What makes a ‘good’ photo?

For the past 2 years since I have first started to use a DLSR camera, I have taken thousands of photos from people to places, to almost anything. I love the photos I have taken, I am quite satisfied with them, however, when I see exceptional photos taken by professional or more experienced photographers, I ask, “that is very good, how do they do that?”Do photographers edit their photos for it to become ‘WOW’ or are the pictures un-edited?

There are people who would argue for editing because it enhances the photo to which it could not achieve originally. Others argue for the original shot for a wide range of reasons.

I have noticed that when I edit the photos I took to enhance the colors or put effects in it, the photos become ‘WOW!’, hence, I will like the picture but to a certain extent if editing ruins the natural beauty of the subject and surroundings of the photo.

So below, I will show you 4 pictures in 3 formats – that is; original, color enhanced and effects from which I have attained using iPhoto.

I would like to ask you, which pictures in what format (original, enhance, or effects) are considered ‘good’ or ‘beautiful’ for you and why. I want to know if people would choose the original version over enhance or effects versions or vice versa.

I apologise in advance due to the spider not being so well focused, rather, the spider web instead to which I am quite amazed as my macro lense (Canon 100mm f/2.8 L IS) was very new when I took the photos. I am not a professional photographer but taking photos has been my passion. Therefore, I hope you will not criticise the photos as if they were taken by a professional or more experienced photographer. Do leave a constructive comment if you please.

I realize that it is hard to compare the three versions. I recommend going into my flickr link below and compare each pictures into tabs according to the sets. Another way is to press the pictures in this blog and compare using tabs.

Original Photos 

IMG_9741 or.t.

IMG_9745 or.t.

IMG_9746 or.t.

IMG_9757 or.t.

The others can be viewed in the following link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/90208555@N06/sets/72157632496138775/

Color Enhanced Version 

IMG_9741 en.t.

IMG_9745 en.t.

IMG_9746 enhance taa

IMG_9757 en.t.

The others can be viewed here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/90208555@N06/sets/72157632230428565/with/8267251409/

Effects Version  

IMG_9741 ef.t.

IMG_9745 ef.t.

IMG_9746 ef.t.

There is no effects version for the ant photo because I thought it just ruins the natural beauty of the scene.

Other photos can be viewed in here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/90208555@N06/sets/72157632540019123/with/8389308362/

One last thing, is this photo better when it is cropped as compared to the original?

IMG_9768 cr.t.   IMG_9768 or.t.