Monday, October 2, 2006

Life is Amazing: A Special Shout-Out to Andy Goetze

Life is Amazing: A Special Shout-Out to Andy Goetze
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

Life is Amazing: A Special Shout-Out to Andy Goetze

A special shout out to Andy Goetze for posting Do You Know This Woman? (Part II) to to his blog, StockPhoto Talk.

Apparently, his post and Thomas Hawk’s simultaneous posting, have sparked a bit of debate.

I sincerely appreciate Andy’s ability to see through the fray. For he wrote yesterday:

“Those which criticize Lorenzo (mostly those which are jealous because Lorenzo is a successful photographer) have forgotten that they all miss the point. Even if Lorenzo would have had a model release, they would not have paid him, as he clearly pointed out later: "Especially, since there was no offer whatsoever of due compensation. They essentially wanted permission to use it for free, making excuses like "we have a small budget"". Or, as Markus Merz added: "Your case fits quite good to the current 'free' user generated content rip off scheme which is popping up at all the media houses all over the world at the moment".”

Jealousy, envy, misunderstanding, whatever. All I know is that I agree with Andy, that the discussion on all these blogs has veered awry too often, thus I appreciate his attempt to steer the debate back on course.

I merely wrote about a personal experience of mine, which I had intense mixed-feelings about. I suppose I could have cowered and simply hobbled away from the experience like a lame duck. Unfortunately, I feel rather passionate about many of the things I love to do, especially photography, and so I’m usually compelled to act rather than demure whenever the integrity of my avocations is incurred upon.

Admittedly, it can be a bit difficult not to be dragged down into the mire when all the worms come out of the woodwork to criticize you as a person, as opposed to commenting on the issues you raise. I’m trying my best to do a bit of mudslinging myself.

Besides, I am almost certain that most, if not all, the pundits and lambasters, have actually never met me, spoken with me in person or simply, really do not know me personally in any way. I’d like to think that others might intuit this, and thus infer that the potshots, brickbats, and carping speak much more truth about the critics than the accused.

I haven’t seen the FlickrCentral debate that Thomas Hawk began and which Andy refers to—and don’t intend on getting involved, because I think I might take it too personally. I love photography, and thus I rather not have the unpleasant experience that I anticipate—besmirch my appreciation of this wonderful medium. It has enlightened me in numerous ways, allowed me to appreciate life over and over again, and more and more each day.

Thus, I find it all too amusing that the original photo that sparked all this hullabaloo is part of a series that I titled “Life is Amazing”because, it is, regardless of what people feel about me personally.

Furthermore, regardless of the barbs, I am encouraged to stay the course by what Dale Carnegie had to say about criticism:

Benjamin Franklin, tactless in his youth, became so diplomatic, so adroit at handling people, that he was made American Ambassador to France. The secret of his success? "I will speak ill no man," he said, "...and speak all the good I know of everybody." Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain-and most fools do. But it takes character and self-control to be understanding.

So when you are kicked and criticized, remember that it is often done because it gives the kicker a feeling of importance. If often means that you are accomplishing something and are worthy of attention. Many people get a sense of savage satisfaction out of denouncing those who are better educated than they are or more successful...Schopenhauer had said it years ago” “Vulgar people take huge delight in the faults and follies of great men.”

Lincoln Abraham’s description of how he handled his critics has become a literary gem – a classic. General MacArthur had a copy of it hanging above his headquarters desk during the war; and Winston Churchill had a framed copy of it on the walls of his study at Chartwell. It goes like this: “If I were to try to read, much less to answer, all the attacks made on me, this shop might as well be closed for any other business. I do the very best I know how – the very best I can; and I mean to keep on doing so until the end. If the end brings me out all right, then what is said against me won’t matter. If the end brings me out wrong, then ten angels swearing I was right would make no difference.”

I want to personally thank everyone who has supported my cause here. I duly appreciate the words of encouragement, as well as those who have contributed to the debate in earnest.


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