What makes a good or bad image?

Once I was asked to find an example of a good photograph and a bad one I struggled, because I think it is difficult to define what makes a bad image, as photography is such a subjective topic. What may be characterised as a technically bad image (out of focus, over exposed… etc) may be irrelevant, as the meaning or purpose of the image could outweigh these faults.

I see that an image taken out of context could possible be perceived as a weak image, as it may not clearly get it’s purpose across to the viewer. But once the viewer understands the context of the image then their perception of whether it is a “good or bad” image could change. Once a photograph is placed amongst a set of images, or given a meaning, it begins to tell a narrative that the audience can begin to build an opinion on.

After reflecting on this task I can understand that I should explore a photographs origins and try and put it into a context before forming an opinion, on whether I think it is a good or bad image.


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