What Makes a Great Photograph Great?

Scott Lamb of BuzzFeed created this exceptionally moving video that asks the question, “what makes a great photograph great?” Lamb’s voice narrates a slideshow of some of the most powerful photographs captured throughout history — photographs that capture life, love, death, sacrifice, joy, and suffering. Captions accompany the images, so we recommend watching the video twice and pausing on each photo to make sure you catch all of them (otherwise it may be hard to know what’s actually happening).

In case you’re wondering, the background track is “Hypnagogia” by Andrea Rossi.

  • Ken

    What makes a great photograph great? I think its when it achieves a desired, or expected effect on either the viewer, or photographer. It also could be expensive camera gear, Instagram filters, tragedy capitalization, or just dumb luck.

  • Ralph Hightower

    Those were some powerful photographs!

  • ChristianRudman

    That combination of pictures was exceptionally powerful. Had me at tears at times seeing the reflections of innocence in war with the children mourning fathers and just exposures of suffering and pain. Thanks for posting this one.

  • checkmate

    It’s got to be the camera…am I right?

  • Karl

    So many war-related photos.

  • Troy Forbes

    I photo that makes you feel, makes it great.