Untitled, by pearlyblue
This one goes into my file labeled "Photos to use if I ever give a slideshow lecture called What Makes a Great Picture".
This image has nothing to do with technical skills or image quality and everything to do with gut feeling and emotion. I'm certain this was taken with a relatively ordinary point and shoot digital camera, and this is a pure spur of the moment snapshot. There are things in it that slightly bother me compositionally, such as the white paper obstruction in the lower right corner, but this is an amazing photograph never the less.
What makes it great? This is one of those images you could look at on the wall for an hour studying all of it's nuances and meanings. It's a photograph that immediately triggers questions. What is going on here?
On first glance I assumed the child in red was a boy, and it took me quite a while to realize by her hair that she was in fact a girl. In contrast, the other child has her back to the camera and yet is without question a girl. The child in red has most likely just turned around and diverted her eyes in a moment of camera-shyness, but it comes off as an expression of sadness or shame. She is tied up...hands behind her back...her gold crown, the Wild Things.
More questions... more implied meaning... we keep staring and wondering.