I understand that different people enjoy same photo at different levels. However in general what are the most important parameters that we use to evaluate a photo’s quality?

Some of them that I can consider are:-

  1. Type of bokeh [What is considered high quality bokeh?
  2. Highlight Clipping?
  3. ….

Please list them in the descending order of priority.

  • 3
    1) Emotional impact. 2) Emotional impact. 3) Emotional impact.
    – user4894
    Jul 10 '14 at 20:37
  • Lijo - You may want to be more specific in your request. For example, you may be asking what makes a photograph aesthetically appealing? Or, more impactful? etc. (there is science behind some of that!!) On the other hand, you may be asking, "What parameters should be controlled to ensure an accurate photograph of a scene, regardless of its artistic value?". It sounds like to me you are just starting (meaning, you've taken less than 10,000 snaps) and you want to grow. Which is really another question "How do you improve as a photographer?" Then see if someone else asked this, too.
    – B Shaw
    Jul 12 '14 at 3:31

You can't really rank them in any meaningful way because each photo is different and will have a different ranking.

That being said, the ones I can think of off hand are: composition, good exposure, global contrast, local contrast, sharpness, saturation, depth of field, color balance, and noise.


I say for purely evaluating quality of a photograph exposure is the only measure. Oh... and resolution.

But without considering the subject this can get silly... I can make a perfectly exposed image of a pitch black night sky or I could create a portrait with beautiful bokeh that completely covers my subjects face.

So, for viewer enjoyment (if you want someone to look at your image for more than 2 seconds) consider:

1.) Subject

If subject is interesting to the viewer all other aspects of the photo are secondary.

2.) Elements of Design


3.) Techiniques and effects in key with subject


This question is an enormous can of worms, in a good way. Of course, different people will have different understandings of what makes a "good" photograph. But this judgement will be based on the specific knowledge the person has, cultural expectations, and where the judgement is located historically. A "wedding" photographer and an art historian will have different ways in which they judge photography. Some of these might overlap, others will not. So previous knowledge, disciplinary expertise, history, and culture all play into one's evaluation of a cultural artifact. There is no set of unchanging criteria to judge photography that encompasses all criteria that exist. My answer included.

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