand and feel for the protagonists in the picture, be it a singer, a sportscar, or the sunrise. A lack of this quality results in dull, soulless pictures.

    5) Communication Skills – After being able to feel, one must also be capable of conveying the message induced to the eventual viewer of the photograph, purely through visual means.

    A “good eye” in photography is mostly an innate ability to see what others may not see, or in a different way. Yet with a lot of hard work, some training and just a little talent, I believe any budding amateur photographer can develop a “good eye” over time.

  • Good Eye Photography

  • A “good eye” in photography is a combination of many subtle talents.

    Composition: The photographer must be able to compose what he sees before him into an aesthetically pleasing image.

    Lighting: He must be able to manipulate or control the lighting conditions around him to create a suitable mood for his picture.

    An eye for detail: The photographer must be able to pick out the most interesting detail from a seemingly mundane scene.

    An eye for feeling: Finally, what separates “good” photographs from “great” ones is the ability to capture the raw emotions of his subject and evoke it in anybody who sees it, despite the viewer’s location, race or creed.

    I’m sure a celebrated photographer like Wee Khim would know more about this than I, but I feel these are the four stepping stones en route to acquiring a “good eye” in photography.

  • A “good eye” in photography means that you must be able to capture the object that you have in mind. Let say in Portait shooting. As already stated is a Portait photo the object in this photo is the person. Not the Background. As for landscape shooting, The most important things is the surrounding. Let say you are going to photo shoot a castle and the object that you wish to take is the door that you think is huge. You dun just take the door without the castle this way you just can compare and tell others that the door is big. even better if there is someone at the door this will actually point out that the door is huge. Nevertheless a good eye is where you take the photo at the right time and the right place showing the right object.

  • A “good eye” in photography is mostly an innate ability to see what others may not see, or in a different way. Yet with a lot of hard work, some training and just a little talent, I believe any budding amateur photographer can develop a “good eye” over time.

  • Photography isn’t simply what recording what you see, it’s a whole different way of seeing, a whole different language. In real life our vision, our reality is not sharply framed by four rectangular sides; the depth of field etc our eyes have and what our camera has may be completely different depending on the lens etc. A good eye isn’t just about appreciating beauty– you need to be able to constantly ‘frame’ the world, and develop a feel for what will look good, or how something can look good, within a rectangular frame. Also, unlike real life which is one continuous fluid motion, photography isolates, “chops up” life into individual moments. We look at an actress– in a movie, we have a great tracking shot of her– that’s beautiful. In real life, we can slowly appraise her, our eyes slowly moving, constantly changing perspective. In a photograph, we have 1/250 of a second, one angle– one moment. Out of context with all the rest. Someone with a good eye will be able to tell you- from where I’m standing, when she tilts her head slightly at a certain angle, when she stares a certain way– that’s a moment. One slight alteration and it’s lost. That’s the reason why many beautiful people don’t look quite as good on camera– because you are seeing them in one isolative moment, which may not be their best. Same with all those sunset pictures– it’s when the bird flies overhead at this certian position and the light hits the clouds with a certian intensity– it all comes together. It’s all about identifying moments and seeing life in terms of what comes together and strikes you in only 1/250 of a second, to be lost forever if you don’t press the shutter right there and then.

  • Anybody can use a camera to take photograph, then everyone can become a photographer? So why are some photographer very famous, and some not? They do the same thing , taking photos? Here the ” good eye” thing will come in, what I feel about

    “good eye” is these pro-photographer posses a special ability to see thing in a different aspect, they are able to capture at the right time, right moment of what they see and think. So you can tell the character of the photographer from their photographs. There is always something special in the photo that they take, cant really describe it , can only feel it.

    To conclude I feel that “good eye” is actually not the eye, its the brain. It make you ‘see’ your thoughts and later expressing it in the form of a photograph.

  • “good eye” means a photographer’s creativity, not how fantastic the camera is. To compose a picture for a more dramatic effect or to bring out a life, movement in a picture.

    Be creative to try shooting from different positions.. lying down, squating, standing on a stool, climbing up a ladder..

    Look at the person you’re shooting in the eye.. even if he/she is not looking into the camera.. take the picture when you feel most about the kind of emotion that person is evolving.

    Light choice.. plays an important role to the effect you want your photos to show. The right amount of light will make the colors appear natural and mesmerizing.

    In summary, a good photographer who possess a “good eye” can take a good photograph with any working camera, and a poor photographer can’t take a good photographs even with the most expensive camera.

  • To have a “good eye” in photography I believe is more than just understanding and applying technical know-how such as shutter speeds, aperture settings and rule of thirds. To have a “good eye”, one must understand the subject, the environment and really reach within to find that one picture which, when captured is able to elicit responses, stir emotions and emote individuals.

    Those with a “good eye” see clarity where others see none, they recognise lines, shapes, forms, always seeking insatiably for the next opportunity to freeze-frame inspiration. They no doubt have talent and know-how, they know when to apply the rules, but more importantly, they know when to throw those rules out and follow raw instinct and gut feeling.

    A “good eye” involves not only experience, but a passion, a desire to not simply take a picture, but capture a moment in time, the composition of which tells more visually than any caption could do justice.

    And, as with most things, a little luck never hurts the “eye”.

  • Before the question of ‘Good Eye’ in Photography, comes another question whether it is an Art or a Science ? I feel Photography is all about perception – how you perceive the subject, the surrounding, the lights etc. It is not just looking at the subject but beyond that too, in order to capture what even the eye could not. That naturally makes Photography an Art. But then again the correct use of all the equipments at resource makes Photography a Science.

    The ‘Good Eye’ in Photography therefore is one which has the perception of an artist and the precision of a scientist.

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