For most part of my life, whatever photography I indulged in were to do with my work, i.e., taking images of our exhibition stall, samples, customers, conferences. During this period I mainly used the Point and Shoot and rarely ever processed images.
Past two years however, I decided to up my hobby and bought a 550D and indulged in astrophotography. Thereafter, I got myself a 60D and several lenses and couple of processing software like PSE 9 and PSPX4.
I do take Raw occasionally but most often Jpeg. My processing is limited and mostly centered round levels, curves, hue and saturation, brightness, contrast. Nothing heavy or complicated. I am not that processing savvy.
Being a member here as well as on Flickr, I have come across some absolutely gorgeous and stunning images in almost every field, be it Macro, Portraiture, Products, Landscapes and it leaves me bewildered and at times distressed for want of achieving such results. Quite possibly I have one out of 100 images which may reach this level but do not have the eye or processing skills ( if critically important ? ) to replicate.
Therefore, aside from the images displayed here by forum members, this question has been eating me for sometime now and I had to ask. What defines a good photo?
Lots of details have been read by me which were posted by members who visited my threads or whose threads I visited. Some talk of structure, some of composition, angle, exposure, lighting, background etc., ending with processing. While I understand these may well form the basis of what could be defined as a good photo, is this the only solution? I am not asking for shortcuts but is there anyway a person could simply click an object and come out with a beautiful photo or is this an empty wish?
I don't mind understanding in simple terms what defines a good photo, be it natural, human or material. More importantly, am I to believe to obtain a good photo of say a 'Product', lighting plays a key role and that I must possess a few lighting kits and umbrellas or can I get away with a good product photo with just a DSLR and ambient lighting? Ditto for other things. I do have a basic idea of the controls on my camera and what each setting does but maybe I haven't mastered them?
Now for some if not most of you, the above may appear as some mundane murmurings of someone new to photography. I am yet to cross the 10000th, mark. Your comments and advice may well help solve this. Thanks in advance.