I sure enjoyed this essay. I can find a lot of teaching on the technical aspects of photography, but rarely something intelligent or I should say understandable about content. It can be so subjective, but as Michael says, there is indeed something that makes a photo successful however hard it is to define. This piece inspired me not only to write a little blog on the subject, but to do an exercise on some photos I'd taken to look for contrast, gesture, and implication! And it caused me to think a little differently, rather than just did I use "the rule of thirds?" or selective focus or proper exposure, etc. All important to be sure, I am glad Michael helped me think about this and, as a result, I became a newbie to the group in hopes of improving my own photography.