Quote Originally Posted by Gerald C Koch View Post
People tend to make the size of a print from 35mm into some sort of a game. They forget that print size depends on viewing distance. One must be far enough away to see the entire print without moving the eye. It's unreasonable to view a 16x20 print from a few inches away. When the proper viewing distance is observed then grain in the print is not so important.
Exactly, many try to turn "the craftwork", the ability to work the materials and systems, into the standard of judgement for the contest.

There is nothing wrong with being good at your craft or with competing to see who can get the least grain, most detail, best bokeh, shortest DOF, or whatever. These qualities/characteristics give the participants in the contest something to measure.

It may be fun but so what?

Did this shot http://www.flickr.com/photos/41912957@N00/3669784620 get the idea across?

This one? http://www.flickr.com/photos/41912957@N00/6752152721

Do we need more detail or less grain to have these shots "work"?

If these were printed big and viewed at a reasonable distance would they still work?

Would leaning in, to within a few inches of these, improve the aesthetic experience or our understanding of what the photo was meant to portray?

HCB's and Elliot Erwitt's works would be other good examples here.

With these we'd probably still "get it" and might even enjoy them, if they were on newsprint.