...But I have favorites right here, illumiquest just today posted a striking portrait of a barkeep that moves me more.
I know exactly the image you are talking about. I probably spent 10 minutes staring at it before spending another half hour to hour reading about the bar, their propensities for a lovely manhattan made with rare bourbons, etc. A fantastic image. But I think its an image that furthers my point (at least as I saw the image) - the collodion process and the imperfections in the final image make the image. Consider this - had the same subject been shot at the exact same time, in the exact same position, with the exact same lighting with a Canikon 5d800Eor whatever else, would you have said the same thing about the image? I don't know your taste, but my educated guess is that the answer is "no", which means that we are again talking about the aesthetic presentation of the artist and not the subject in and of itself.
"Once the amateur's naive approach and humble willingness to learn fades away, the creative spirit of good photography dies with it. Every professional should remain always in his heart an amateur." - Alfred Eisenstadt