EVALUATING AN IMAGE

Elements for Consideration in Thoughtful Image Analysis

I. Composition

• Center of interest - Is there a focal point or main center of interest?

• Placement of subject - Is the subject placed in a position that adds to the interest and story

telling ability of the photograph (e.g. rule-of-thirds).

• Distance from the subject - Does the subject fill the viewfinder or does the distance add an interesting perspective?

• Foreground/background - Is the foreground and background simple and uncluttered? Is it used to set the stage for the story without distracting from the subject? Are there object merges?

• Format - Was the horizontal or vertical format used the best choice and was it used

effectively?

• Framing - Is framing used to add dimension to the photograph or call attention to the

subject?

• Perspective - Is the camera angle used effectively to help add interest and to build the story?

• Line, shape, pattern, texture - Is line, shape, pattern or texture used to add interest or to direct the eye to the subject? Do the lines and shapes relate to one another? 

II. Image Quality

• Focus - Is the image clear and sharp? Does the image record fine detail with good

definition?

• Exposure - Did the exposure used provide adequate lighting for the image? Have "hot

spots" been avoided?

• Contrast - Is contrast used effectively to make the subject stand out or to set a mood?

• Lighting - Does the lighting call attention to the subject, set a mood, or add interest?

• Noise - Is noise apparent and detracting to the overall image?

• Depth of Field - Is the depth of field used effectively to emphasize the subject?

• Color - Is the color (either black and white or color) natural and true to life? Was the best choice made from color, black and white or sepia? Are there color merges?

• Depth of Tones - Does the photograph have richness of color or complete range of tones? 

III. Storytelling

• Message - Does the photograph clearly communicate a message? Does it tell a story in the first glance?

• Creativity and Originality - Is the subject presented in a unique way?

IV. Wow Factor

  • Dramatic Effect - Does the photograph have a very strong impact, creating an immediate, emotional response?

For a pdf version of this document: Elements for Consideration in Thoughtful Image Analysis