Don’t Be ‘That’ Guy

Photography is a great hobby, and for some, a great profession. And yes, photography is an art. Anything that human beings create can be considered art. And as we know, art is subjective. Sure, there are some paintings, or sculptures, or photographs which most people agree are great art. But even with the greatest works there are detractors, and that’s fine. People should not fall in line. People should not follow. People should go with their instincts and what moves them. If you don’t think a piece of art is good, there is no problem with saying so, but what you shouldn’t be is “that” guy. Don’t be the self-righteous prick who goes on message forums, or photo comments on Flickr and acts like a complete ass. Don’t be like this guy:


Is it just me, or do most of the people posting here not know what street photography is?

Here are some of the more cringe-worthy shots I’ve found, without much searching needed. These types of pics also seem to be the norm in this group’s pool.
DSCF1088-Edit by ziengler

그녀의 뒷모습 by Kangheewan
Poverty is the mother of crime. by Ripped Defiance

Rusty Fence Post by Shawn Harquail

Bologna - Il “quadrilatero” - Via Drapperie by Massimo Battesini

Bologna -  "Il quadrilatero" - Via Pescherie Vecchie by Massimo Battesini

Like I said, don’t be “that” guy. You think this is not that bad? You think he has a legitimate complaint? Even so, there are more respectful and tactful ways to go about critiquing the work of others. This is not one of them:

Took a look through your stream, your stuff is mostly poorly composed, underexposed, generic snapshits as well. I guess I’ll let the pictures do the talking instead, instead of the poser who took them.

Well at least he got a bit more specific, but still entirely unhelpful. This definitely ranks high on the prick-o-meter. But it gets even better (or worse). Because it’s not enough to punch people in the face for no particularly good reason, but he also has to pat himself on the back at the same time:

My pictures pretty much perfect. I’ve shot for the Red Bulletin, and I have my work up in galleries in SF. What do you do, besides take poorly composed snapshits of the homeless and people’s backs?

I’ll say it again, don’t be “that” guy.

I think most people in the photography community are not like this guy. Most people are helpful, courteous and truly care about their craft and improving the craft of others through constructive criticism. Unfortunately if you spend any time at all on photo sites, blog comments, or message forums, you will soon find out there is a sizable contingent of egotistical, self-important, sanctimonious assholes. I’m sorry, that’s what they are, and it needs to be said. These people need to be ignored. They are trolls, or at least they behave in troll-like fashion. Do not engage. Stay away. Do not give them fodder. In other words, don’t feed the pious photography trolls.

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