I think it is up to the person admiring an image or buying it, to determine what is special about it, or the artist. I am fairly critical of my work but I've sold prints of photographs that I thought were just ok but people enjoyed them more than I did. In my opinion, if I start analyzing what makes ME special, I will probably just be concerning myself with something I have no control over, and in turn impairing creativity. Just my 2c.

Q.G. has a very interesting and correct point in his last paragraph. I frankly am getting more tired of people asking what camera I use or film, ISO, developers, etc, and that's why I chose not to put a single caption about it on pictures in my new website, although many have asked. As far as explaining why a picture was made the way it was, and why should someone care and not ignore it...well, I frankly don't think it would make a difference. Samuel Goldwin once said.."if you have a message, send a telegram". It is up to the viewer, in my opinion, to discover what is interesting about an image, or finding a meaning (if there is any at all), or interpret, appreciate a certain look, as this is all very subjective. I look at Bresson or Gibson's work all the time and I don't need them to explain anything. If I am enjoying what I am looking at, and find what I (myself) is interesting in an image, it is good enough for me.
One line from one of Bresson's rare interviews is always stuck in my head...Question: "why do you take pictures?" Answer: "because it's faster than drawing". None of these guys ever seemed concern with having a "message" or being overly critical of their own work, or finding meanings that didn't exist in their images. It is us, the viewers, who put them on a pedestal and created the legends.

As far as "the urge" Q.G. is talking about...well, it is true but on the other hand, nobody is bothering anyone. If you don't like the music, don't buy it. If you don't like an image, pass. It's not like anyone is imposing on others to look, buy, or critique worthless images.

best,

Max