Herp Queries: Photo Critique Concerns When Shooting Reptiles
Question: Is there a way to avoid having everyone criticize your photos of herps and herping, besides only showing professional-quality images like you print in REPTILES? I’m talking about on Internet forums. No matter what I post, someone always complains about something. It’s hard to keep defending myself when all I want to do is share and learn. I’d like to just share and see helpful replies.
J. Catesby, Long Island, NY
RYAN M. BOLTON/SHUTTERSTOCK
If you post pictures in a public forum, I’m afraid you’re stuck accepting (not necessarily cheerfully) whatever comments accrue.
Answer: You’ll never make everyone happy. If you post pictures in a public forum, I’m afraid you’re stuck accepting (not necessarily cheerfully) whatever comments accrue. That’s the trade-off between showing your imagery versus squirreling it away for private viewing among friends only.
Putting them out there is the modern equivalent of a public showing of paintings in an art gallery or at a museum. The artist better be prepared for the reactions, good and bad.
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The advent of the Internet has spawned a grumpy, whiney, annoying new class of our fellow Homo sapiens, who view from afar, often while hiding behind fake names and avatars. They exist vicariously through what others offer up for thought and viewing, taking delight in commenting with the sole intent of arousing emotions and starting arguments. They fall into a subspecies called trolls. Those kinds of people seldom offer anything of merit themselves.
To those whose only source of entertainment is belittling others to get a rise out of you—deny them. Don’t feed the trolls. Completely ignore them. By failing to goad you to react to their negativity, you deny them the satisfaction they crave. That usually sends them drifting off to seek more responsive prey.
Bill Love photographs herps in nature, writes and lectures. He assists his wife, Kathy, with her business, CornUtopia, and via his company, Blue Chameleon Ventures, leads nature tours to view herps in Madagascar.