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Why I love seeing the "Nice shot" and "Wow" comments, and why some other photographers should stop complaining about it...
longest post title ever

First, let me be very positive and tell you a few reasons why I like seeing happy comments of affirmation like "Great!", "Love it", "Cool", etc etc. I'll start with the simple reasons and then get into a deeper sense of experiencing the world around us.

So, on a basic level, I simply like seeing people's avatars - their faces. This is important and nice to me. We are humans, and we like to see faces. Incidentally, this is generally why face-avatars are more appealing than cartoons or symbols.

Plus, I know that they took a little extra time in addition to the +1. I think most of my new and upcoming friends here on Google+ are not photographers, so they just have a simple and joyous reaction to it. They give nice feedback in a simple, quick manner.

This all stems from an increasing complaint I see from some other photographers that complain about "inane" comments, wishing "these people" would just +1 and move on. I find this to be a very elitist and condescending attitude. The thing is that photographers have been someone "poisoned" by Flickr. And here is why…

Flickr is great in that it allows photographers to comment on the work of other photographers in a thoughtful, critical manner (sometimes, hehe). So, we get used to a certain level of feedback from other people that have strong opinions on composition, color, light, line, shape, contrast, and these sorts of things. But, for the last five years, I've been sharing a new photo every day on and my main target has always been non-photographers. And the simple truth is that they just respond "differently". It's not better or worse… just different. Each of them, no doubt, has a deep level of expertise in various other subjects, and if I were to post something about Austria-Hungary, for example, they would probably respond with a paragraph of helpful datapoints.

So I'm very defensive of all the nice people that take the time to comment, re-share, and become part of the community. If you don't like the way people choose to express themselves in Google+, or generally disagree with the comments, then there is no need to get all upset… just uncircle me and save yourself some frustration.

Now, another way to look at it, if you'd like to alter your perspective, is to consider the expansion of the photography audience. Flickr was also poisonous in that it was just photographers commenting on other photographers in a circle of mutual-mental-masturbation. The bad part is that every photographer comes with their own baggage (I know I do), and they bring that baggage into the comments. So, it's a bit like being an oil painter and only hanging your work in a gallery that other oil painters frequent. You'll have interesting discussions, but you'll also hear a lot of talk of what merchants in Arles are producing the best yellow dye.

With Google+, you find a lot of non-photographers. And this is of course the BEST audience for photographers, because they just simply want to see beautiful things in their life. They can sense beauty, and they don't have to have an art-school degree to like something and sense a deep beauty. And every non-photographer has a wonderfully unique life of experiencing beauty and a very personal history of joy, trauma, and the unique events that make them different. So that means that one photo may really speak to one person… perhaps there is a bit of mystery that their imagination fills in… and it becomes very special to them… and, having different neurons fire, they simply don't know what to say but, "Wow."

When I watch Olympic diving and I see some skinny Scandinavian do four flips and a twist and make ZERO splash, I just stare at the TV and say, "Wow." Or, maybe I see a ballet and the dancer makes a little move that I just can't comprehend. I may turn to a friend and say, "Amazing." There are arts and things well beyond me that I can barely grasp, and words fail.

Anyway, I'll end this little post with a story about the photo below, since we can all probably agree that beauty exists and we all experience it differently. To me, this fisherman and his cormorant bird are beautiful. To the fisherman, maybe the fish he will soon catch is beautiful. To the fish, maybe the Li River is beautiful. All of these truths can be held together in delicate concert, and this is why I love capturing it.
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Another one I'd be proud to hang on my wall.
Thank you for the thoughtful post, and thank you for posting your breathtaking photographs.
Such an unworldly look about this shot. Can't quite put my finger on it, but I love it!
Yup, that is what I was thinking too. And great picture too! :D
Beautiful photo and an even better post. Thanks for saying you feel that way. Not all of us have a lot to contribute about everything but do like acknowledging the talent, beauty, etc. we see.
Realmente bellos los colores y la profundidad. Parece estar flotando sobre cristal. Felicitaciones.
Another beautiful shot Trey... and a question: raw or jpg? Your shuttle video demo was done with jpg images, but in StuckInCustoms, you say to shoot raw if possible... So, which do you do? And which do you recommend? I'm a hobbyist who likes shooting HDR...
And you captured it well. Well done!
Beautiful... composition, light... and a gorgeous color palette.
Wes Lum
+Trey Ratcliff right on brother! I hope G+ doesn't become too specialized. That will in essence "doom" G+. A social network has to include everyone.
Thanks +Trey Ratcliff, I love seeing your work, you and several of the nicer pros give me something to aim upwards at. I really enjoy your work.
I think it's gorgeous. The light and oranges, the shadow and blacks, It's the kind of picture I look at, my jaw drops a little and yep, I do say "Wow. Great Shot!"
Gorgeous shot! And yes, sometimes a simple "Wow!" is more gratifying to hear than the longest essay of praise.
No comment, but I did +1 the image
trey, i love the picture, but most of all i like your words -- they're full of kindness.
I love these images coming through my stream of business information throughout the day. It's a really nice break and it's greatly appreciated. Love this one!!
"I think most of my new and upcoming friends here on Google+ are not photographers, so they just have a simple and joyous reaction to it. They give nice feedback in a simple, quick manner." I am not a photographer and do not personally know many professional photographers. The photography & other art I see here is a brand new world to me. Sometimes all I CAN say is "wow" LOL.
Great shot, and I totally agree with your concept, not all people take comments the same way, and I like getting constructive comments as it helps me develop my work, and it is sometimes nice to get comments from non photographers to make sure you are getting the right shot across.
Here's a +1 for you and a sincere comment: awesome :)
Agree with what you said. So, "nice shot" haha :).
Almost looks like a 3d render to be honest, but i like it just like that.
Nice shot! Wow! Love it! Cool! Awesome! Rad! Fantastic! Supercalifragilisticexpealidocious!
I agree completely with what you've written. As am amateur photographer, I'm just happy when someone takes the time to view my photos, let alone comment or +1.
I like the contrast between the very warm light and the possibly cold water underneath. And on top of it, it shows a very peaceful atmosphere. Nice shot!
Well said my friend! Keep bringing joy in to the world! You have inspired me tremendously to start getting serious about my photography, and now one of my images is a finalist for next month's Popular Photography Contest. Thanks again!!
I'm like you, any feedback is appreciated.
Sometimes saying "Wow" says it all for an image, and that's fine. 
Well Trey as usual, truly awesome and inspiring, thank you
Thank you for saying this (and saying it so well). I completely agree. Oh, and--great shot! (truly!)
Great perspective - in both the post and the picture. Keep em coming!
great post Trey, a fundamental question of why we take photographs? surely at a basic level to capture a special moment and share with others? keep up the fantastic work and keep inspiring people to see more of this wonderful world.
love adding my comments to a beautiful response drawing post :)
does anyone elses head bob along as they are typing?
nice job ~> amazing. your words are as beautiful as your lovely photos...
I am definitely one of the people who posts "wow," and other such comments. I wish I had the knowledge to offer more than that, to say what it was specifically that struck me, but I don't and I'm learning. I can't see why people would be annoyed by it, surely the fact that your work has affected someone enough for them to make any comment is a compliment? sigh people, eh!
I enjoyed both the post and the picture too!
great post, I agree. Photography is not just an engineering process. Sometimes it is more mundane and pointless doing comments about the technique than it is the expression of the emotions that the photo has caused. That's my opinion
Your photo is lovely (as all of them are) but I really enjoyed reading what you had to say. Sometimes I feel frustrated with myself because I don't have the right words to express what I'm thinking - even as a photographer! Sometimes "wow" sums it up the best for me - because I think it's mind blowingly good and I don't know what else to say about it! Not only that - but when you have only so much time to spend viewing photos, you don't always have time to do a full critique or even just put a lot of thought into describing how you feel about any certain piece.

Thanks for being so ispirational!
Beautifully written. You are as artful with words you are with images.
"They can sense beauty, and they don't have to have an art-school degree to like something and sense a deep beauty." Love it! Also, that's what circles are for: if you want critical feedback on an image, share it with a circle that will critique it. If you are complaining about the comments on someone else's picture - well, that is the least of your problems.
Well said, Trey! I am, on a more-than-daily basis, amazed by your work and would never have anything more insightful to share other than "Wow!"
+Trey Ratcliff Not everybody has the same audience here that you do! I'm pretty sure that 90% of my followers are other photographers who just followed me back.
I would add that sometimes when you experience a photo, you have a reaction that cannot be put into words. (I feel the same about some films and other works of art) You want to share it, but "Wow!" might be the best you can do. If the photo were conveying something easy to articulate, it would be an essay, not a photo. I love that you embrace these short emotional comments! 
Thank you so much for your comments, as well as sharing your awesome photography with those of us inclined to be speechless as your amazing work!
Gorgeous shot. The way the Sun light is casting over the mountains in the background is amazing
I'll take any attaboy's I can get. I love knowing someone actually took a moment to pass on some goodwill. It's a bit of a downer to put something out there and hear crickets. Keep the pics coming Trey.
Thank you -- from a photography-loving non-photographer... oh, and great shot! it's beautiful, i love it!
Its amazing that one man could take all of these fantastic pictures.
I agree with you, but also with the other photographers. Some times is annoying to read comment after comment the same words, or the same person using always the only word he/she knows. At least use a different way to say wow every time.

And +Trey Ratcliff if you read the comments up here, tell me how many have read what you wrote.
I agree with the very elitist and condescending attitude that some of the photographers on G+ are showing. As a beginner, this really bothers me. I've seen amazing work here and most of the time, it's hard to really explain how much I love the photo. So a random "WOW", for me, is hopefully enough to show how unbelievably amazing it is.
I love love love this photograph! Gorgeous
Very nice sense of depth.
I just read the complete post and find you a kindred spirit, keep up the great work.
+Trey Ratcliff is it in Yangshuo or nearby? I see the chained diver duck which is a common fishing technique there.
Someone mentioned 'inspiring'. I agree. Great post as well!
people are complaining? wow.. anyhoo... very nice shot!!!!
I thank you for what you said in this post. Many times I have not commented on photos because I lack the words. I don't know how to comment on the composition or the lighting. I know when I like something, and often I know why. But I lack the words to explain that why. Anyway. I enjoy what you post. I feel like I take small vacations when I lose myself in the photos for a little while. :) Thank you.
Trey, as a new photographer, I appreciate your guidance through your work. Keep it up!
I love Trey coming to the defense of the "every man". Makes me appreciate his work even more. Great article. And as for the picture. Wow!
Great shot, Trey! Xingping is quite a nice place on Li River. Unfortunately when I was there there were almost no fishermans. However I managed to capture true "20 Yuan Note" photo
All I can say +Trey Ratcliff is excellent. I think that covers everything nicely. The color and lighting you've captured on this shot really brings out the mood.
Thank you for sharing a very thoughtful posting, and a really beautiful photo.
+Trey Ratcliff, thank you for that thoughtful post. And this is an amazing photo -- I thought it was a screenshot from a video game at first.
Great post, and wonderful shot! Thanks!
Trey, thanks for taking time to put down some very meaningful thoughts. As a complete beginner, I simply marvel at the work that you and other photographers on G+ do. I look at most pictures and think to myself: "hopefully I can learn to take pictures like that one day". Keep sharing your beautiful work.
I have been following several photographers as a means of inspiration and a way to learn from those who have fine-tuned the art. So thanks for sticking up for the little guy, Trey! It serves as a great means for us to learn more about the "how" of photography and appreciate the immense amount of beauty found in this world.
I love the layers in this photo
I thoroughly enjoy looking at your photos...some of them look so good, they look fake! :)
Very good comparison with sports you love to observe but cannot come close to achieving (many, many of those instances for us all). I prefer the near-understated compliment: very nice picture, Trey. (But then, I'm told, I AM from the Midwest.)
As a fellow photographer, I also look at any comment as a positive one. If someone wishes to offer their technical or emotional thoughts about a particular photo, then that's great –I always welcome critiques. Likewise, if people just want to post a simple "nice shot" it also helps me to see what types of photos evoke a response. This is a social media site first and photographers just need to be aware of that.

Thanks for your thoughts and keep up the awesome work.
I don't think anyone is saying that they don't appreciate the inane comments, just that they would also appreciate those comments that help to improve our craft. I love when the non-photographers tell me they love my shots. But possibly even more, I appreciate when someone takes the time to look deeper and tell me that my highlights are blown out, or that their eyes tend to lead off the left side of the photo.
Having eyes other than just my own look at my work make me a better photographer. I think far too many people are scared to leave constructive criticism on a photo (particularly to a photographer with your standing) when so many before them leave "Great shot!." Of course it's a great shot, but what if you tried it in black and white. Or what if you cropped it vertically instead of horizontal. Those comments are worth so much more to me.
Thanks Trey.
Awesome photos and great narrations, write-ups, posts, and talks.

And you are so charismatic!
(who would tell you "no" if you ask to take a photograph :-) )
Nice Shot. And I would like to say how much I enjoy your very modern way of using social networks and your blog to share your passion and communicate your passion to others. I personally took up HDR photography, inspired by your work, and am very very proud of the results I have achieved thanks to your tutorial and comments.
I also find that many people in my entourage areget interested in your blog when I show it to them.
So thanks for the great work, I'm loving the permanent flow of quality picture always accompanied by a interesting description that usually points out your point of vue.
Keep it up, I'm loving it !
The truth (for me, at least) is that we thrive on all kinds of praise, from pros and non-photogs alike. We can cobble together all the feedback with full knowledge of where it comes from and contrast the mass of popular opinion with our knowledge and pride in our work. I know that before I became a photographer I had zero eye to appreciate good work and was essentially blind to great photography. Knowing this, I tended to look down on the opinions of non-photogs, figuring they couldn't really appreciate me, while at the same time figured that praise coming from other photographers was just bait to masturbate their own work, and yet, who better to appreciate your work than someone who knows what it takes to make your image.

It's a fine balance, but hey, nice job!
Wow, great shot, great post. I can only guess at the time and effort it took to take that shot.
See, now as a commenter I feel like I need to go and dig out a thesaurus- I feel like I've wasted so many "amazings" over the years on things that maybe weren't as amazing as I had thought they were... le sigh.
I've just been giving you +1's, which mean nice shot. Well sometimes it means great shot.
here's my face ... and here's my wow.
thanks +Trey Ratcliff for appreciating both.
your work is excellent. your attitude even better.
I believe that if a photographer thinks that an image can not evoke emotions, then he has not understood anything of what the photography is
arg...posted this in another user's repost of your original, so I don't know if it will show up here on its own or not. Forgive the duplication, if exist.
Well-reasoned post (and don't you love it that you can break records with title length and not run into the FB initial-post limit or the Twitter 140-char limit?).

Coming from the perspective of a non-professional but very enthusiastic photographer, sometimes all you can say is wow, or other short & subjective statements. To say much more, to assume the voice of the critic, is above my photographic station and paygrade. Sure, I have opinions about all the pro photos I see, but I don't outline those opinions when I'm addressing a forum of professional photographers. I try to spend the time learning instead.

And yes, I love your study in orange--Hey man, nice shot.
Wow! Haha just joking! I love the light and orange shade, very mysterious and secret yet simple and beautiful. Love it!
+Trey Ratcliff, you are both brilliant and humbly kindhearted. So refreshing! Every single photo you have shared here so far has elicited a 'wow' response from me, very much the same response I feel when I watch top olympic athletes. I may not understand the fine details of your art, but I know genius when I see it. Thank you for your awe-inspiring perspective on the world. WOW!
Nicely said and the image is stunning eye candy! : o )
+Trey Ratcliff Well said Trey! Thanks for spreading the word & sharing your images. I can't explain in technical photographic details why a certain image makes an impression on me, but I know it when I see it.
I appreciate your comments on this topic, Trey. It only makes me appreciate your work more.
+1 and a comment to let you know I have really enjoyed your photography! Thank you for sharing it :)
Trey, I don't know why other people subscribe to photographers. I do know why I subscribe and that is to see a cool picture or two every day or so. When I like something I tend to say that I do with the idea that a complement is always appreciated.

And, I like this picture. It makes me warm and fuzzy. And I don't know anything about how you took it, what you did to it or what fStop you used or anything. To me, that's not the point. The point is: Did it move me to write a comment? or not? and this one did.

Thanks for all your pictures... ALL of them.
Thanks for defending us from the mutual-mental-masturbating photogs! Seriously though... your work and effort to share it with us is inspiring. I look forward to your posts.
Thank you, Trey, for your thoughtful comment, and thanks, too, to those who have responded in kind. There are many ways photographers (or artists or writers) can appreciate praise and can benefit from constructive criticism, so long as it's done kindly and in good faith. There are indeed many times when I view Trey's photos or those of other wonderful Flickr/Facebook/Google+ photographers when I simply gasp and say Wow! And sometimes that's enough.
Amen Trey. Sometimes art is about expressing and sometimes it's about expression. Art is meant to evoke a reaction. And no matter what that reaction is, it's valid. That's why it's art. And so I say "Amazing. Love the colour tone and the lighting is just perfect."
Really sweet picture, looks awesome.
Very well said! Thanks for taking the time to say it.
My brother introduced me to HDR six months ago, thought it looked cool and saw some pictures on Stuckincustoms. Joined the Google+ for about 2 weeks ago, found Trey and followed him. 3 days later I went to a shop and burned $ 1600 on a DSLR and some peripherals. Trey made me STUCKED;)
Very nice picture and thoughtful article.
Woah this looks like a video game.
wow... that is a very impressive shot! China has hundreds of beautiful lakes & rivers like this. I need to do more exploring during my next trip there.
Just an amazing capture. An of course, I want to thank you Trey for this post, because I'm one of the people that like just to enjoy a capture like this and say "Wow", "Amazing", "Marvelous", "Very nice", "Great shot!", "Beautiful", etc.
Awesome... ;)

... and, for more detail, i love the tones, how the orange hue still gives detail to everything.
... and, for a more critical view, i love how you get detail in both the light and dark (with HDR, right?)
finally: i wish i got +1s, comments (one word or more), whatever, even tellin me what i could do to improve... i like how G+ doesn't fill the screen with them, so if people wanna post, let them!
I'm sitting here picturing a photographer standing in a gallery watching viewers pass by one of his/her treasured photos. Some visitors look and keep on walking. Some stop and say, "WoW. Great photo."
I am assuming, based on my own perspective, that this "WoW" would be greatly appreciated.... or perhaps the photographer would say, "go away and don't come back unless you can give my art a proper photographic critique."???
+1 for the photo AND the positive attitude!
Wow. [the end]

(as a side note: why? because I can.)
I usually +1 because I can't think of anything to say besides "Nice!" or 'Cool!". Perhaps I should just go with that in the future? :-) In this case of this image, it looks fantastic, almost like a painting.
+Trey Ratcliff a camera is like a violin. It can only sit there until picked up and played. Each artist that picks up an instrument, whether it be a paint brush, chisel, instrument or camera, interprets the art from within, deep within. As a musician, it's difficult for me to enjoy just any music because I know too much technically. But what will always grab me is a vocalist who bares his/her soul and pours it all into the song. I don't know as much about photography technically, yet, and I'm glad for that. I'm still able to sit back and let the WOW grab me.
Another beautiful picture and what a great post to come with it.
Totally agree +Trey Ratcliff. This is what I've been trying to get at in some of my replies to these various posts from photographers complaining. Simple comments "wow" "nice shot" "amazing", etc, are wonderful to get. It means I've touched someone's soul with my photo. It is a purer reaction. I encourage people to say whatever they feel, to express the feeling however they can. For most people, this is simply "wow", and that is awesome!

I think it's always hard for us to understand what it's like not to know something we know. This is why it's so hard for many adults to relate to kids, right? We just can't understand not knowing what we know. Same for many photogs. It's hard for us to understand not understanding the rules of composition, how DoF works, and so on. I think this is why some photogs get angry at all the simple comments... they feel like people should be able to explain more but aren't. But that's a misunderstanding... I think most non-photogs don't have the words to explain why they like a photo even if they do have the time.

Does that make sense? Haven't had my morning coffee yet... (8am here in Japan). Bottom line is I think I understand the photog complaint, but I also disagree with it and would rather encourage people to express themselves in any way they can.

Oh, and nice photo.. Great capture :)
excellent - agree completely and shared.
Well said +Trey Ratcliffe. As a novice photographer, I look forward to both the 'Wow' comments (few as they are!) and the honest critiques. When I see great shots, sometimes all you can say is 'wow' when the image or the technique blows you away.

Reminds me a little of some scientists, who believe only other scientists are qualified to make comments, when the layman sometimes just revels in the genius of their research.
This image has always been one of my favs of yours. It almost feels like some 3d super high res render from a movie or video game. It's simply perfect!
Eh, it's alright ;)
Great stuff as usual. Keep on, keeping on! 
I love what you wrote. Thanks for everything you're sharing here.
I appreciate the thoughtful post. As someone with an academic background and a student of photography, it is possible that I might give a reasonably well informed critique of this or any other photo posted, but I would never do so unless you asked for an honest critique of your work. It would be inappropriate and inane. I do not post my photos for critique, and would not do so with a group of people I did not know. There is no context by which to understand such a critique. I look at perfectly wonderful photos on 500px which are rated below 50, and I wonder at the criteria by which the masses determined such a score. The scores certainly had nothing to do with composition, lighting, clarity, context, color or focus by which any reasonable method would score at least a reasonably high score. I suspect in such circumstances people are reacting with their gut--i.e. not my favorite, therefore I don't like it. Personally, I only comment when a photo moves me. Check that. I sometimes comment when a photo moves me, because there are plenty of times when I say nothing. Ultimately, I only take photographs for myself, because it does something for my soul. I hope that my skill and my art grow, but for today, I am only able to say, this is where I am and this is what I am.

By the way. Awesome photo.
I wouldn't mind reading a 'wow' comment. I wouldn't mind a +1 instead either. When I see a great picture, I mostly use +1 because I am speechless. Either that or some people already take the words out of my mouth. Not to mention the fact that I'm a beginner.

When it comes to my own pictures / posts, even though I don't live in an English speaking country, I insist on using it wherever I post on-line to help my families and friends learning it. They can't say much in English so they mostly click +1 / 'like' and I appreciate that a lot.

So I guess, it depends on the case to me. I like this post. It got me thinking beyond photography. As for the picture, what I like about it is the timeless sense. May I know what time of the day you took it? (A beginner question, sorry...)

Last but not least, as we say it down here: Terima Kasih!
what a breathtaking shot. Thanks for this Trey. And I love the humbleness in your post it's really cool that you still appreciate little things :)
What I can day, this is again an amazing shot! Certainly that "wow" factor I am striving for and hope to learn someday when I take photos. Great blog.
+Trey Ratcliff thank you so much for this post.....I was feeling a bit down that it seemed some photographers didn't appreciate my comments or shares, and it had me wondering if I needed to change my habits here (I have been told I am a "content curator") I am an admitted amateur photographer and don't have the vocabulary sometimes to express what it is about the photo that has captured my yes "WOW" is one of my go to expressions. Again thank you....both for this post and for the AMAZING photography you have has inspired me to once again start working on being a better photographer.
I agree with your point of view about comments...your photos and now your post, inspire me to take my photography seriously.. n yeah great shot !!!!
Amazing photo of an amazing person. I am not positive but I think this is a picture of the fisherman that have taught their birds to "retrieve" fish for them.. it is truly amazing.
I really enjoyed your post and I think your photography is amazing. I greatly enjoy watching for your photos on Google +.
Great post and great photo! I agree with you, Trey! I am new to HDR and every positive one-word compliment is meaningful and encouraging to me!
You said it +Trey Ratcliff! Thank you! I'm one of those folks who literally gasp from seeing breathtaking photography.

Perhaps these "inane" comments are actually the most genuine of reactions. We type down the first reaction that comes out of our minds. We don't water down our immediate emotions by adding technical jargon.

But isn't that what photography's all about? Capturing beauty through the lens. At the end of the day, it's meant to be appreciated.
Since I started to follow you on G+, this is by far the best shot I've seen you post. It's just surreal and I guess peaceful. Well done.

As for your point on "wow" comment, I can't but agree with you, and not just for photography. Thanks for sharing your work and a bit of escape everyday.
First of all Nice photograph I really enjoy your work, and second well that's why G+ rocks, would you be able to express your self in only 140 characters or the 420 from the other site? no way, this is why G+ is different, it lets everyone express what we want in the way we want.
I feel the same as you Trey. I post my photos in a variety of places and try to see which photos invoke a response from my friends and "non-photographers" alike. It is like what other people have said, people will comment when the photo "moves" them.

The other thing is that most people don't want to have their photos ripped apart by a merciless critique. I mean, there are times when you want people to tell what you need to improve on and where the strengths and weaknesses are, but most of the time I think people really just want a pat on the back. It encourages them to get out there and take more pictures.

To be honest, one of the hardest things for me to get over is when no one comments on my work because then I start asking questions like "why aren't they saying anything?" or "Why is that photo of a stop sign getting more +1's or comments than mine?" However, most of the time, if I do get a comment from a stranger or even a friend about how nice my photo is, I really appreciate it. It doesn't say that I am only taking photo to please people but at times you want some sort of reaction from people other than your mom.

The "wow" comments tell me that what I took, struck a nerve with someone. Also let's face it, there have been few times where I have had suggestions on my photos that were supportive. Most of the time I would get critiques of how "over saturated" or "HDR is over used" Never anything really constructive.

At any rate, that is just my 2 cents. As I have said before, I love your work and you have always been an inspiration.
That is so bloody awesome! And I thought my bamboo veneer stand-up paddle board was awesome. This guy clearly has me beat!
ok! The photo sucks, but I love the long post (I'm kidding about the great photo of course :-))).
This. Is. Why. I. Love. Your. Work. - I. Love. Your. Attitude. - Thank. You, Trey.
Thanks for the post Trey. Sometimes I think being social, is just as important as the content you post. Thanks for including everyone and sharing your talents.
Well said Trey, and "nice shot" lol ;-)
I love this photograph and I always enjoy the pics on when I get a chance to browse. As a EVO-only mom photographer, I love seeing the ART you can do. Thanks!
Usually I avoid posting a comment on your shares because I know how many more notifications I would get. You're one popular guy here on G+ =) As much as I like your work, I would just +1 to let you know that I like it. I can also post then mute, but then I won't see that post anymore in my stream. =) It would be nice if G+ has a "Mute from here" button instead of the absolute "Mute". Thanks for shooting and sharing wonderful photos. +Trey Ratcliff
thanks for your post Trey. we don't always have something to say and we may not know every technical aspect of a photo, but the main reason we can't really say anything is that we're awestruck with your work. :)
Thanks for bringing attention to this! Your photography is incredible. Keep doing what you're doing. :)
+Trey Ratcliff you know me to be a nice, well-balanced and thoughful person who is not unduly rude, confrontational or a snob.

That's the preface to what I am about to say :-)

You said: "Flickr is great in that it allows photographers to comment on the work of other photographers in a thoughtful, critical manner"

I would disagree. Google Plus has so far allowed me to have a lot more thoughtful, constructively critical conversations than I had on Flickr in five years of being there. 'Great capture' seemed to be a mantra repeated with almost religious frequency. Not that I dont mind people saying that but it did propel me, after one morning of hearing it 50 times, to try and get people more 'visually literate'. My point was to offer the people who were open to it, a chance to increase their vocabulary of image discussion, giving them more tools to 'read' images so that they could 'write' them better when they picked up their own cameras.

I like the 'wow' and the 'great capture' but I think that - as more people are picking up cameras and sharing images - it would always be nice for them to learn a little more so that they could explain in words [when they have the time to write them] as to WHY the picture made them go 'wow'.

I have had some great experience now of giving 'visual literacy' classes in Tokyo to groups of people. Everyone has come away empowered. It has helped them understand the work of others and it is helping them create better work of their own.

So, yes, wows are good... but sometimes having a little of the 'what made me go wow' is also a good thing.
Very well put Trey. I am one of those "wow, nice shot" people...I love photography, but don't know enough about it to make any other comments other than wow or something similar when I see a shot that strikes me the way many of ours do. 
After that all I have to say is thank you, and great shot :-)
Beautiful photo - and nice to know that someone does like seeing those comments that aren't providing additional value (as expressed by others) :)
Tell it Trey! I totally agree with what you are getting at.
As a photographer, I enjoy the interaction I have with other photographers, and value there opinions during a critique, but sometimes I just like to hear "nice shot" Thats why I show my wife my work.......
Greetings, +Trey Ratcliff. I've been following you and your posts since I saw some of your guest spots on Mostly Photo earlier this year. No doubt that you are a very competent photographer, and your work speaks for itself.

I have not +1 or left comments about the awe-inspiring photos you've shared here, on your blog, on TWIT and other places, but whenever I see them, I know that they are inspiring and help raise the bar, as well as show me, someone who is just getting into photography, what's possible.

I think your post was succinct and to the point. I have been doing a musical radio show for about 14 years, and I'm about to get into music production. Your post made me think that, yes, it's human nature to want to impress your peers. But you brought up a very important point...that leaving it to non-photographers, or non-DJs, or non-musicians, can be as worthy form of feedback as from peers, if not more soon.

I've copied your post so that I can read it again and again as a reminder. Thanks for your words and your work; keep doing what you love.

I agree with your post. Great work on the image as well.
I love the shot and can imagine it being a water painting from 1000 years ago.

I like the post even better. There are 10m others to follow instead of complaining here.
Thanks for the post, Trey. It's great to see someone that has insight from more than just a photographer's point of view and is willing to share it. As an artist (and photographer), it's always been one of the things I've tried to help people understand. Non-photographers are going to have a simpler response. I love when people say the simple things. It's wonderful to get feedback from others in the industry too (and I know that I can ALWAYS use that,) but seeing both sides of photographic enjoyment is important. Thanks so much for putting your thoughts out there. More of us need to embrace both sides of the photo world. 
As a florist I agree 100%. When we share our design pictures with other florists we hear all about color, line, textures, and the likes. When we show them on facebook we hear, "beautiful, I like it, wow, amazing," and the like. But as a florist that is also what I want to hear. I want to see that what I create connects with the people that will hopefully purchase my product. I also know that it may be the line, color, texture, or whatnot that draws them. They just don't realize it did. Keep on posting, I get inspired by every shot.
looks like a national geographic pic... very surreal
Wat Ono
a sweet photo, a sweeter philosophy.
Wow (not just this pic, but your post) You're not just a photographer as I can see :-) Congratulations Trey and thank you for sharing your work/art.
Thanks for saying this Trey. I am a long time fan but never a commentator. Who am I eh? Just a guy that shares your love of travel and photography. I was in Guilin just days before or after this was taken. Awesome!
As an artist, I appreciate every response I get, and as a human being, I realize that words often fail me when I try to describe my emotional response to a work of art. As an artist who is always trying to improve, I try to challenge myself to say more than just "Wow" because it trains my eye and brain to process what I'm seeing, which in turn teaches me something about my own taste and style. The thing I find most interesting in this image is how much variation one can get in such a limited palette.
Well said :) Oh yeah...nice photo!
There's another argument in favor of the simple "wow": if you have a question, it's easier to scroll down and check if it has been asked before. In contrast, if you have only long comments, you'll have to read them all to avoid repeating the same question all over again. Now, .. I've actually forgotten my question.. duhh.. so, uh, WOW! :-)
your point of view rarely shoot out, a pleasure to see your photographs, and also too read your words.
I absolutely love your work, and just accidently came upon your site the other day. I know very, very little about photography, and nothing about your HDR technique. What I do know is that the colors you draw out, and the scenes that you capture, absolutely inspire my imagination and creativity. I can't get enough of your work! I couldn't tell you a lick about technique, or what photography is supposed to have. I just admire all that you do, and encourage you to keep it up!
yeah a rerun of my favourite picture .. like you have asked mother earth to render you a picture... just amazing
I am in 100% agreement with Kimberlee Pross! Hats off man !
Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. I've been +1ing your posts for the last week or so and admiring all of your lovely photographs. Almost every single one of them does make me say, "Wow!". The things you capture are beautiful, and whatever after-processing you do tends to bring out the color in a way that is shocking and gorgeous to my non-photographer eyes. Hearing your thoughts about why you like the pictures you take, and your thoughts about our comments, is also wonderful, and makes me so much more glad that I stumbled across your profile and have the ability to follow you. Thank you for sharing your view of the world!
Something I like with you +Trey Ratcliff is that you're spontaneous, genuine and simple. I totally agree with what you said (and I actually sometimes comment photos with some "wow" and "awesome/great/nice shot" when I don't feel talking about technical stuff ;-) )
+Trey Ratcliff - extremely well written, and on target. In addition, I see this in music - which is more my expertise. You have a group of people that don't have the musical background - that "just" love music (and bless them, every one!) - and a "wow" or a "that moved me" absolutely makes my day.

And then someone will dig in and give some technical notes on the mastering or the mixing - a glitch or a pop at 2:42 that may not have been intentional - a recommendation to roll off the bass frequencies, etc... Some artists welcome these comments - and some have the quick knee jerk "I meant it that way! What do you know?"

There are levels of appreciation - levels of joy - levels of interest - levels of knowledge and expertise that all come into play.

My personal belief is if anyone takes the time to type anything - one word - 2 paragraphs - track down my email - or click a "+1". Frankly - my day has been made.

Cheers on a very well written and thought out post.

This shot is amazing. The DoF is incredible, the colors, outstanding. I love the mystery of this shot.
Not only you take great pictures... but great write-up as well. Previously I just don't comment because of exactly like you mention in the paragraph.
I understand your point. I am no photographer, but I am a musician, so I live the same situation (and well, I guess everyone lives it in its own discipline, yes?). When we are kind of "expert" in a particular area, we know the theory, the tools, the work involved behind other works. It's great to have this knowledge that other don't have because we are more aware of details and what not, but on the other hand it's a curse. Because when confronted to others works, we tend to destructure and analyze them so much that we can't appreciate things just for what they are anymore, when we should, at least sometimes, forget our knowledge and experience to enjoy and feel these works because that's the main point of art after all. I suppose it is in these kind of situations that "ignorance is bliss". In the end, yes it is annoying but understandable at the same time. It's hard to find the elusive balance between the brain and the heart we could say.

I hope my long comment isn't too boring. And sorry for the cartoon avatar. ;)
Oh! +Trey Ratcliff - I never commented on this awesome photo. The amber and orange/red hues - stark contrast of the fisherman and boat. Bright light at the tip of the boat. The line of the boat on the not quite still water which is in beautiful harmony with the line of the shore in the distance. Everything comes together to make a beautiful photo to me.


p.s. I'm a hobby photographer - a creative outlet when my music isn't coming through.
Great post and awesome photo! Being an amateur photographer and still training my eye what to look for, inane comments are all I can do. Thanks for sharing your photos with everyone. :)
Well done. I'm getting a new camera tomorrow - first digital. Other than a snapshot camera, this will be my first 'investment' in a digital camera. So excited to takes some intentional photos and have semi-immediate gratification. Digital darkroom here I come. Yikes! Color. Yikes! BTW, thanks to +Robert Scoble for introducing me to you.
Great points Trey. I love the photos, and I'm glad to know that tiny uncritical comments are welcome. 
I am an artist and a photographer, and when I look at a picture such as this I don't want to muddy it up by trying to sound educated and impressive in my analysis of the exoticism and other qualities that make it special. I just want to let my heart say "wow"......and so that is what I'll say in the comment. Or maybe I am simply left speechless in awe.
Ivy Fu
except your amazing photos, you are a very nice person... thanks for sharing...
This shot is so beautiful in its apparent simplicity - almost as if it's made up of silhouettes cut from different shades of rice-paper! And I greatly agree with what you've written here. I've always appreciated people staying after my performances, or if they've seen my other work, to say "that was great" or "x is my favourite" because it's nice to be appreciated and they've taken the time. If other musicians, artists or writers want to talk more deeply about 'the work' then that's great, too. In a public space, that's what should happen, surely!? If critique or advice is the only thing I want on something I'll use a more private space. On G+ that would be to send something exclusively to my 'musos' circle.

Thanks again, Trey! Awesome :)
I love that this photo is so silky and surreal that it looks like it was rendered!
Awesome post Trey! I always loved it whenever people commented on my pictures. Positive reforcement.
Thanks for helping set useful norms of behavior here - how to share and how to comment like a civilized person. Excellent post, and what a great set of lighting on the shot!
I agree with you. The opinion of non-professionals is very important. Sometimes professionals lose the sense for the "wow"-effect, by looking at the technical details. Not only photographers, but also musicians for example. And by the way: Really great photo! ;-)
I especially appreciated the bit about different neurons firing since the brain is one of my special areas of interest. Oh, and about the pic - wow! :)
thank you for bringing back memories of my childhood. :)
Great lighting. Almost looks like a cartoon drawing.
I was impressed by the color, mood, and composition of this the first time I saw it. At the time, I didn't realize you used HDR and post-processing for most of your work. Even knowing that now on second viewing, it's still a wow shot. -- serious amateur feeling humbled
Most posts I've just been +1ing, specifically because I assumed it wouldn't be read. I think it's great you take your comments so personally. Your work is great and easily one of my favorite things to follow. Keep it up! 
Very well put, Trey. If someone takes the time to comment on your work, whether it is in affirmation or critique, it means it has had an affect. That is generally the purpose of art. Yes, there is much to learn in composition, how a medium works, etc, but many times it simply is. Your work tends to be beautiful and I find my jaw agape quite often.
this is absolutely a "wow!" shot, and it makes me happy to no end that you addressed the worthiness of that type of response in your post. a genuine, one-word, sometimes monosyllabic gut reaction to someone's creative work can be just as if not more powerful than an educated and reasoned critique. to make someone say "wow!" in reaction to your work at any time is truly an honor, and should be treated as such. kudos. =]
Great light, i love how the background kinda just look like shadows in the distance
Great capture! The fisherman gives off this haunting sense of wisdom that keeps pulling me back in...
Excellent post, Trey. Really well put together thoughts. I don't understand why people dislike hearing comments about their work, especially when those comments are positive. I loathe elitism.

I may not be much of a photographer (hey, I try!), but I know beauty and powerful imagery when I see it. Your work is tremendous, and I can't wait to see which shots you have lined up next for us.
Great shot. I love the limited tones and composition.
wow .. extra ordinary work ..... so beautiful :)
Nice one Trey. I am surprised at how much fill light got cast on the fisherman by just the single lamp!.
Great image. My only critique: the left side feels a bit dark!
I love you! You're my favorite G+'er
Very well said. I couldn't agree more. Beautiful photo, as always.
Awesome. I agree with your points of just enjoying the beauty of the picture. You give us"non-photographers" something to aspire to! 
wow. thanks for explaining everyone's right (need?) to simply enjoy the magic of art. :)
+Trey Ratcliff Your work is just like a masterpiece. I am not a professional photographer, yet I can tell that this picture is nicely costructed :) and it's great that you are posting it up in this new platform, coz my office blocked everything, including flickr lol. there's nth better than seeing a nice photo early in the morning to brighten up my day. Thanks!! This photo makes me think of the scenery described in Chinese poems, great job! :D
I showed this to my wife (a non-photographer) and until I showed her your write-up on how you got this shot, she didn't think it was real (she thought it was a painting or watercolor.)

It's a stunning picture. Thank you for sharing!
There are a lot of people like me that don’t know squat about photography, but it is a rare photographer that can make people like me want to learn. What you do is so incredible we wish we knew how to work such magic.
I love your stories - you speak from the gut and it seems pretty genuine to me. I also love your photos/art - gorgeous. Thank you for being there - you have brought a lot of beauty into my life and I so appreciate it.
LOL. Love your work and maybe your attitude even a bit more. :-) 
I love seeing the world through your eyes! BTW... changed my profile pic, just for you!
Well-spoken and appreciated. You're a good guy.
Maybe we non-photographers just need to learn to, instead of saying "wow!", say "beautiful, I love the composition and the wonderful contrast" or something like that. :) Just let us know if we're using it for the wrong photograph.
Liked the essay here. Agreed. And to your point, this photo resonates most with me because I visited Yunan and almost moved there to retire -- before myspace. how different would my life have been?
i would love to have this framed and place it in my house!!!Great Shot....I am a fan of your work because of G+
I love being able to see all the way to the beyond's mountain tops. it's ethereal, or something
I'm glad you like non-photographers commenting on your pictures... because I love seeing your pictures on G+ daily and being marveled at not just your works but also the world around me. Thanks for doing what you do!
Nice take on this. G+ is not flick. Even on flickr though you've got people crying for specific critiques rather than "wow" but the same folks crying foul when they get one. There's no pleasing some folks. Even so, flickr is better than when it comes to this sort of thing.
I couldn't agree more. My advice to people who complain about the type of feedback they're getting on G+ has always been that apparently they're sharing with the wrong circles. If you want Flickr style feedback, create a circle of Flickr style users and share with them. If you are sharing with a different audience, you should expect different feedback. If that's not what you want, share differently.
i love all your photos but this is definitely one of my favorites. beautiful. adding a story to all your photos makes them even more compelling.
Thanks for the thoughtful post. I've never had an inane comment on any of my flickr posts. I simply am glad that someone likes them or bothered to look at them with the millions of other photos out there. Sometimes the beauty of the photo is the fact that you have shared it. Something I learned from watching the first couple of the TWIT mostlyphotos videocasts. Thanks for the excellent shot.
Beautiful Trey. Really enjoying your photo's. Inspiring me to get out and upgrade my film SLR to a Digital. I just wish I didn't have to upgrade my lenses too. ; )
I am a non-photographer and I have just fell in love with +Trey Ratcliff Im entranced by him. I could not stop staring at that horse in landscape. Beautiful description.
Love the great works as always! Keep it up!
A thoughtful post, Trey.
There are lots of us non photographers who follow you because we are amazed + delighted by your work. Also your engagement + fun here on G+ is a real++ for me. Watching that hangout with Lisa the other evening was an excellent lesson in how to hangout. Thanks so much!
This is a beautiful photograph and thank you for your thoughts.
Thanks to you I have this hanging above the nice just to look at, dream on and meditate with....and wish I was there every morning!
I love your attitude (and photography), but, more importantly, different people want different types of comments. Thanks for letting us know, since I generally feel awkward making short comments unless on friends' photos.
Wow. Just wow. And that's what I like about Google+, the ability to bridge people from vastly different backgrounds :)

I'd would otherwise have very little chance to see the works of pro photographers, except when I make a "trip" of flickr or 500px (or was it 400px? :p) but I now get to see them everyday on my Stream.

Really like your photos and I do like the "article " you posted. I understand that people's comments are simple or in depth. I think why they say simple words is because they see all your photos and are brain shocked with amazing photography, hell I know I was.
Enjoyed the post and the photo. So happy to have found you and have Google+. Liked the take on face avatars. First time using a photo for my avatar.
Diane F
reminds me of old chinese paintings, the way the mountains fade in the background. amazing shot. :)
Your photo is like a makeup to the original scene. Somehow it looks nicer when see through the rectangle area. I don't know what am I talking, it's beautiful.
lools like a cartoon.... great pic
Hey +Trey Ratcliff, I would love to reshare your work but aint work, tweak it please!
I like your little rant Trey. I'm still new to photography, but it's always nice to hear good things about pictures you've taken. Keep up the good work, I love seeing your new stuff coming in.
I've been seeing this shot around the web for a while now, and only found out now who took it. Pretty darned good, I must say. By the way, if you're in the market for some yellow dye in Arles....
Truely amazing... I am glad I showed you how to do that HDR thingy Trey! LOL
I have to say that one of the reasons I come back multiple times a day on google+ is to see what amazing landscape you are going to give us next, and so for that: thank you.

I love taking pictures whenever I go traveling, but have always been reticent to post them online (either on flickr or interfacelift) because I don't want to expose myself to all the critics out there - especially since I never retouch my pictures (I just don't have the time).

This post might just make me change my mind and make me post some more shots than the 5 ones I put on my profile just to fill the void :)

Now where can I get a decent DSLR within my budget... :)
wu wei
gui lin china?
Actually, that's a very stunning photograph! I can appreciate just how complex the lighting was to capture - and, on a moving subject.
This is when I would actually say Wow!!
I totally agree with the sentiments in your post. Btw, I +1 ed it too. :D
i love that you feel that way about our comments. you're a fantastic photographer and it would be disappointing if you didn't care what non-photographers think about your work!
Very well said Trey!!!! You are an inspiring guy!
Very well said. and wow ;)

This is actually one of my more favorites of yours. Simple. beautiful composition, great light.
I agree so much with this sentiment. I absolutely love this platform because I get to actually interact and savor each and every comment that comes my way. I don't find the nice sentiment inane either. It encourages me to reach out to the commenters as well and I can't tell you how many incredibly talented people I have found here just by taking an interest in the people who have reached out to me.

My feeling has always been that if people take the time to comment, I appreciate that time and effort and I take the time to either comment back and in many cases get to know them via their own content.

I really appreciate that you took the time to make a post like this. Also, the photo is pretty incredible and if it weren't for the awesome sentiment you attached with it, I would have been one of the people simply saying 'Wow' or 'Love this' :).
Absolutely agree with this! On Flickr, I've spent a lot of time looking at other photographers' images, and no way do I have time, nor can I even find something original, to say something on each shot. So I love to fav shots there, and I appreciate a simple fav back and state so in my profile. It's just nice to have an acknowledgement that someone liked an image of mine.. so I don't care if they fav, comment, +1, or whatever the convention is where posted.
you're awesome. and your photos are impressive :)
well played, good sir. sounds like what james bond would have said telling off someone if he was on google+...
Well said Trey and that shot is one of my all time favorites of yours. Thanks for sharing. 
Why is it all of your photos just seem ethereal?
I follow a few photographers on different sites and I rarely comment because there are times when all I can think about the photo is "Wow, that's really freaking cool"... and many of them just don't want to hear about that at all. So, I thank you for this post and your amazing photography, because it brightens up my work day.
"they can sense beauty, and they don't have to have an art-school degree to like something and sense a deep beauty." I've only just found your work via G+ & that phrase sums it up for me 100%, & I enrolled my 18-year old daughter in G+ (who is taking photography in college) JUST to see your work
Great post and photo. I have not seen photographers complaining about others' comments/compliments. However, I would agree with you that it is great when people appreciate a photograph. Whether it is a +1/like or just a simple "nice shot" comment, it is always great to hear it because they took the time to do so after looking at the photo. Google+ is definitely bringing the photos to a much larger audience than Flickr can and it is a great thing. I've seen lots of great work from so many photographers here and it is very inspiring to see the variety of work. Looking forward to seeing more of your work.
Thank you for that "defense" on behalf of non-photographers. I am one and I followed you because I think you capture people, places and life in a vivid way that I can only dream of. As much as I'd like to capture capsules of time like you do, I doubt if I have the talent or even the patience to learn. So I am grateful for talented photographers like you who generously share. Your post was so spot on. =)
Trey, as an amateur photographer, I have really enjoyed your photographs and the time that you take to pass on tips about your craft. Thanks for helping me learn how to improve my skills.
the depth in here is awesome! I love your work because its something I'd like to be able to do myself and with this photo you've seen to capture exactly what you saw with your eyes and how awesome it was!
So basically trey doesn't like thoughtful comments, like the otherwise poisonous flickr comments.
Thank you for being the constant reminder of why I must have my camera with me 24/7. Upon stumbling onto your beautiful site, sharing your knowledge on HDR, I aspire to be +Trey Ratcliff when I'm not underwater & I will read all your tutorials until I can produce one underwater picture that would 'WOW' somebody, someday. God bless you! :)
I am truly happy I decided to follow you. 
I'm always appreciative of people who take a moment to leave a one word comment. It's one thing to get that reaction from family or friends. It's more rewarding when you get that reaction from a stranger. However, there are times when I wish they'd explain what caught their eye. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and I'd like to know what they saw.
Inspiring post and wonderful photos! You should also be proud that you inspire people to look and find beauty around them.
Keep them coming Trey. We don't have to understand composition and technique to appreciate your photography.
Love the photos and the art sensibilities too
I want to have a dream about this image. Really breathtaking. And great post too, I feel like sometimes people forget that art isn't just about compositon, colour, movement - its about how something makes you feel. That's what I like most about your images, they are like reading a really great book. Thanks for sharing :)

Sharing a story in response to this convo.

Last year I went to the tiny town of Galena IA with a friend to wander their historic downtown and art shops. We wandered into a shop where we were welcomed with a glass of wine and an invitation to visit the artist in residence out on the back patio.

There was a very small crowd on the terrace; a man painting a lonely country scene and a married couple watching him as he worked and chatted with them. During the course of conversation he learned that they were collectors of his work. He began to ask them what it was about his work that attracted them.

After a bit of discussion they stated what it was that drew them in. Listening as a bystander, I noticed that they pretty much explained all the basic themes of art critique in laymen terms. From composition to selective lighting to color theory. These people knew what attracted them and were able to verbalize it, but only after being asked specifically what their idea of beauty was in the context of his paintings. And even then they used everyday language rather than that of art history courses.

So when someone says "nice shot" they probably mean it. They just don't know the terms we do. And if you asked them to explain what about it is beautiful, they could explain it in their language. But do we really need to hear the terms explicitly?

Another facet of this is photographers like myself. Often we are looking at the work of our photo heroes. We don't feel comfortable breaking those images down in technical terms because you guys could run circles around us in that arena. But we want to show our appreciation of your talent so we simply say "gorgeous shot" or "nice work". Photogs who need to cut down on such comments obviously have issues they are projecting and may need to step back a bit to question what they hope to achieve when posting images outside of photo communities.

Just my three cents :)

I agree.

I remember Joe McNally saying the most important photographic tool you can have is a positive attitude. #paraphrasing 
I don't normally chime in on the comments, because I'm usually number 400 something and it just seems pointless. But I felt the need this time. You are an awesome person Trey, and I don't just say this because of your posts, but also the hangouts I've caught you in. You are the real deal, and what I loved about this post was how genuine you were. I appreciate your art for what it is, and you capture some truly divine moments I only wish I could see with my own eyes. But you are never arrogant about it, and for that reason alone, I appreciate your pictures even more. You are completely right when you say that the best way some people can sum up their emotional response to a picture is to simply say "Wow", or "Amazing". And sometimes, that's all that needs to be said... I'm glad you're here on G+, and I'm glad you're as great a person as you are a photographer. Thanks Trey. Wow.
Wish I could go back to Yangshuo (close to Guilin) . The day before I went, my DSLR broke.
Let's keep spreading the positivity. I've noticed a lot of photographer vs. photographer negativity lately.

Let's keep spreading the positivity! :)
Great photo! and great post, too... I almost feel Google should allow +1 disabling (preferences) so more interaction is encouraged. Ironically, social networking has allowed decidedly anti-social options that only devalue basic human expression...or commentary.
I can't believe photographer's are complaining about those comments. I agree, that is very elitist.
There's like 410 comments already. But I totally agree with Trey on this one. Those really good photographers who can't stand the 'ooohhs' and 'aaahhhs' and 'wows' are the photographers who don't the really understand their field. Who else would appreciate their work but the non-photographers! What's the ratio between good photographers and non-photographers? probably 1 in 100000000? They should just quit now or probably they should just drop dead so that their work would become more relevant... just like the medieval artists! LOL
I really enjoyed your comments. Nothing is more irritating than listening to someone complain about a compliment. Let's be honest here, you post your work so you can get feedback. I'm sorry the grandmother from Oklahoma didn't break down her delight in the contrast of your photos, but merely said "wow." You poor fragile artist. Get over yourself (not you Trey). You want to be stroked for hours by your peers as you look down on the "inane" people (I think that's called The Golden Globe Awards, BTW). Wonderful, go for it, but leave the open communication for the rest of us. Or better yet, teach a photography class at the local community college, so everyone will fawn over your work.
It's totally beautiful! Love your images
+Trey Ratcliff Thank you Trey, I am one of the regular people who have a photography circle that I really enjoy. I'm glad to have you in it! Without the internet I would never have access to your (and others) photography. G+ makes it even better by being able to have circles to browse interests in custom made categories. BTW your photoposts are awesome!
the last para here.. simply love it, +Trey Ratcliff .. ofcourse apart from this wonderful picture.. beautiful..
I've been following your photos of France on Google+ lately. I actually live within driving distance of several of the monuments you posted (in the boonies between Lyon and Nimes), and am quite farmiliar with those places. In real life. Behind every "nice shot" or "magnifique" I've said, has been hidden a thourough enjoyment at seeing the photo and the artful beauty used to capture my country.
I like your explanation regarding the "Great" and "Wow" comments! Very true!
That is a ridiculous photo and a good point in your article. 2 for 2.
B/c I am a snide bastard, the only comment I have re the above photo is "wow, nice shot." :D
Gorgeous!! Trey, until I arrived at G+ I had never seen your work. So often when I encounter one of your stunning photographs in my stream I have an emotional reaction to the shot, whether from the setting, the mood, the subject, whatever. Thank you for sharing your passion for photography and the world with us - and for being pleased to receive happy comments and affirmations. I often can't help but to leave a quick "Wow!!" just to let you know that your photo connected with me and that I appreciate your work.
beautiful thoughts +Trey Ratcliff , the community is build on the bonds of interaction and I really appreciate your openness and affinity about it.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, knowledge and above all excellent photographs which are an inspiration for me.
I know that I'll continue to shoot my vacation photos as I've been doing for several years, but as a non-photographer, I find that seeing photos by professional photographers such as +Trey Ratcliff not only inspires me but they also teach me. I'm glad to see that Trey and others understand that at times all we can say is "Wow!" Some of the photos here transport us to places we've never been to or they also relive places and experiences we've had.
In my opinion peoples who complain are simply jealous. They would like to have many of "wow", " great " under their photos;-)
Fantastic shot Trey, thanks for sharing :-)
HDR via +Trey Ratcliff makes you want to see how flies and horses view the world with their eyes. It's like it's so real it doesn't look bland real
The lone wanderer ... very cool keep it up!!
yung s
great post, sir, and yes, this picture is AWESOME!
Both your post and your picture brought some unexpected beauty into my life today, thank you! 
I just love your work Trey, will definitely have to get my camera out again. Thanks for such inspiring images.
brilliant post and an even more brilliant photo. i feel not so idiotic saying ' wow' anymore !!! :)
I really appreciate that you posted this because I won't feel like a dope when I just say "wow" regarding your work. It is really gorgeous. It often seems to go beyond the elements of design into a kind of golden mean that is so perfectly balanced as to almost take my breath away. In the back of my mind I might be thinking, "how did he get that shot?", but the part of me that knows beauty is just happily satiated. I'm glad to be one of your non-photographer followers.
Wow..great photo...and awesome ya :D
Genuine. Thank you for expressing why you care to share.
From someone who would kill for a fraction of the 'likes' and 'wows' as these guys have and complain about...thanks for the post. 
Thank you for bringing all the beauty into the lives of the rest of us
Amazing - thank you all. I have read ALL the comments! :)

It's nice to see your thoughts and thinking... there is something unexpected about all of this in that people now get automatically filtered into my world... the sorts of people that I can get on with quite easily, like all of you. Sadly, I can't respond to all of these, but just know that I want to. I could take anyone's post, such as the nice one from +Trishia Gill , and start a whole other conversation that could take several weeks and be enjoyable. But, for now, we'll leave those chapters to read another night by the fireplace.
Thank you for bringing up this topic.. love your work :)
Well said! and I adore the photo story. Truly a beauty! :)
Thank you so much for the genuine post. I'm not a photographer but I love your photos. My comments & +1's are indeed a 'simple & joyous reaction' to what I see :) You got it so right!
the only thing cooler than this post is the picture attached to it
Wow.........I do not know why, but your article made me emotional
Well said, I learn from your work daily, I do not have the Nikon or Canon or whoo haa camera, I only take pictures with my Fuji S1500 (with 2 f-stop settings, hie hie)daily...this is what I can afford. But learned from you that to have great editing skills and a wicked imagination I can create works of art too... Your photos inspire me everyday.
+Trey Ratcliff Well said Trey. I'm a political blogger / columnist / editor and new media entrepreneur. Obviously, I enjoy it tremendously when another expert on politics gives me feedback on one of my columns. However, 'non-experts' (amateurs, etc.) are just as important to hear from, perhaps even more so. I appreciate their comments tremendously; they often touch on some 'basic truths', common sense that 'experts' have lost - simply because they're too focused on details and mistake them for the big picture.
+Trey Ratcliff Great read, great photo in the post. .."other photographers in a circle of mutual-mental-masturbation." that made me smile because it is true. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this. :)
Thank you again everyone! What I said up around comment #460 still goes!

WARNING comments cap out at 500, so you won't be able to comment any more... note that I am not closing the thread... it just happens automagicagoogly.
Thanks for that post, I love your photos and they are indeed "wow" and incredibly inspiring, I just want to get out there with my camera !
JC Desp
Thanks for this amazing and very respectful post on short and not insightful comments. It is very much appreciated as a non-photographer who enjoys and experiences beauty the way he can.

I love photography. Since as long as I can remember. I love how it makes me feel when I look at a capture of an instant that will never be again. I admire the talent, the technique skills, the hard work it involves.
Unfortunately, because I never had the time or rather never got myself to find the time for it (Other then the occasional family reunion where I just randomly spam the shot button with everything left on automatic. You know, just to make sure I don't end up on any picture, I take the photos). I have absolutely no knowledge what so ever of what it is required to take a great photography.

I have the most respectful esteem for people capable of delivering that feeling. You know when you are aroused by something strange, surprising, beautiful. Or when you are just instantly struck by the beauty of a simple portrait, landscape, scene. Or when reality has been altered in a way that transcends the simple imagination.
Alas, my lack of cognition in that specific field doesn't allow me to produce constructive * criticism*. And as someone who strives in progressing in whatever he attempts. I do understand how essential it is to the process of self growth as a person and in every other area possibly meaningful to each and everyone of us.

I wish I knew enough to be able to see behind the scenes. That I could ask "how did you take that shot?" and actually understand what would be explained to me. I'm thirsty for knowledge but I don't know where to start or when to find the time among the rest of the daily priorities. But I do acknowledge and appreciate something that in my opinion is worthy. I enjoy contemplating beauty in all its forms, even with my limited experience and lack of expertise.

All I can provide is the feeling of delighted approval and liking by *+1*'ing and occasionally throwing in a phew "Wow!", "Gorgeous", "Beautiful", "Exquisite" to the artist, professional or amateur.

So yeah, thanks again. I think it is a beautiful photo.
This is exact what I would have written about this matter. I tend not to write comments about the hard core detailed technical aspects of a photo since I'm no expert... When I look at my photos I don't have the right to write something like that, criticize someones work, I simply don't have the knowledge to do that. I can talk about the scenery, subject in focus, color, contrast, well I can say I like, love etc that, but not more than that. So mostly It's one of those short comments.
Very interesting to read all the comments. I have been taking photographs, for some 55 years, and I have never criticised another photographers work, but I do like to challenge occasionally. When I watch Penn & Teller I think, and say, Wow! Awesome! How do they do that! Ok it's not real magic, it's not real, but! It is entertainment! It is a trick, that is not to knock it, I love it, you could even call it art. I said in an earlier post how I would like to see the originals alongside. This isn't a criticism of the finished product but a chance to see the reality behind computer generated artwork because I know the naked original will be beautiful in it's own right. Someone said earlier they appreciated a vocalist because of the purity of the voice, I can see that! On it's own it cannot be manipulated it's naked and pure, like a raw image. By the way, sometimes, some people, rightly or wrongly feel uncomfortable with their own image, they may be shy or think they are ugly, and it might be nice for them to hide behind their avatar portrait. 
Very well said Trey. I think we should never disuade non-photogs from making "shorter" (emotional? non-critique?) comments as you never know if you are fostering an interest in photography be it the person themselves or a family member looking over their shoulder.
Great post +Trey Ratcliff. I really love your work (breathtaking, amazing pictures!), but thanks to posts like this we can easily respect and appreciate you as a person as well - the same way you perceive and appreciate us. Very true and well written.
And regarding the photo.. wow, really nice shot ;)
Ken Wah
Thanks for sharing both your thoughts and the photo. As a beginner I'm still getting very few comments on my posts, even ' wow' or 'nice shots' comments. But I guess I'll just keep doing it and slowly build up my network. :)
+Trey Ratcliff this is one of the best posts I have seen anywhere regarding photography. This is something photographers should think about some more. What are you trying to achieve? Do you want to create art, by whatever your personal definition of art is? Do you want peer praise? Or do you want to touch some other unknown human being by them experiencing an emotion or trigger a memory when they see a photo you have created. I guess the real fundamental question is do you create photos for yourself and your ego, or do you create them for others to experience your world? Is it about giving, or taking?

And I love that photo. It has a certain peacefulness and serenity to it that makes me want to go an live there. :)
"Wow", "Great!", "Love it", "Cool" ;-). I couldn´t have said it better myself. Thanks!
Must admit I am a 'Wow' person ... as a full time carer for an autistic child I often don't get more time than to say 'Wow' and so show my appreciation for something that brightens my day :)
I love both your exclamation and your photo - though, since it's beauty we're talking about, mainly your photo! but it so doesn't look like HDR! O_O
this is probably the 15th picture of you I can't help but sharing, and it's only been 10 days I found out about your existence... you have been blowing my mind with the beauty your eyes catch. I can't help but wanting to make the whole world know you exist!! And yes, WOW!
Phenomenal... An awe and thought inspiring photo...
Very good points that echo the sentiments of many others, including myself. G+ was not intended as a platform for photographers to show their work, just turned out to be good for that purpose too.
A great photo highlighting a nice location highlighting an idealistic time and culture --- nice work
+Trey Ratcliff Your post was amazingly spot-on! Sometimes people get so wrapped up in what they do, they fail to realize others may not have the same level of experience or understanding. One should always try to look at their own work from someone else's point of view once in a while. Thanks for bringing all the beauty into our lives and sharing your wonderful photographs! I mean... Wow!
This is a bit late, but someone just shared this post with me!

It's often difficult for people to express how they feel about art except for simple comments like "great shot", and that's ok. One of the hardest things I ever had to write was a paper about one of Beethoven's symphonies. What am I supposed to say about that?

I'm just happy when people don't comment with "what kind of camera took that shot?" or "wow you must have a great camera!"
Thank you for so many great images. I am not a photographer, I just take photos of things I like (usually with the camera on auto settings, lol!) and mostly, I just hope some of them look good enough to share with friends.

So when I see photos like yours, professional photos amazingly perfect, I just want to say to the author: thank you for bringing this to my life! It's not just the technical perfection, many times it's also a peek into places I'll probably never visit or a new take on places I do know but never saw that way.

Anyone can take photos like I do, only an artist can take yours. Thank you for sharing!
Uhm, 'Very nice' does this shot a disservice. This pic is truly amazing.
Too bad there's not a +2 button for this... Wonderfully put.
A very creative Shot.. Love the whole thing.. The Peacefulness of the water just like the ripples of the water are trying to be quite..
Amazing photo, and what a kind and insightful post! Thanks for sharing some beauty in my life (both the photo and the post).
Is this a picture of a real place, or 3D art or something? Looks great either way!
nice photo must be some were in china
great narrative that's why you have the biggest following for photography because you have not lost touch with the common dude who just wants to show appreciation for a nice photograph
You have my utmost respect...
I believe that photography is an art form that is meant to touch the hearts of people... minds are optional. :) Brilliant photo and post! I am glad that I ran into it years after the date of posting!
Thank you for your understanding trey,I have more than 300 posts going through my stream  every day ,I try to +1 and comment on as many as possible  I have a huge respect for origanal creative work.Some times Im just tired and overwhelmed.But always want to express aprriciation ,But sometimes the expression is more simple than I want. Blessings from a great fan of yours.Love what you do.
This is a bit late, but someone
just shared this post with me!
It's often difficult for people to
express how they feel about art
except for simple comments like
"great shot", and that's ok. One
of the hardest things I ever had
to write was a paper about one of
Beethoven's symphonies. What
am I supposed to say about that?
I'm just happy when people don't
comment with "what kind of
camera took that shot?" or "wow
you must have a great camera!"....
Ki Fang
Thank you for sharing
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