As photographers, we often submit our work to the WWW. We share our work, not really for free because for some it heightens our exposure and brings in business. Thanks to the wonders of the internet it is easy to share our work with the whole world. Popular photographers today have a reach similar to the Beatles (although sadly not the royalties). The consequences of having wide audiences for your photography is that you will pick up some strange followers. This post has to go into Psychology of photography because it has such a deep moral and if you understand the lesson, it could prevent you from going insane as you expose your art to the world.

(For the record – I am perfectly sane.)

After a hard days work sharing images and information about Iceland locations, I get this email via www.tonyprower.com (copy&paste, word for word, only email address changed)

From: jan Subject: question

Message Body: Can you provide more simple graphical sort of speak locations which ate more about lighting / composition / pro-art photographer based skills instead of those boring picture perfect postcards which I see on your www?

Is it possible to purchase from you GPS guidance with hotel / car rental info? Thank you.

Cheers Jan

Is it me? Am I being too sensitive? His question was perfectly fine until he described my work as “Boring Postcard” images. Then he signs off in a perfectly fine way as if nothing had happened. WTF!! Please tell me if I am over-reacting, but I was having a perfectly nice day until this idiot wrote to me.

My reply was pretty quick… but wasn’t actually sent.

Jan,

sorry I don’t think I can help someone who describes my art as “boring picture perfect postcards”.

Good luck with your journey.


Anger aside – what did I learn from this?

I have been exposed to idiot critiques before so I am pretty hard skinned. It is important to not allow yourself to begin to think that there is any truth to his attack. I know for sure that my work is far from postcard and far from boring. Maybe in his opinion they are boring, but I get so many comments to the contrary, it would be foolish to believe this one opinion from a bedroom somewhere in Toronto. My hunch is that this was a genuine request, worded badly and hinged with Jealousy.

Of course it could be the case that Jan is a World Class Landscape photographer and one Google search will reveal a genius behind the insult (that would have rectified the situation). But, no! Very difficult to find any of his photographs. So I default back to the original hunch.

To take something positive from experiences like these is important. So on the bright side, this means that my work is getting out there, it is reaching a wider audience and as the audience enlarges, so too does the width of emotions. But realising this is just a small, negative event from some lonely Muppet in the sea of so many beautiful interactions with the people I share my work with.


For fun, let me share an email from Antonio, via FlickrMail

Hello Tony , congratulations for your amazing images . In July I’ll make a trip to Iceland , thanks to your photos I decided this tours . I would like some information : where is Dragon East? Thank you so much , you make me dream with your photos.

Antonio

My reply took some time, but …

Hi Antonio, thank you for your comments.

This place is at the end of Reyðarfjörður in the East fjords.

Have a nice trip.

Tony

And for your information, here is a link to the area he was asking about… Vattarnes

(Because sharing is what I do.)

And here is the picture Antonio was asking about…

DragonEast

… or should I say Boring Picture Perfect Postcard Image?

😉

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