In one of his comments to his "Photo-Fetishist's League" post, Ctein mentioned compositional fetishists, specifically the rectilinear subgroup:
While I couldn't possibly list all the fetishes I know of in a short column, I'm amazed I neglected to mention the compositional and anti-noise fetishists. The latter were, in fact, what got DD-B and I discussing this. I have some real sympathy for the Rectilinear folk, as it's one of my favored chickens. Clearly it's a kink of mine, but I'd never impose it on others or use it as a primary to evaluate their work. I think there was a column of Mike's several months back where this came up.
Indeed there was. You might want to look over the original post, and note that the issue is addressed in Ctein's "Featured Comment" at the bottom, below the main text. The point is simply that my original picture has some skewed or non-rectilinear lines in it. A commenter had disapproved of the picture because of this, and Ctein helpfully supplied a corrected version, while at the same time supportively dismissing the need for it (thanks, Ctein).
There's been something that's been nagging at me ever since that issue came up, and it finally dawned on me what it is: personally, I do not like rectilinear photographs. I choose those words advisedly: I actively dislike rectilinear precision in pictures. I prefer the presence of a little tilt, a few skewed lines, a touch of perspective distortion—some trace of a lenticular origination. Why? Well, I really have never thought about it much...but I suppose it's just because rectitude seems fiddly, formal, fastidious, picky, punctilious.
I'm going to guess it's the same reason that I like little anomalies in pictures, detritus along the edges (see my little essay "This Bothers Me"), objects "out of drawing," photographic artifacts, and the like. All these things save pictures from being too...well, "anal" is the pop argot, but I dislike that term. Let's say compulsive instead.
So, am I being compulsively anti-compulsive? A fair question. But:
Perfectionism is un-photographic.
In the picture below, for instance, some viewers react negatively to the tilt of the horizon. But that's what makes the picture work for me—that and the sun-disk flare impinging on the blackline at the top. Without those two elements, I don't think I ever would have even printed this.
Note that these prejudices I'm reporting on are just mine. That is, I make no claim that they ought to be Universal. Ctein can go on goring his rectilinear chicken, and anybody else who differs with me on this just differs with me, is all. Prejudices are personal.
Be sure to consider this in light of the post above this one, too.