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02/27/2003 08:31:24 PM · #1
I had a chat today with a few DPC members and we discussed the 'perfect photograph' and how everyone can go about making one.

What is a 'perfect' photograph?

Let's define what this means... What makes a photograph perfect? In my opinion, a perfect photograph is of something that has strong meaning for the photographer. The subject should be something that inspires you in some way... something that has more than a superficial meaning to you. Maybe a family heirloom... maybe a doll... maybe something that you created... maybe a pet... maybe a child... The subject possibilities are almost endless.

The next step in creating your perfect photograph is figuring out HOW you want to photograph it. What approach will you use? Will you use special lighting setups? Will you choose an interesting angle for the photo? Will you use strong colors? Will you use black and white? What 'environment' will you use? Will it be a still life setup inside or outside? Will it be a candid 'spur of the moment' capture?

After you have determined what you want to photograph and how you want to photograph it, you need to start making photos. After you have made a set of photos, you need to evaluate your results.

Do you see images in this set that make you feel really good? Are you truly inspired by what you see? If not, you need to start over again. If so, you need to ask yourself if what you see can be any better. Spend some time looking at what you have. What makes it great?

Now, you have to ask yourself if what you see can be better. If it can't be any better and you are truly inspired by what you see, you have your perfect photo :) If you see some possibilities for improvement, you should reshoot to achieve those improvements to get your perfect photo :)

Finally, it doesn't matter what other people think about your perfect photo. Getting this 'perfect photo' concept engrained in your methodology will improve your photography tremendously. It will make you feel better about your shots... It will give you confidence.

When you are completely happy with your photos, I think that you will find that others will like them as well. There will always be critical comments on your work even when you think it is perfect. Each viewer will see something different in your image. The good side of this is that when you believe you have a perfect photo, the critical comments you get won't bother you :)

If you already have 'perfect' photos, feel free to link them in this thread if you like. If you don't have a 'perfect' photo, I would challenge you to make some :)

John Setzler

02/27/2003 08:35:40 PM · #2
KUDOS John... thanks for posting that!
02/27/2003 08:47:15 PM · #3
I guess of all the photographs I've ever taken, this one is always the one that makes me smile from ear to ear. I was so thrilled with the way this turned out! The parents ordered a giant 16x20 of this, and there is even a copy of this hanging in the Children's Ward at the Hospital here.

I know there are things I could have done differently, and I'm sure it can be harshly critiqued, but I love the overall feel of it just the same.Angel Portrait(this url will bring up lots of angel portraits, it's the one that's enlarged that is my favorite)

Message edited by author 2003-02-27 21:10:49.
02/27/2003 09:18:04 PM · #4

My recent favorite that I've shot is:

I love the colors, the lines, and the focus. I think that's one of my best shots ever, and it makes me feel good to see how i'm improving from what I was about half a year ago when I started.

It was one of the first object shots that I really took time setting up, in terms of angles and lighting. Also one of the first ones I ever seriously used photoshop on to improve the levels / saturation.

Message edited by author 2003-02-27 21:20:01.
02/27/2003 09:20:54 PM · #5
That is a beautiful portrait, Tara!
Hmmm. Perfect? I am too hard on myself to call anything "perfect".. but maybe This One is close.
I get alot of comments that the eyes should be more visible... but, to me, the body language says it all, and it leaves some mystery to it.
Otherwise, I would have to pick Kelly; I like the lighting, the mystery, the reflections, the angle, the stance, the attitude, and the tangibility.

Message edited by author 2003-02-27 21:21:52.
02/27/2003 09:29:36 PM · #6
Here are a few of my favorites which I shot in Hawaii this past December -- but I still can't call them perfect. Maybe someday, but I'm not there yet. I AM, however, having lots of fun aiming for that perfect photo.

02/27/2003 09:38:15 PM · #7
' . substr('//moshmelloz.com/First_Skateboard_sig.jpg', strrpos('//moshmelloz.com/First_Skateboard_sig.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

Of all the pictures I have ever taken, I always come back to this shot. I took this of my son last summer and it was published in Digital Photographer magazine. Wish I had some more fill light in the eyes, but I can find something I wish I would have done better in every shot I take.
02/27/2003 10:05:33 PM · #8
In addition to my Landscape photo, these stand out for me as ones I wouldn't change:

Golden Gate Bridge
02/27/2003 10:08:38 PM · #9
This is currently my favorite photo - Kathy.


About your Golden Gate photograph ... All I can say is WOW !!!


Message edited by author 2003-02-27 22:10:16.
02/27/2003 10:10:40 PM · #10
Originally posted by jimmythefish:

In addition to my Landscape photo, these stand out for me as ones I wouldn't change:

Golden Gate Bridge

Wow, love that Golden Gate bridge shot :)
02/27/2003 10:27:12 PM · #11
The Golden Gate Bridge photo is breathtaking! It looks perfect to me!

Message edited by author 2003-02-27 22:27:58.
02/27/2003 10:31:42 PM · #12
Karen, your Kelly shot is awesome. How did you keep reflections out of his shades? My husband gave me a double-take, because I was staring at it so long! =)

The Golden Gate bridge shot is amazing.... one of these days I will learn landscapes and landmarks...you can quote me on that!
02/27/2003 10:34:57 PM · #13
My favorite photo that I ever took was this one it didn't do to good here on DPC due to the hi grain that I put in it to create atmosphere like a horor movie. :-)
02/27/2003 10:54:42 PM · #14
This is my favorite.

Its PA170016.jpg

Message edited by author 2003-02-27 23:18:29.
02/27/2003 10:58:10 PM · #15
My first 'perfect' shot:

Negativity Sucks!

My other ones:

Helical Illumination

Mount Dallas

Message edited by author 2003-02-27 22:58:29.
02/27/2003 11:00:27 PM · #16
I took this about a week ago on the 19th. Almost submitted it for the stock photography challenge. Not sure if I did the URL correctly....


Here are a few more of my favorites. "Three Crosses" and "Windpower" are outtakes from the perspective challenge. Roxy is my Rotweiller. Stumpy is my nephews cat.


Certainly not "perfect" but then again... what is?


02/28/2003 12:08:12 AM · #17
Everyone's shots are awesome!!!!

Welp ... i kinda have a few that stick out as favs .. and well this one started it all .. which was taken with my Sony Mavica FD-81 ... then a few of my more recent favorite shots I have with my Minolta Dimage 7i are Dancin' the night away
Concert photography from Nov 2002
Air Bubbles' 1st B-Day
and more my favorite Drive by shooting (driving and taking photos on the interstate would be
Interstate Sunset

Thanks for all your comments and support ... and learning techniques ... just about everyday i learn something new to improve my photos!

Message edited by author 2003-02-28 00:23:40.
02/28/2003 12:24:49 AM · #18
my perfect shot would have to be this:


I want to get it printed rather big and put it in my room or something :)

another i like alot is this:


which i've printed at 8x10 on photo paper :) looks very lovely.. even from an inkjet printer..

Message edited by author 2003-02-28 01:05:56.
02/28/2003 12:42:37 AM · #19
Wow Jimmythefish, the golden gate photo really is perfect! simply fantastic! and scab lab I love the skateboard shot! very very nice!

here's my most disappointing shot.. I thought it was perfect, and just new it would win a ribbon... alas I was wrong.. :o( my perfect entry

here's another favorite, perfect? maybe not... but it definately is

perfectly cool!

Message edited by author 2003-03-05 00:17:45.
02/28/2003 05:03:12 AM · #20
I think my 'Candid' entry is perfect. I love the negative space and the clouds at the bottom with clear blue above it. I took the photo on holiday and it wasn't until I got home that I realised how much I liked it. Maybe it wasn't the best choice for 'candid' being a bird, but I really do like it.

Another one I think is perfect (after touch-ups in photoshop) is this entry. Pbase has finally stopped me being allowed to upload until I pay, but in photoshop I removed the scracthes and dust, and it looks a whole lot better!

These are just my opinions and you probably won't agree with me :)
02/28/2003 05:21:40 AM · #21
my favorites are changing every day, depending on mood, wheater, whatever. Todays favorites are:
02/28/2003 06:05:17 AM · #22
This was one of the first photos I ever took. My finepix S304 is the first camera I've owned, and this photo inspired me to take up photography as a fulltime obsession.


Message edited by author 2003-02-28 06:09:43.
02/28/2003 06:09:22 AM · #23
Originally posted by miss parker:

my favorites are changing every day, depending on mood, wheater, whatever. Todays favorites are:

Your "protecting" shot would be great for the leading lines challenge miss parker!
02/28/2003 06:35:37 AM · #24
I think my favorite shots are this one and my entry for the Yellow challenge, Apple's Cider Heaven

The first was one of the first shots I took when I got my camera and the second was one of the rare times I managed to shoot exactly what I saw in my mind.

Message edited by author 2003-02-28 06:36:04.
02/28/2003 08:30:05 AM · #25
Originally posted by PhotosByAyme:

Dancin' the night away

Awesome shot!!!

Too many others to point out too.... you all have excellent photos!!

BTW: My husband, who says he "doesn't understand photography", stopped to view this as he walked by the computer.. "That's nice!" says he. :P

Message edited by author 2003-02-28 08:31:26.
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