Hi Ian

Final comment on this from me then....Firstly, is 'credentialise' a real word?? Thats a new one on me...its true that in general the value of someone's feedback is closely related to their experiences of the subject being discussed. Lets say for the sake of argument that Ive never touched a camera, but that Ive studied the history of art, and specifically the use of the nude worldwide in photography, since its invention, up to and including the present day....would my opinion be less valid having never taken a photograph? You seem to imply that it would be less valid. How close would this imaginary person have to get to a large format camera, or for that matter to a naked woman, to understand your obviously deep and meaningful work? I have a friend who always says she doesnt know anything about photography so she feels her opinion on an image we may be discussing is invalid, I refuse to agree with her, and invite her comments, as perhaps someone who has fresher eyes sees things in a different way, and I value her comments, as I do my friends 13 year old daughter, who may like or dislike a colour or the specific placement of an object within the frame. She may not fully understand, nor have been taught, why she likes or dislikes something, or the rule of thirds etc, but inherently she may have the artistic temperament to see and analyse in a thoughtful way, and make a valid statement that may only need translating into adult 'artspeak' for it to be valued by those with minds and ears too closed to hear the comments of a naive child.
This theoritical situation is purely that. I have actually taken a number of photographs in my time, and studied the history of art etc etc but I dont need to walk around with my images or reference books glued to my back and front to justify my comments here or in an exhibition somewhere. Most intelligent mature people will listen to the comments of others and choose to dismiss or agree with them as they see fit, they may even admit that they, as we all do, have more to learn on the subject than perhaps they care to openly admit....Telling you how expensive my lenses are, or showing you my images has absolutely no relevance whatsoever on my thoughts on your images. If you put any piece of artwork on a wall it is up for discussion, by everyone who can see it, and the classism you imply in your comments is sadly what the art scene is all too full of, an elitism that tries to restrict the discussion of art from the masses, who then feel isolated and not allowed to enjoy that which they feel excluded from. If an image needs a lengthy written piece of artspeak jargon next to or underneath it to justify it, then it has failed entirely in its premise. If a young person casually walks up to it and it makes him or her smile, or frown, or question, or hopefully think, or even greater inspire then it has succeeded! Sadly, as I have said privately to you before, none of your images ellicit those emotions in me, and that dear sir is my priviledge....Good luck and best wishes. Richard