This was helpful as it explains how you look at photographs, which I appreciate. I guess I just look at things differently. I think where we are most different on this is when you say a photo must have something specific to look at to maintain your interest.

Regarding what you said about viewer impressions, I agree. I would much rather someone just liked one of my shots (or not) rather than simply complimenting me on technical quality, sharpness etc. I include compositional tools, selective focus etc. under the heading "technical" though. Perhaps some would disagree with me on that extension.

Quote Originally Posted by markbarendt View Post
Purely for clarity I'm going to oversimplify a bunch and it reflects my personal preferences.

When I look at Ansel Adams' Clearing Winter storm I think "Wow, nice background!"

When I look at Ansel Adams portrait of Georgia O'Keeffe and Orville Cox I just think "Wow!"

Yeah, the subject matter is different. But, as truly good and really honestly special as the former is, it is still very much like looking out a window. The latter really gives me something to look at.

Lest you think it is purely a bias toward portraits, That shot gives me something to look at and keeps my attention better than Clearing Winter Storm. As does this

For a photo to keep me interested, it has to give me something specific to look at or I lose interest.

Similarly, when someone says "Wow, you really nailed the focus/exposure/made a great print." It is a compliment about my skill with my tools and I do appreciate those comments. When someone says "wow great shot" and they ignore the print quality I feel I have done much better.