What Aspect of Photography is Most Important?

There are many aspects of photography that work together to form a good image. If any of these aspects are left out of the picture, you may end up with a sub-optimal photograph. They’re all important, but I’m curious which of those aspects are most important — if you had to pick only one, which would it be? As always, feel free to add answers if they’re not listed here.

What Aspect of Photography is Most Important?

Last week’s poll (What Post-Processing Software Do You Use?) shows that a majority of the Epic Edits readers use some form of Photoshop — 49 of 84 votes, or 58%. This is good news for me, because I won’t feel so bad for speaking Photoshop terminology during my tutorials.

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About Brian Auer

a photography enthusiast from North Idaho. He's also the guy behind the Epic Edits Weblog. As a hobbyist photographer since 2003, his passion has been to constantly improve his photography skill set, to share his own knowledge with others, and to become an integral part of the photographic community.

12 thoughts on “What Aspect of Photography is Most Important?

  1. Andrew Ferguson

    Honestly? I don’t think I can vote in this one.

    While some of these are more important than others, I don’t think any of them classify as the most important. A photo with one of those attributes nailed dead-on is pretty bland unless the others are up there as well.

    Photography is a mix of all of these elements. I know, it sounds like the cop-out answer, but they *are* all important.

  2. Brian Auer Post author

    You’ve hit the nail on the head — they’re all important. But I’m curious where you guys put your priorities. This one wasn’t supposed to be easy, and I think that the more experienced photographers will have a harder time answering this one.

  3. kRiZ cPEc

    to me, the items in the list are equally important. So I added “Luck” to the list–meaning a photographer be at the right place, at the right time, with the right equipment and saw the right thing…
    Hope you understand me.

  4. Brian Auer Post author

    I fully understand, that’s a pretty good answer. I think it applies to some types of photography more than others, but I’ve certainly had my fair share of the luck-factor playing into my shots.

  5. Susheel


    I’m not voting on this poll, but to me, experience is also a pivotal part of this. I’m talking about experience both as a person, and as a photographer. From the technique point of view, your priorities will shift based on your experience, intent, and all the rest…

    I don’t really think that ‘experience’ should be added to the list because that’s more a personal factor or a factor that primarily determines the subject matter… So I’m not adding it to the list.

    Maybe you should have lists where people can check off more than one option. ;) just a suggestion.

  6. Brian Auer Post author

    That’s a good insight to this question — you’re probably not the only one thinking along these lines. As for the poll options, I’m using Democracy Poll and I don’t think it allows multiple votes. If anybody has a better alternative, let me know and I’ll give it a try.

  7. Ed Z

    wow that’s a tough question, since a lot of those are inter-dependent… I would separate the list into 2 halves – the “creative” half being more important and the “gear” half being less important.

    if pressed, I’d probably say that lighting+composition are th most important since great photos can be made regardless of equipment, because the composition conveys the message, and the lighting creates the image.

    to break it down to the absurd, one could argue that lighting is the most important, since no light=no photo, period.

  8. Pingback: Who’s Your Favorite Professional Photographer? | Epic Edits Weblog

  9. Jim Goldstein

    Oops I missed this one. From the given options I’d have said lighting also, but I think the question (no offense) is rather one dimensional.

    Photography is a multi-faceted medium. Your question would be equivalent to asking a painter what color is the most important for painting. One part is no more important than an other, it is how you mix and combine the various components to create your photo that matter. In that regard vision and execution are two very important elements of photography. Combined with Susheel’s comment of experience you’ve got what i consider to be the big three components of photography as I see it.

  10. Brian Auer Post author

    You’re absolutely right about this Jim. By asking this question, I was hoping to bring out some comments such as yours. I was also curious to see where the voting distribution would fall — I’m actually a little surprised at the results, but they’re not too far off from what I expected.

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