When the kids were little, we owned some books that taught good manners by positing (and illustrating) absurd social situations and the proper, polite responses. You know, “A gorilla arrives at your party inappropriately dressed, but bearing a lovely bouquet and apologizing profusely for his appearance. What do you say, dear?” For the record, I made that one up and have no idea how to respond, but I do know I would not seat the gorilla next to Dr. Weatherby, the notorious poacher.
I think of these books often when someone compliments my photography, because my impulse, as regular readers know well, is to point out the deficiencies in each photograph. Of course, that only puts the compliment-giver on the defensive. He or she has praised my work and my response is to more or less challenge him or her to a fight. The appropriate response to a compliment is “Thank you.” It’s a pretty good response to criticism, too.
On that note, thank you to all who have glanced at these pages and participated in the discussion. I look forward to giving Camera Club Confidential a more educational feel in 2011, to see if I can share what I’m learning in a more useful format. Happy New Year, and thank you, thank you, thank you.