The difference between good and great

Currently answering readers questions in the New York Times' 'Talk to the Newsroom' series is Assistant Managing Editor Michele McNally, who oversees photography. Get your question in quick!

A brief sample:

Q. What makes a photojournalist grow from making very good images to making brilliant ones?

— Sasha Turk

A. I think the best photojournalists have a philosophical, psychological, and emotional clarity in what they are trying to say with their pictures. They have done their existential homework and have achieved the ability to reach real emotional truthfulness in their images using narrative, gesture, light and composition. They also recognize that what they get to see and do is very special and important — to viewers and their subjects. I'd also say, hard work.

So there you have it - to be great is not so difficult, all it requires is a zen like mastery of the medium - oh yeah, and hard work.

I cannot argue with that. Especially the hard work bit...

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