</span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (Ed Sukach @ Feb 10 2003, 08:49 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'>When I post a critique, I can only report on *MY* reaction to the work. I can only report a very subjective introspection into the way the photograph has affected my emotions. I won't even come close to assuming that my "vision" is the "right" one - certainly there is no coherent conclusion I can make to support that idea. I'm no "better" than anyone else.
Although we tend to have different favors and displeasures, we do have the same roots somewhere. If I look at a red color, I can’t be sure that you perceive it exactly the same way as I do. However, it is most likely that your notion of “red” is similar to mine. The same applies to many emotional aspects. As long as you do not overemphasize things of which you know, that you have a “special” attitude/opinion/feeling, it is most likely that your critique will be understood.
Should one impose his very personal feelings in a criticism? It depends, IMO. It depends on whether you can manage that the reader is able to develop his own attitude to your opinion. The German Philosopher Wilhelm von Humboldt (1767-1835) once said that Education is Knowledge plus one’s Attitude to this knowledge. Therefore, if you have more to tell than just wanting someone to know your opinion, you’ll have to explain how you got there. This doesn't only apply to art criticism. It applies to all reviews. Even if you stand up and say: “digital photography is the best thing since the invention of chocolate”, your opinion is welcome as long as you convince us that your view is conclusive and at the same time allow us to take a different point of view (by applying your arguments to our conception of the world).
Formalism, although bound to the modernist view, is a strong tool to argue about a picture much the same way as to argue about camera equipment. Moreover, it is always hard to discuss something without a common notion about the semantics of the vocabulary. However, why do so many people know the concept of “Depth of Field”, but can’t argue about the concept of “negative space” in compositions?