What Makes A Photograph Breathtaking?

Its easy to look through hundreds of pictures, and enjoy each one for what it offers. Then you open up a site with a photograph that makes you say … WOW!

There is a difference between 99 percent of the photographs out there, and the 1 percent that truly leaves you breathless. And while you may say that a breathtaking photograph is in the eye of the beholder, there may be things you can do to make your photographs truly breathtaking.

Head over to a site like The Big Picture. I visit there every once in awhile when I need inspiration. The photographs are unbelievable. But what makes them truly magical is the story they tell when you look at each subject all together.


And of course you can’t leave out a site like National Geographic. Their photography has been WOWing people for decades. And while the stories they tell are remarkable, it’s the photography that really penetrates your heart.

So how do you take a breathtaking photograph? I searched through other photographers sites to see what they have to say.

Stuck In Customs does a great job of defining it in his well written post, 10 Principles of Beautiful Photography. I love Trey’s statement, “A beautiful photo must tell the epic tale of the memory linked with other emotive memories that fold into whole.

Digital Photo Secrets gets more specific, and talks about how to capture breathtaking landscapes. “In any shooting situation, you always need to pay attention to every opportunity – not just the ones that you came there for.”

In PhotoTuts+’s A 10 Step Guide To Taking Breathtaking Firework Photographs, it walks you how to look at things from all angles, and possibly capture things you’ve never seen before. “The old adage ‘practice makes perfect’ is definitely true here – the more you do it, the more you’ll understand the settings required and hot to take dramatic shots.”

Digital Photography School does a great job of helping you with 10 Ways To Take Stunning Portraits. In it they give a great piece of advice – “Sometimes it’s what is left out of an image that says more than what is included.”

And in Smashing Magazine’s (Really) Stunning Pictures and Photos, they say it all.

“Photography is a very powerful medium and a very difficult craft. Excellent photos don’t only display some facts – they tell stories, awake feelings and manage to share with the audience the emotions a photographer experienced when clicking the shot button. Taking excellent pictures is damn hard as you need to find a perfect perspective and consider the perfect timing. To achieve brilliant photography you need practice and patience. However, it is worth it: the results can be truly stunning.”

Now its your turn. What makes a photograph breathtaking?

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