The Internet can be a tough place for photographers. One can pour an immeasurable amount of time, money, energy, blood, sweat, and tears into a picture (or a series of pictures), only to have his or her hard work torn to shreds by nameless and faceless commenters who hide behind the veil of anonymity.
If you’re this type of keyboard critic who never has anything nice to say — and it’s a fact that there are many of you reading this — consider these wise and poetic words spoken by the reformed critic Anton Ego from the Pixar film Ratatouille:
In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little, yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face, is that in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it so.
The next time you see a photograph online, offered up to your judgement by its maker, take some time to consider that the person may have invested a good deal of himself or herself into putting that picture on your screen. At the very least, even if you hate what they have to offer you, you can be respectful and offer encouraging words of helpful criticism.