Great Photos vs Bad Images

Photography Scenic & Abstract Urban

So, this post is actually about photography this time and I aim to just discuss a few things that I have strong opinions about with regards to photography.

What do I mean by Great Photos vs Bad Images? – Well, that’s entirely up to you how you interpret it, and interestingly that can be said for your work also. At the end of the day, your work will hopefully be seen by 100’s, 1000’s or maybe even more people every day and of course you want people to interpret it a certain way…. or do you?

Personally, I think that Great Photos stimulate peoples imaginations, they draw people into the image and make them look twice to see what’s going on.. this is in contract to Bad Images which I feel are simply “photos” that most people see every single day, they don’t necessarily stand out and can often be found amongst 100,000’s of other images in Google by using the Google Reverse Image Search tool… if you haven’t used that.. you have it, it’s a photographers copyright MUST!

So what makes a Great Photo? Still… it’s a matter of opinion, it’s open entirely to interpretation by many people every single day, but for the sake of this post, take a look at the images below which I consider to be some of my “Great Photos”.

Each one of these photos have something “different” about them.. maybe it’s the title that is designed to make you think or maybe it’s the image itself. Titles can be very powerful and stimulate thoughts in peoples minds, helping them see the scene through your eyes.

Take the “Kitty Litter” photo, in England, litter is another word for “trash” or “rubbish”.. Kitty Litter is where a cat does his daily duties… so in this case, the title is a play on words stimulated by the image!

The image, “Wrong Side of Reflection” is one of my favourite images.. I knew what I wanted to achieve with this photo when I seen the scene but I didn’t realise how much more interesting this photo was until AFTER I took it, which I’m almost ashamed to admit.

Notice how the reflection of the buildings doesn’t show in the water? How most of the scene in the background is completely different but the only constant is the sole person crossing through the scene? Not to mention that this entire image has been flipped and the title should indicate that!


So what’s a “Bad Image” then? Well, we all have them.. I have 100’s… they tend to be the photos that every new photographer stars by taking out.. you know, light trails on busy roads, close up of flowers, selective colourisation.. you know what I’m talking about.. but don’t forget that although I call these “Bad Images”.. it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are something bad… it just means that it’s something you can almost go out on any day and take again..

For me, Great Photos are something that you take in the spur of the moment, something completely unexpected and that you almost have no chance of taking again.. now many people, including myself, argue that no particular photo can be taken exactly the same again, so all photos are unique.. but they can be strikingly similar… this is what I was talking about when performing Google searches for images and you’ll see for yourself, how “common” this photo is.



Here’s a perfect example, this photo I took of a pink flower, close up macro style image.. can be found in 1000’s of variations taken by 1000’s of other photographers from all over the world.. so although it’s still a nice photo, it’s simply an “image” that can be found easily.

On the plus side, these images can be perfect for Stock Image companies like Shutterstock and other companies like this.. however, personally I don’t feel the need to sale these photos through stock image websites, I just add them to my portfolio so I can say “been there, done that” and have something to demonstrate diversity.

So, Final Thought…

Great Photos – Photos that make you stop for a moment and look into the image, find out the story or see something special

Bad Images – Still great pictures, but just not something too special, something that can be taken super easily and by 1000’s of other photographers.

Most ‘normal’ photographers will only ever take a handful of “Great Photos” throughout their careers so don’t feel disgruntled if every one of your photos aren’t “Great Photos” just remember that with every photo you take, you are learning, adapting and building your experiences and more importantly, opening the door to capturing a Great Photo!


Thanks for Reading!!