I think it is a bit presumptuous for anyone to be talking about good design. Ask a designer how she or he came up with a particularly good design and the answer might be any one of those you’ll watch on the video. But the true answer is a bit more difficult to pin down. Because if it were that easy, there would be more products (and websites) designed properly, beautifully, elegantly. The very fact that there aren’t (and we have to ask) tells us that good design is more art than science, more fortuitous than purposeful.
The same goes with a good photograph. The photographer might say one thing, but try to follow exactly what he or she said and you will not an Ansel Adams become.
Often, all the elements line up fortuitously for us: the right light, the right angle, the right colors, the right expression,…. It does not mean that the photographer does not have a part to play in the making of a great photograph: to know the techniques, to be at the right time and place, to anticipate the right action, to learn to see the picture, to select the right exposure,…. But once the photograph is taken, what should we say? I planned it thus? This is exactly what I wanted to achieve and I set it all up? I post processed it expertly?
It’s all that, plus luck.
Just as in a good design, a swipe of the pencil drew the right curve, in photography likewise, a snapshot often turns out to be the prize winning photograph. All our training, all our practice, the days and nights we spent waiting for the right light, the right action, all come together to one moment we see happening from the corner of our eyes, giving us just enough time to turn, point, focus, set exposure and click. And the moment has passed… and we wonder if we caught it. Playback. And here it is! To me, that is photography….