Facebook made great strides by adding degrees to the “Like” button. A happy face, a heart, a sad face were all welcome additions to the simple thumbs up icon.
The problem is this: there isn’t enough granularity, particularly when rating photographs. Trying to assign a numeric rating in the comments, while allowing greater discrimination, isn’t the answer either because there’s no standard for what each number means.
I was pondering this when I remembered how they rate pain in the hospital. They have a chart, numbered 0 to 10, with faces showing differing pain levels and a text description. The descriptions are something like “10 – Extreme pain – Just kill me now” to “0 – No pain – My God! those drugs are good.”
Using this same idea, I’ve developed the following rating scale for photographs, 10 (best) to 0 (worst).
10 – You would pay real money for a print. You may add a + if you’d be willing to spend over $100 for a print, provided it came with a really nice frame.
9 – If you could get away with it, you’d claim you’d taken the photograph.
8 – You wish you’d taken the photograph.
7 – You would hang a print on your wall.
6 – You’d hang a print on the wall of a friend you didn’t like much.
5 – You’d hang it in a gallery.
4 – You’d hang it in a room at a Motel 6. Add a + if you’d leave the light on.
3 – You’d use it in an author-published book of poetry.
2 – You’d hang it in Hillary Clinton’s or Donald Trump’s office. (Use whichever is the most detested. Substitute other politician if desired.)
1 – You’d tell everyone that the photograph was made by Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. (Same options above.)
0 – You’d pay money to make sure the photographer never worked again. Add a – if your jurisdiction has capital punishment and that wouldn’t matter.
I hope this contribution to the literature, modestly called the Frerichs Photography Rating Scale, will prove useful.