What goes into a great image ? Knowledge and skill do. This is a particular image that I envisioned in my head, and could actually see with my eyes. The human eye has a greater tonal range than film, and film has a greater range than digital.
To make the final image below, I needed to pre-visualize it and capture two different images. In the first shot I exposed for the sky. This day was a perfect cloudy day (yes, photographers love clouds, they add drama and don’t make you look all squinty), but the clouds are still much brighter than the dark side of the water tower. I had to make a second exposure for the tower and family, which left the clouds extremely overexposed. As a final step I combined them in Photoshop, but I couldn’t just let it combine them automatically, the family looked grey. For an image like this you need to make a mask and carefully paint away certain parts and then paint back in others.
All of that to make exactly what I saw in the first place. 🙂