Musings on Photography


Posted in process, shows by Paul Butzi on January 24, 2007

Today has been, well, more hectic than I like.

This morning was spent gathering materials and preparing to go over to visit a photographer friend, first for lunch and then to view his new work and for him to help me by reviewing the material for my upcoming show and to help me make progress on editing for that show – a process on which I’ve been stalled for weeks now, and on which I desperately need to make progress.

Before dashing off to that lunch, I managed to eke out a couple of minutes to dash off a quick update on the LCD drift issue.  No time for the more substantive post that would, among other things, respond to the many comments on The Photos Not to Take, so that clearly would have to wait.

Then it was off to the friend’s, off to lunch, then a few intense hours going over prints for the show, discussing the images I had and the options for the show, then going over the prints twice more and discussing several editing options.  The bad news is that I still have lots of editing work to do, the good news is that I now have a clear idea of what I want to do and how to accomplish it.

Then I was off to Daniel Smith, the art supply place, to snap up foamcore I need to mount the show.  And then, just in time to beat the sunset, home again.

With half an hour to spare before I start to make dinner, I took a look and found this comment on this post,

I was curious if you would respond to my dialog so I went back to see if you had responded to any other comment on your blog and I did not see where you did. Sorry that I wasted my time. At least I know now not to do it again. I guess you are just trying to drive traffic and not interest in a real conversation. Good Luck:)

I’m certainly interested in a meaningful discussion of the issues raised in that post.  I read every comment on every post.  In some cases, I don’t see a need for a response.  In some cases, I respond via private email.  In some cases, I respond with a followup post.  If someone has posted a comment and expected a response but not gotten one, then I’d suggest that private email (address on my main website) will surely get an answer.

More importantly, I’m interested in meaningful discussion, where an appropriate amount of thought goes into the process.  I’m utterly uninterested in some sort of tit-for-tat, rapid fire, point scoring repartee that makes the participants feel like those oh-so-damned-clever characters in Noel Coward’s plays.  That goes double for that style of interaction governed by some sort of strict rule on response time, with a respondent armed with a chess clock and poised to start my clock the instant he hits the ‘submit comment’ button in his browser.  That’s not substantive, meaningful discussion of important issues, it’s just fisticuffs with words.  Sorry, not interested.  If that’s what you’re wanting, I’d suggest finding a very active discussion forum, which will be far more to your liking that what I’m trying to do here.

Am I interested in traffic?  Yes, and no.  I’d like to attract a readership that’s interested in meaningful, thoughtful exploration of issues surrounding art and photography.  I’m not just interested in driving up traffic; if I wanted to maximize traffic, I’d just start a porn website or write a blog filled with vitriolic hate-filled political screeds, and be done with it.

So, will I respond to the comments folks have left on The Photos Not To Take?  You betcha, just as soon as I can pry free the time to do a decent job of it.

4 Responses

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  1. Doug said, on January 24, 2007 at 10:33 pm

    Hunh. I thought that you’d made your position fairly clear, along with your reasoning.

    Some other people disagreed, and said so along with their reasoning.

    Exactly how that constitutes a challenge to a “dialog”, I don’t know. What additional value would come from a childish “is so… is not… is so… is not… is TOO!” exchange? And why is that particular correspondent so disappointed that such an exchange didn’t occur? Could it be because, as he himself said, “I am a little bored today”?

    If the newspaper publishes an editorial taking one stand, and then publishes a “letter to the editor” that disagrees, is the newspaper then obligated to respond to the response? And where does it all end?

    By the way, all of those questions I just asked are rhetorical. I don’t really expect you to respond to them. 🙂

  2. Dave New said, on January 25, 2007 at 1:02 pm

    I noted with some astonishment that only an hour and 42 minutes had elapsed since the first posting and the 2nd, berating you for ‘ignoring’ him.

    I certainly don’t have the notion that you spend all day, every day, just monitoring your blog. In fact, I’m still astonished at how much time various blog owners must spend to keep up with all the postings, and still manage to produce something fresh almost daily.

    If someone wants interactive to-the-minute responses, I’d say they would have a much easier time IMing someone…

  3. Alan George said, on January 26, 2007 at 10:09 am

    Doug, Dave,

    My issue was not with the amount if time that had elapsed, it was with the fact that when I tried to find where he had responded to someone’s comments, I could not find one. Even though there where many comments addressed directly to him. My assertion is that if you are going to run a blog, it is your responsibility to do so. (BTW, blog != newspaper) My reaction was that I am not interested in a one sided blog. I not interest in being preached to. I regreted taking the time to respond when it seemed obvious to me (from passed performance) that the blogger had no desire to defend his assertions or to discuss the real subject of his post with was morality and art.

  4. Mark said, on April 17, 2007 at 11:42 pm

    Thank You

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