Feed Us Your Photoblog--The Solution

Tom C cakaltm at gmail.com
Thu Jul 1 08:35:30 EDT 2010

>> William Robb wrote:
>> Is one allowed to say: "Is this the best you can do?"
>> Is one allowed to pass on his disappointment in the photographer?

IMO, even that first question is negatively loaded because it's aimed
at the photographer, not the image.  It implies the photographer is
unskilled, uncaring, or lazy, or did not try their best (all the above
could be true). However, it's a judgement rendered of the person not
the photograph. What right does the viewer have to ask that kind of
question? That certainly would not motivate me, it would just piss me
off. Ask that question of your wife, husband, child about anything
they've done and I'll guarantee a negative angry reaction 99% of the
time.  And even if the photographer did not try their best, who cares?
Do any of us try our best regarding every task we undertake? Define
"best". Is one person's best different from another's?

Far better to speak regarding the image, where it fails or excels,
instead of calling in to question the skill, motivation or dedication
of the person.

I recall Shel having an issue with an image I took of a rainbow and
mountainside, and he complained that the background was washed out and
lacking in constrast. I forget his exact words but they struck me as
caustic at the time. OK, it wasn't a masterpiece and I never claimed
it was, but guess what? When looking through miles of falling rain,
does one expect a crystal clear high contrast scene, or might contrast
be lowered because of the conditions? IMO, Shel simply had his head
where the sun doesn't shine much of the time, and was often not
qualified to render the judgements he did... regardless of his
schooling in photography, which I think counts too little and was
mentioned too often.

He justfied his style of critique by saying he was emulating his
teacher in photography school.  Give me a break. Just because you're
teacher's an butthead, doesn't mean one has to copy that behavior.

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