PetaPixel

Why You Shouldn’t Give Too Much Weight to Anonymous Online Critics

Back in 2006, Flickr user André Rabelo submitted the above photograph to the group pool of DeleteMe!, a group whose members vote on photos to weed out any photos that aren’t “incredible pictures, amazing, astonishing, perfect”. Sadly, the photograph was very quickly removed by popular vote.

Here are some of the criticisms the voters had:

When everything is blurred you cannot convey the motion of the bicyclist. On the other hand, if the bicyclist is not the subject– what was?

Why is the staircase so “soft”? Camera shake? Like the angle though.

so small. so blurry. to better show a sense of movement SOMETHING has to be in sharp focus

Nicely composed, but blurry

This looks contrived, which is not a bad thing. If this is a planned shot, it just didn’t come out right. If you can round up Mario, I would do it again. This time put the camera on a tripod and use the smallest aperture possible to get the best DoF. What I would hope for is that the railings are sharp and that mario on the bike shows a blur. Must have the foreground sharp, though. Without that, the image will never fly.

yeah and? grey, blurry, small, odd crop

bit too blurred to be worth a save from me

Fantastic composition, but the tones and the graininess keep the photo from being great.

What’s funny about this story is that Rabelo had the last laugh — the photograph is actually “Hyeres, France, 1932″, a famous photograph by the French photographer and “father of modern photojournalism”, Henri Cartier-Bresson. Made in 1932, the photo sold at auction in 2008 for a whopping $265,000.

This just goes to show that you shouldn’t let anonymous online critics dictate how you photograph. While it’s great to receive feedback and certainly worthwhile to hear things that help you improve your technique, the criticisms you hear online are often from people who don’t know what they’re talking about, so don’t give too much weight to negative comments!


 
  • http://www.jeffsinon.com/ Jsinon

    I think it is a good photograph, but do agree with a lot of the points expressed above. Flickr is full of possers, as well as some very good photogs. I also thine someone paid as much for the name of the photographer as they did for the print. I bet if I took the same exact shot I couldn’t give it away. That particular mentality is why I have such a hard time pricing my photographs. No matter how good I’m told they are, I know some people wouldn’t spend $40 for a print with my name on it. But put Ansel Adams’ on the same exact print and they would pay $40,000.

  • http://www.jeffsinon.com/ Jsinon

    I think it is a good photograph, but do agree with a lot of the points expressed above. Flickr is full of possers, as well as some very good photogs. I also thine someone paid as much for the name of the photographer as they did for the print. I bet if I took the same exact shot I couldn’t give it away. That particular mentality is why I have such a hard time pricing my photographs. No matter how good I’m told they are, I know some people wouldn’t spend $40 for a print with my name on it. But put Ansel Adams’ on the same exact print and they would pay $40,000.

  • http://www.jeffsinon.com/ Jsinon

    I think it is a good photograph, but do agree with a lot of the points expressed above. Flickr is full of possers, as well as some very good photogs. I also thine someone paid as much for the name of the photographer as they did for the print. I bet if I took the same exact shot I couldn’t give it away. That particular mentality is why I have such a hard time pricing my photographs. No matter how good I’m told they are, I know some people wouldn’t spend $40 for a print with my name on it. But put Ansel Adams’ on the same exact print and they would pay $40,000.

  • http://www.jeffsinon.com/ Jsinon

    I think it is a good photograph, but do agree with a lot of the points expressed above. Flickr is full of possers, as well as some very good photogs. I also thine someone paid as much for the name of the photographer as they did for the print. I bet if I took the same exact shot I couldn’t give it away. That particular mentality is why I have such a hard time pricing my photographs. No matter how good I’m told they are, I know some people wouldn’t spend $40 for a print with my name on it. But put Ansel Adams’ on the same exact print and they would pay $40,000.

  • http://www.jeffsinon.com/ Jsinon

    I think it is a good photograph, but do agree with a lot of the points expressed above. Flickr is full of possers, as well as some very good photogs. I also thine someone paid as much for the name of the photographer as they did for the print. I bet if I took the same exact shot I couldn’t give it away. That particular mentality is why I have such a hard time pricing my photographs. No matter how good I’m told they are, I know some people wouldn’t spend $40 for a print with my name on it. But put Ansel Adams’ on the same exact print and they would pay $40,000.

  • http://www.jeffsinon.com/ Jsinon

    I think it is a good photograph, but do agree with a lot of the points expressed above. Flickr is full of possers, as well as some very good photogs. I also thine someone paid as much for the name of the photographer as they did for the print. I bet if I took the same exact shot I couldn’t give it away. That particular mentality is why I have such a hard time pricing my photographs. No matter how good I’m told they are, I know some people wouldn’t spend $40 for a print with my name on it. But put Ansel Adams’ on the same exact print and they would pay $40,000.

  • Philip

    @facebook-577851406:disqus: I’m glad that we’ve pretty much the same thoughts when it comes to being relatively tolerant of idiocracy except in the government and financial sector, but then again I was just trying to point out that being unaware of some historical significance of an art form doesn’t necessarily equate to being ignorant, meaning ill-mannered (apologies for using the wrong choice of words in my original post though, haha).

    In the case of the experiment mentioned in the article, people didn’t know the photo’s historical or ideological significance at all, so they ended up diverting to their standard of criticizing photos in relationship to the current norm of a “perfect” photo. If they have known that the photo is taken by HCB afterwards, some of them would quickly change their standards of critique and MAY eventually appreciate the photo based on the artistic ideologies of its heyday period, or how amazing the feat was considering the technology way back was less advanced compared to the recent times.

    However, what you may be trying to portray as “blithering idiots” are those people, who will try every trick in the book or up their sleeves to persuade people that they are right, and that others are wrong. They may know what they’re talking about, they may also know what people are trying to say to them, but they’re far too self-righteous/separatist to consider that they may be overlooking the points of others. Those kind of people, I think, are the ones who “seldom merit respect”, and I assume that those are the kind of people you want to “humiliate by withering logical argument”.

    When it comes to amateurs being overconfident about talking technical stuff in photoblog sites, it’s pretty much the same thing. They may seem to act like complete retards to more experienced photographers, but I think we couldn’t really tell that they’re being elitist until they react when somebody (or sometimes another seemingly complete retard) tells them that what they’re doing is wrong. Unless of course if their critiques in the first place are less constructive and more discouraging to the ones they criticize. (plus with additional self-proclaimed statements that they are much better than the people they are criticizing)

    P.S. Sorry, but I didn’t quite understand what you were trying to say on your reply’s first paragraph. My questions on my original post aren’t capable of meaningful answers until people answer them meaningfully, meaning that they must give meaning/interpretation to what they think of art itself, based on what they think of their identity (no wordplay intended). Oh, and I didn’t even know I was being postmodernist in my original post, am I?

  • Philip

    @facebook-577851406:disqus: I’m glad that we’ve pretty much the same thoughts when it comes to being relatively tolerant of idiocracy except in the government and financial sector, but then again I was just trying to point out that being unaware of some historical significance of an art form doesn’t necessarily equate to being ignorant, meaning ill-mannered (apologies for using the wrong choice of words in my original post though, haha).

    In the case of the experiment mentioned in the article, people didn’t know the photo’s historical or ideological significance at all, so they ended up diverting to their standard of criticizing photos in relationship to the current norm of a “perfect” photo. If they have known that the photo is taken by HCB afterwards, some of them would quickly change their standards of critique and MAY eventually appreciate the photo based on the artistic ideologies of its heyday period, or how amazing the feat was considering the technology way back was less advanced compared to the recent times.

    However, what you may be trying to portray as “blithering idiots” are those people, who will try every trick in the book or up their sleeves to persuade people that they are right, and that others are wrong. They may know what they’re talking about, they may also know what people are trying to say to them, but they’re far too self-righteous/separatist to consider that they may be overlooking the points of others. Those kind of people, I think, are the ones who “seldom merit respect”, and I assume that those are the kind of people you want to “humiliate by withering logical argument”.

    When it comes to amateurs being overconfident about talking technical stuff in photoblog sites, it’s pretty much the same thing. They may seem to act like complete retards to more experienced photographers, but I think we couldn’t really tell that they’re being elitist until they react when somebody (or sometimes another seemingly complete retard) tells them that what they’re doing is wrong. Unless of course if their critiques in the first place are less constructive and more discouraging to the ones they criticize. (plus with additional self-proclaimed statements that they are much better than the people they are criticizing)

    P.S. Sorry, but I didn’t quite understand what you were trying to say on your reply’s first paragraph. My questions on my original post aren’t capable of meaningful answers until people answer them meaningfully, meaning that they must give meaning/interpretation to what they think of art itself, based on what they think of their identity (no wordplay intended). Oh, and I didn’t even know I was being postmodernist in my original post, am I?

  • Philip

    @facebook-577851406:disqus: I’m glad that we’ve pretty much the same thoughts when it comes to being relatively tolerant of idiocracy except in the government and financial sector, but then again I was just trying to point out that being unaware of some historical significance of an art form doesn’t necessarily equate to being ignorant, meaning ill-mannered (apologies for using the wrong choice of words in my original post though, haha).

    In the case of the experiment mentioned in the article, people didn’t know the photo’s historical or ideological significance at all, so they ended up diverting to their standard of criticizing photos in relationship to the current norm of a “perfect” photo. If they have known that the photo is taken by HCB afterwards, some of them would quickly change their standards of critique and MAY eventually appreciate the photo based on the artistic ideologies of its heyday period, or how amazing the feat was considering the technology way back was less advanced compared to the recent times.

    However, what you may be trying to portray as “blithering idiots” are those people, who will try every trick in the book or up their sleeves to persuade people that they are right, and that others are wrong. They may know what they’re talking about, they may also know what people are trying to say to them, but they’re far too self-righteous/separatist to consider that they may be overlooking the points of others. Those kind of people, I think, are the ones who “seldom merit respect”, and I assume that those are the kind of people you want to “humiliate by withering logical argument”.

    When it comes to amateurs being overconfident about talking technical stuff in photoblog sites, it’s pretty much the same thing. They may seem to act like complete retards to more experienced photographers, but I think we couldn’t really tell that they’re being elitist until they react when somebody (or sometimes another seemingly complete retard) tells them that what they’re doing is wrong. Unless of course if their critiques in the first place are less constructive and more discouraging to the ones they criticize. (plus with additional self-proclaimed statements that they are much better than the people they are criticizing)

    P.S. Sorry, but I didn’t quite understand what you were trying to say on your reply’s first paragraph. My questions on my original post aren’t capable of meaningful answers until people answer them meaningfully, meaning that they must give meaning/interpretation to what they think of art itself, based on what they think of their identity (no wordplay intended). Oh, and I didn’t even know I was being postmodernist in my original post, am I?

  • Philip

    @facebook-577851406:disqus: I’m glad that we’ve pretty much the same thoughts when it comes to being relatively tolerant of idiocracy except in the government and financial sector, but then again I was just trying to point out that being unaware of some historical significance of an art form doesn’t necessarily equate to being ignorant, meaning ill-mannered (apologies for using the wrong choice of words in my original post though, haha).

    In the case of the experiment mentioned in the article, people didn’t know the photo’s historical or ideological significance at all, so they ended up diverting to their standard of criticizing photos in relationship to the current norm of a “perfect” photo. If they have known that the photo is taken by HCB afterwards, some of them would quickly change their standards of critique and MAY eventually appreciate the photo based on the artistic ideologies of its heyday period, or how amazing the feat was considering the technology way back was less advanced compared to the recent times.

    However, what you may be trying to portray as “blithering idiots” are those people, who will try every trick in the book or up their sleeves to persuade people that they are right, and that others are wrong. They may know what they’re talking about, they may also know what people are trying to say to them, but they’re far too self-righteous/separatist to consider that they may be overlooking the points of others. Those kind of people, I think, are the ones who “seldom merit respect”, and I assume that those are the kind of people you want to “humiliate by withering logical argument”.

    When it comes to amateurs being overconfident about talking technical stuff in photoblog sites, it’s pretty much the same thing. They may seem to act like complete retards to more experienced photographers, but I think we couldn’t really tell that they’re being elitist until they react when somebody (or sometimes another seemingly complete retard) tells them that what they’re doing is wrong. Unless of course if their critiques in the first place are less constructive and more discouraging to the ones they criticize. (plus with additional self-proclaimed statements that they are much better than the people they are criticizing)

    P.S. Sorry, but I didn’t quite understand what you were trying to say on your reply’s first paragraph. My questions on my original post aren’t capable of meaningful answers until people answer them meaningfully, meaning that they must give meaning/interpretation to what they think of art itself, based on what they think of their identity (no wordplay intended). Oh, and I didn’t even know I was being postmodernist in my original post, am I?

  • Philip

    @facebook-577851406:disqus: I’m glad that we’ve pretty much the same thoughts when it comes to being relatively tolerant of idiocracy except in the government and financial sector, but then again I was just trying to point out that being unaware of some historical significance of an art form doesn’t necessarily equate to being ignorant, meaning ill-mannered (apologies for using the wrong choice of words in my original post though, haha).

    In the case of the experiment mentioned in the article, people didn’t know the photo’s historical or ideological significance at all, so they ended up diverting to their standard of criticizing photos in relationship to the current norm of a “perfect” photo. If they have known that the photo is taken by HCB afterwards, some of them would quickly change their standards of critique and MAY eventually appreciate the photo based on the artistic ideologies of its heyday period, or how amazing the feat was considering the technology way back was less advanced compared to the recent times.

    However, what you may be trying to portray as “blithering idiots” are those people, who will try every trick in the book or up their sleeves to persuade people that they are right, and that others are wrong. They may know what they’re talking about, they may also know what people are trying to say to them, but they’re far too self-righteous/separatist to consider that they may be overlooking the points of others. Those kind of people, I think, are the ones who “seldom merit respect”, and I assume that those are the kind of people you want to “humiliate by withering logical argument”.

    When it comes to amateurs being overconfident about talking technical stuff in photoblog sites, it’s pretty much the same thing. They may seem to act like complete retards to more experienced photographers, but I think we couldn’t really tell that they’re being elitist until they react when somebody (or sometimes another seemingly complete retard) tells them that what they’re doing is wrong. Unless of course if their critiques in the first place are less constructive and more discouraging to the ones they criticize. (plus with additional self-proclaimed statements that they are much better than the people they are criticizing)

    P.S. Sorry, but I didn’t quite understand what you were trying to say on your reply’s first paragraph. My questions on my original post aren’t capable of meaningful answers until people answer them meaningfully, meaning that they must give meaning/interpretation to what they think of art itself, based on what they think of their identity (no wordplay intended). Oh, and I didn’t even know I was being postmodernist in my original post, am I?

  • Philip

    @facebook-577851406:disqus: I’m glad that we’ve pretty much the same thoughts when it comes to being relatively tolerant of idiocracy except in the government and financial sector, but then again I was just trying to point out that being unaware of some historical significance of an art form doesn’t necessarily equate to being ignorant, meaning ill-mannered (apologies for using the wrong choice of words in my original post though, haha).

    In the case of the experiment mentioned in the article, people didn’t know the photo’s historical or ideological significance at all, so they ended up diverting to their standard of criticizing photos in relationship to the current norm of a “perfect” photo. If they have known that the photo is taken by HCB afterwards, some of them would quickly change their standards of critique and MAY eventually appreciate the photo based on the artistic ideologies of its heyday period, or how amazing the feat was considering the technology way back was less advanced compared to the recent times.

    However, what you may be trying to portray as “blithering idiots” are those people, who will try every trick in the book or up their sleeves to persuade people that they are right, and that others are wrong. They may know what they’re talking about, they may also know what people are trying to say to them, but they’re far too self-righteous/separatist to consider that they may be overlooking the points of others. Those kind of people, I think, are the ones who “seldom merit respect”, and I assume that those are the kind of people you want to “humiliate by withering logical argument”.

    When it comes to amateurs being overconfident about talking technical stuff in photoblog sites, it’s pretty much the same thing. They may seem to act like complete retards to more experienced photographers, but I think we couldn’t really tell that they’re being elitist until they react when somebody (or sometimes another seemingly complete retard) tells them that what they’re doing is wrong. Unless of course if their critiques in the first place are less constructive and more discouraging to the ones they criticize. (plus with additional self-proclaimed statements that they are much better than the people they are criticizing)

    P.S. Sorry, but I didn’t quite understand what you were trying to say on your reply’s first paragraph. My questions on my original post aren’t capable of meaningful answers until people answer them meaningfully, meaning that they must give meaning/interpretation to what they think of art itself, based on what they think of their identity (no wordplay intended). Oh, and I didn’t even know I was being postmodernist in my original post, am I?

  • Philip

    @facebook-577851406:disqus: I’m glad that we’ve pretty much the same thoughts when it comes to being relatively tolerant of idiocracy except in the government and financial sector, but then again I was just trying to point out that being unaware of some historical significance of an art form doesn’t necessarily equate to being ignorant, meaning ill-mannered (apologies for using the wrong choice of words in my original post though, haha).

    In the case of the experiment mentioned in the article, people didn’t know the photo’s historical or ideological significance at all, so they ended up diverting to their standard of criticizing photos in relationship to the current norm of a “perfect” photo. If they have known that the photo is taken by HCB afterwards, some of them would quickly change their standards of critique and MAY eventually appreciate the photo based on the artistic ideologies of its heyday period, or how amazing the feat was considering the technology way back was less advanced compared to the recent times.

    However, what you may be trying to portray as “blithering idiots” are those people, who will try every trick in the book or up their sleeves to persuade people that they are right, and that others are wrong. They may know what they’re talking about, they may also know what people are trying to say to them, but they’re far too self-righteous/separatist to consider that they may be overlooking the points of others. Those kind of people, I think, are the ones who “seldom merit respect”, and I assume that those are the kind of people you want to “humiliate by withering logical argument”.

    When it comes to amateurs being overconfident about talking technical stuff in photoblog sites, it’s pretty much the same thing. They may seem to act like complete retards to more experienced photographers, but I think we couldn’t really tell that they’re being elitist until they react when somebody (or sometimes another seemingly complete retard) tells them that what they’re doing is wrong. Unless of course if their critiques in the first place are less constructive and more discouraging to the ones they criticize. (plus with additional self-proclaimed statements that they are much better than the people they are criticizing)

    P.S. Sorry, but I didn’t quite understand what you were trying to say on your reply’s first paragraph. My questions on my original post aren’t capable of meaningful answers until people answer them meaningfully, meaning that they must give meaning/interpretation to what they think of art itself, based on what they think of their identity (no wordplay intended). Oh, and I didn’t even know I was being postmodernist in my original post, am I?

  • Philip

    @facebook-577851406:disqus: I’m glad that we’ve pretty much the same thoughts when it comes to being relatively tolerant of idiocracy except in the government and financial sector, but then again I was just trying to point out that being unaware of some historical significance of an art form doesn’t necessarily equate to being ignorant, meaning ill-mannered (apologies for using the wrong choice of words in my original post though, haha).

    In the case of the experiment mentioned in the article, people didn’t know the photo’s historical or ideological significance at all, so they ended up diverting to their standard of criticizing photos in relationship to the current norm of a “perfect” photo. If they have known that the photo is taken by HCB afterwards, some of them would quickly change their standards of critique and MAY eventually appreciate the photo based on the artistic ideologies of its heyday period, or how amazing the feat was considering the technology way back was less advanced compared to the recent times.

    However, what you may be trying to portray as “blithering idiots” are those people, who will try every trick in the book or up their sleeves to persuade people that they are right, and that others are wrong. They may know what they’re talking about, they may also know what people are trying to say to them, but they’re far too self-righteous/separatist to consider that they may be overlooking the points of others. Those kind of people, I think, are the ones who “seldom merit respect”, and I assume that those are the kind of people you want to “humiliate by withering logical argument”.

    When it comes to amateurs being overconfident about talking technical stuff in photoblog sites, it’s pretty much the same thing. They may seem to act like complete retards to more experienced photographers, but I think we couldn’t really tell that they’re being elitist until they react when somebody (or sometimes another seemingly complete retard) tells them that what they’re doing is wrong. Unless of course if their critiques in the first place are less constructive and more discouraging to the ones they criticize. (plus with additional self-proclaimed statements that they are much better than the people they are criticizing)

    P.S. Sorry, but I didn’t quite understand what you were trying to say on your reply’s first paragraph. My questions on my original post aren’t capable of meaningful answers until people answer them meaningfully, meaning that they must give meaning/interpretation to what they think of art itself, based on what they think of their identity (no wordplay intended). Oh, and I didn’t even know I was being postmodernist in my original post, am I?

  • Philip

    @facebook-577851406:disqus: I’m glad that we’ve pretty much the same thoughts when it comes to being relatively tolerant of idiocracy except in the government and financial sector, but then again I was just trying to point out that being unaware of some historical significance of an art form doesn’t necessarily equate to being ignorant, meaning ill-mannered (apologies for using the wrong choice of words in my original post though, haha).

    In the case of the experiment mentioned in the article, people didn’t know the photo’s historical or ideological significance at all, so they ended up diverting to their standard of criticizing photos in relationship to the current norm of a “perfect” photo. If they have known that the photo is taken by HCB afterwards, some of them would quickly change their standards of critique and MAY eventually appreciate the photo based on the artistic ideologies of its heyday period, or how amazing the feat was considering the technology way back was less advanced compared to the recent times.

    However, what you may be trying to portray as “blithering idiots” are those people, who will try every trick in the book or up their sleeves to persuade people that they are right, and that others are wrong. They may know what they’re talking about, they may also know what people are trying to say to them, but they’re far too self-righteous/separatist to consider that they may be overlooking the points of others. Those kind of people, I think, are the ones who “seldom merit respect”, and I assume that those are the kind of people you want to “humiliate by withering logical argument”.

    When it comes to amateurs being overconfident about talking technical stuff in photoblog sites, it’s pretty much the same thing. They may seem to act like complete retards to more experienced photographers, but I think we couldn’t really tell that they’re being elitist until they react when somebody (or sometimes another seemingly complete retard) tells them that what they’re doing is wrong. Unless of course if their critiques in the first place are less constructive and more discouraging to the ones they criticize. (plus with additional self-proclaimed statements that they are much better than the people they are criticizing)

    P.S. Sorry, but I didn’t quite understand what you were trying to say on your reply’s first paragraph. My questions on my original post aren’t capable of meaningful answers until people answer them meaningfully, meaning that they must give meaning/interpretation to what they think of art itself, based on what they think of their identity (no wordplay intended). Oh, and I didn’t even know I was being postmodernist in my original post, am I?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=504436614 Lee Harris

    Damn right! What verbiage akin to ‘the sound and the fury signifying nothing’.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=504436614 Lee Harris

    Damn right! What verbiage akin to ‘the sound and the fury signifying nothing’.

  • polyannish

    i had a history of photo teacher once (before flickr was born…or born, as you wish) who bellowed out to the darkness whilst the slide projector hummed – ‘leave me in my ivory tower!’

    i think of her now.

  • polyannish

    i had a history of photo teacher once (before flickr was born…or born, as you wish) who bellowed out to the darkness whilst the slide projector hummed – ‘leave me in my ivory tower!’

    i think of her now.

  • polyannish

    i had a history of photo teacher once (before flickr was born…or born, as you wish) who bellowed out to the darkness whilst the slide projector hummed – ‘leave me in my ivory tower!’

    i think of her now.

  • polyannish

    i had a history of photo teacher once (before flickr was born…or born, as you wish) who bellowed out to the darkness whilst the slide projector hummed – ‘leave me in my ivory tower!’

    i think of her now.

  • polyannish

    i had a history of photo teacher once (before flickr was born…or born, as you wish) who bellowed out to the darkness whilst the slide projector hummed – ‘leave me in my ivory tower!’

    i think of her now.

  • polyannish

    i had a history of photo teacher once (before flickr was born…or born, as you wish) who bellowed out to the darkness whilst the slide projector hummed – ‘leave me in my ivory tower!’

    i think of her now.

  • polyannish

    i had a history of photo teacher once (before flickr was born…or born, as you wish) who bellowed out to the darkness whilst the slide projector hummed – ‘leave me in my ivory tower!’

    i think of her now.

  • http://www.facebook.com/itone62 Tony Martin

    I quite like the photograph because it makes we wonder where the cyclist is going or where they have been and the significance of the stairs, where do they go?

  • http://www.facebook.com/itone62 Tony Martin

    I quite like the photograph because it makes we wonder where the cyclist is going or where they have been and the significance of the stairs, where do they go?

  • http://www.facebook.com/itone62 Tony Martin

    I quite like the photograph because it makes we wonder where the cyclist is going or where they have been and the significance of the stairs, where do they go?

  • Rich

    Hmm. Saying its good because someone paid a lot of money for it is logical fallacy, I’m sure. The photographer’s name makes the picture collectable, but that says nothing about the quality of the image (leaving my personal opinions of it aside).

    Its like saying something must be true because lots of people believe it.

  • Rich

    Hmm. Saying its good because someone paid a lot of money for it is logical fallacy, I’m sure. The photographer’s name makes the picture collectable, but that says nothing about the quality of the image (leaving my personal opinions of it aside).

    Its like saying something must be true because lots of people believe it.

  • Rich

    Hmm. Saying its good because someone paid a lot of money for it is logical fallacy, I’m sure. The photographer’s name makes the picture collectable, but that says nothing about the quality of the image (leaving my personal opinions of it aside).

    Its like saying something must be true because lots of people believe it.

  • Rich

    Hmm. Saying its good because someone paid a lot of money for it is logical fallacy, I’m sure. The photographer’s name makes the picture collectable, but that says nothing about the quality of the image (leaving my personal opinions of it aside).

    Its like saying something must be true because lots of people believe it.

  • Rich

    Hmm. Saying its good because someone paid a lot of money for it is logical fallacy, I’m sure. The photographer’s name makes the picture collectable, but that says nothing about the quality of the image (leaving my personal opinions of it aside).

    Its like saying something must be true because lots of people believe it.

  • Rich

    Hmm. Saying its good because someone paid a lot of money for it is logical fallacy, I’m sure. The photographer’s name makes the picture collectable, but that says nothing about the quality of the image (leaving my personal opinions of it aside).

    Its like saying something must be true because lots of people believe it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/robgarlandphotographers Rob Garland

    Ahhhh….nice analogy.  Ansel Adams used music as well to illustrate the importance of printing.  Taking the photo is “the score” and printing it is “the performance.”

    BTW…..are there any guitarists today that can play with SRV’s tone from the 1980s?   :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/gdanmitchell G Dan Mitchell

    If one doesn’t get why the HCB photograph is so great – and it isn’t because it sold for $200,000+ or because someone else said it is great – they aren’t looking deeply enough. There is so much brilliant compositional stuff going on in this seemingly simple little “snap” that it amazes me every time I look at it. 

    It is so easy to dismiss something that you don’t understand immediately, especially if you dismiss it with an insult or derision. There is, of course, some small possibility that you are right and those who like this photograph are wrong. Or that it is simply “a matter of taste.”

    It is also a possibility worth considering that you are blind to what is in the image, and that perhaps a more serious and sympathetic consideration might reveal something that would be much more meaningful and rewarding for _you_ than a quick dismissal.

  • http://www.facebook.com/gdanmitchell G Dan Mitchell

    If one doesn’t get why the HCB photograph is so great – and it isn’t because it sold for $200,000+ or because someone else said it is great – they aren’t looking deeply enough. There is so much brilliant compositional stuff going on in this seemingly simple little “snap” that it amazes me every time I look at it. 

    It is so easy to dismiss something that you don’t understand immediately, especially if you dismiss it with an insult or derision. There is, of course, some small possibility that you are right and those who like this photograph are wrong. Or that it is simply “a matter of taste.”

    It is also a possibility worth considering that you are blind to what is in the image, and that perhaps a more serious and sympathetic consideration might reveal something that would be much more meaningful and rewarding for _you_ than a quick dismissal.

  • http://www.facebook.com/gdanmitchell G Dan Mitchell

    If one doesn’t get why the HCB photograph is so great – and it isn’t because it sold for $200,000+ or because someone else said it is great – they aren’t looking deeply enough. There is so much brilliant compositional stuff going on in this seemingly simple little “snap” that it amazes me every time I look at it. 

    It is so easy to dismiss something that you don’t understand immediately, especially if you dismiss it with an insult or derision. There is, of course, some small possibility that you are right and those who like this photograph are wrong. Or that it is simply “a matter of taste.”

    It is also a possibility worth considering that you are blind to what is in the image, and that perhaps a more serious and sympathetic consideration might reveal something that would be much more meaningful and rewarding for _you_ than a quick dismissal.

  • http://www.facebook.com/gdanmitchell G Dan Mitchell

    If one doesn’t get why the HCB photograph is so great – and it isn’t because it sold for $200,000+ or because someone else said it is great – they aren’t looking deeply enough. There is so much brilliant compositional stuff going on in this seemingly simple little “snap” that it amazes me every time I look at it. 

    It is so easy to dismiss something that you don’t understand immediately, especially if you dismiss it with an insult or derision. There is, of course, some small possibility that you are right and those who like this photograph are wrong. Or that it is simply “a matter of taste.”

    It is also a possibility worth considering that you are blind to what is in the image, and that perhaps a more serious and sympathetic consideration might reveal something that would be much more meaningful and rewarding for _you_ than a quick dismissal.

  • http://www.facebook.com/gdanmitchell G Dan Mitchell

    If one doesn’t get why the HCB photograph is so great – and it isn’t because it sold for $200,000+ or because someone else said it is great – they aren’t looking deeply enough. There is so much brilliant compositional stuff going on in this seemingly simple little “snap” that it amazes me every time I look at it. 

    It is so easy to dismiss something that you don’t understand immediately, especially if you dismiss it with an insult or derision. There is, of course, some small possibility that you are right and those who like this photograph are wrong. Or that it is simply “a matter of taste.”

    It is also a possibility worth considering that you are blind to what is in the image, and that perhaps a more serious and sympathetic consideration might reveal something that would be much more meaningful and rewarding for _you_ than a quick dismissal.

  • http://www.facebook.com/gdanmitchell G Dan Mitchell

    If one doesn’t get why the HCB photograph is so great – and it isn’t because it sold for $200,000+ or because someone else said it is great – they aren’t looking deeply enough. There is so much brilliant compositional stuff going on in this seemingly simple little “snap” that it amazes me every time I look at it. 

    It is so easy to dismiss something that you don’t understand immediately, especially if you dismiss it with an insult or derision. There is, of course, some small possibility that you are right and those who like this photograph are wrong. Or that it is simply “a matter of taste.”

    It is also a possibility worth considering that you are blind to what is in the image, and that perhaps a more serious and sympathetic consideration might reveal something that would be much more meaningful and rewarding for _you_ than a quick dismissal.

  • http://www.facebook.com/gdanmitchell G Dan Mitchell

    If one doesn’t get why the HCB photograph is so great – and it isn’t because it sold for $200,000+ or because someone else said it is great – they aren’t looking deeply enough. There is so much brilliant compositional stuff going on in this seemingly simple little “snap” that it amazes me every time I look at it. 

    It is so easy to dismiss something that you don’t understand immediately, especially if you dismiss it with an insult or derision. There is, of course, some small possibility that you are right and those who like this photograph are wrong. Or that it is simply “a matter of taste.”

    It is also a possibility worth considering that you are blind to what is in the image, and that perhaps a more serious and sympathetic consideration might reveal something that would be much more meaningful and rewarding for _you_ than a quick dismissal.

  • http://twitter.com/XSportSeeker Renato Murakami

    Delving deeper into the issue, here are some points to consider:
     
    - If you present your photos in a place where you’ll get technical reviews, that’s what you’ll get. Even more if you remove context, which is something you should never do. If the guy presented the photo with another context, than it’s incomplete – like judging a model by it’s legs alone or something;
    - The technical aspect of your photos isn’t the only “selling” point, as proven by several photographers and artists;
    - Prized, expensive or historical photos doesn’t imply technical perfection. Actually, in most cases it’s quite the opposite. Photographs don’t make history by being sharp, by fitting the rules of thirds, having good light or being crisp clear… it’s all about context. Did you ever hear about a piece of art or photograph being sold on auctions to rich people or collectors because of it’s high technical value? Which is mostly to make it to a museum or art exhibition: A perfect photo shoot of a model with a medium format camera with the latest technology, or a pic taken with a crappy cellphone cam that captured an unprecedented event in history?
    - Constructive criticism is always good, but you have to understand exactly what the criticism is aiming at. Regarding the technical aspects of the shot, even Cartier-Bresson might’ve agreed with some points, 7 yrs ago. But he still would’ve laughed at it, since that meant nothing to him. I mean, if you read or watched Cartier-Bresson, you know he was all about breaking rules, escaping any sort of estabilished system, even becoming a photojournalist due to it;
    - It being a photo taken with film, or the process used to reveal, or it’s age has nothing to do with it at all. A better technical photo could be taken at that place in time, yes. Cartier himself said that he did not care about the revealing process, the technical aspects or whatever. It was all about the decidive moment, the frozen scene captured by the camera;
    - Finally, the post does have a point. Anonymous online criticism is a good tool, if you know how to deal with it. If your aim is to have the perfect technique, ignore trolls and listen to constructive criticism. Cartier-Bresson wasn’t after it, and thus would never have posted his photos to such judgement, unless he was doing it for fun. Also, just because your photo isn’t sharp, clear, with vivid colors and great resolution, doesn’t mean it’s crappy. But of course, it has to have something.
     
    There’s tons of things you might be after when taking photos. Technique is one, capturing a significant moment is another, trying to deliver a message is another. And on all categories, there’s also the photography as personal meaning, and photography as something to be understood by a large audience. Not all photographers are aiming at what Henri Cartier-Bresson achieved, so not everyone should take this example as something that will work out in a personal level.

  • http://twitter.com/XSportSeeker Renato Murakami

    Delving deeper into the issue, here are some points to consider:
     
    - If you present your photos in a place where you’ll get technical reviews, that’s what you’ll get. Even more if you remove context, which is something you should never do. If the guy presented the photo with another context, than it’s incomplete – like judging a model by it’s legs alone or something;
    - The technical aspect of your photos isn’t the only “selling” point, as proven by several photographers and artists;
    - Prized, expensive or historical photos doesn’t imply technical perfection. Actually, in most cases it’s quite the opposite. Photographs don’t make history by being sharp, by fitting the rules of thirds, having good light or being crisp clear… it’s all about context. Did you ever hear about a piece of art or photograph being sold on auctions to rich people or collectors because of it’s high technical value? Which is mostly to make it to a museum or art exhibition: A perfect photo shoot of a model with a medium format camera with the latest technology, or a pic taken with a crappy cellphone cam that captured an unprecedented event in history?
    - Constructive criticism is always good, but you have to understand exactly what the criticism is aiming at. Regarding the technical aspects of the shot, even Cartier-Bresson might’ve agreed with some points, 7 yrs ago. But he still would’ve laughed at it, since that meant nothing to him. I mean, if you read or watched Cartier-Bresson, you know he was all about breaking rules, escaping any sort of estabilished system, even becoming a photojournalist due to it;
    - It being a photo taken with film, or the process used to reveal, or it’s age has nothing to do with it at all. A better technical photo could be taken at that place in time, yes. Cartier himself said that he did not care about the revealing process, the technical aspects or whatever. It was all about the decidive moment, the frozen scene captured by the camera;
    - Finally, the post does have a point. Anonymous online criticism is a good tool, if you know how to deal with it. If your aim is to have the perfect technique, ignore trolls and listen to constructive criticism. Cartier-Bresson wasn’t after it, and thus would never have posted his photos to such judgement, unless he was doing it for fun. Also, just because your photo isn’t sharp, clear, with vivid colors and great resolution, doesn’t mean it’s crappy. But of course, it has to have something.
     
    There’s tons of things you might be after when taking photos. Technique is one, capturing a significant moment is another, trying to deliver a message is another. And on all categories, there’s also the photography as personal meaning, and photography as something to be understood by a large audience. Not all photographers are aiming at what Henri Cartier-Bresson achieved, so not everyone should take this example as something that will work out in a personal level.

  • http://novawerks.net/ Alan Henry

    Photo aside, I adore this article, I adore this experiment, and I adore the fact that when called out into the open, the floodgates of anonymous internet commenters open, trying desperately to save their own legitimacy from an ignorant obscurity they already know to be true. It’s a beautiful thing. :)

  • Misu

    agreed!
    If I were Capa, in Normandy, in D Day, I would take my dual slot waterproof camera and never miss one shot!
    instead he only did s**t and left us with those blurry images with no sense of  space, military strategy or anything else.

  • Paws

    What this story also shows, is that “critics” often point on technical unfulfillments, because these are measurable.
    For those people, a photograph will be “good” because:
    - sharp focused
    - well colour-balanced
    - well contrasted…
    … and that’s all!!

    They will completely miss the point which should be: what emotion does this picture give to you?

  • Anonymous

    Comfortably, the article is in reality the greatest on this noteworthy topic. I concur with your conclusions and will thirstily look forward to your upcoming updates

    respect
    inder
    ______________________________________________
    State Farm Prairieville | United States Youth Soccer Association

  • Aquarelle
  • http://www.facebook.com/raysot Ray Sotkiewicz

    I also think a lot of the photographer’s appeal is that he exercised concepts (Or rather discovered them?) that we strive for today. Slight blur = motion, leading lines…  good composition.. negative space… Those concepts weren’t automatically in place when the camera was invented.

  • Dieter der Blaue

    I blame the Stinkfist effect that Maynard of Tool purposed on their song “Stinkfist”, that the world is so inured to sensation that it requires a fist shoved up ones arse, finally to the shoulder, to get a reaction out of people. This picture, while once a stunning piece of artwork, and it still is, falls flat in comparison to what people are shooting today.