There are so many ways of slicing that question, but I think what we’ve seen from the history of photography is that a good photograph often reveals something of the photographer’s interiority. You learn something about the photographer's wit, their timing, or their vision — how they were able to seize the unexpected moment and make something substantial out of it like meaning, poetry, beauty, or tragedy.
A lot of photographs start in the middle. People tend to use a bull's-eye approach when making pictures, particularly amateurs who don’t have a lot of experience. They want to hit the target. But as their eye becomes more sophisticated, they begin to see that the picture frame itself is this beautiful powerhouse that can be filled with information. If a picture can transcend all of the stuff in it, so that the photographer disappears and the photographer’s effort and tricks fade away, then people can enter the picture and enjoy the experience of an interesting photograph. I don’t know about what makes a picture good or bad, but for me the first entry into a picture is the thought, Oh, this is interesting. Just like life, in a way.