That’s exactly the question you ask yourself when you’re looking at a successful photo. What does success depend on? There are objective reasons, of course: the photographer’s technical virtuosity and talent, the quality of the printing, the choice of subject, But those factors alone don’t add up to to a good photo; a some little anonymous, tattered, unimaginative and badly printed photo can be absolutely fascinating.
So there’s no explanation. Chance or some sixth sense can play a part – and of course some photographers are better than others at spotting or conjuring up the chance element. A photograph happens quickly and doesn’t allow for half measures; and when it comes off, it retains something of the raw intensity of its making, that grabbing of the right moment. This is doubtless one explanation for the emotion we feel when confronted with a picture that works.” – Sylvie Aubenas, Curator, Photography Department, Bibliotheque Nationale de France, Paris