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For the sake of clarity, I want you to know that I actually agree with you here.
Unfortunately I can’t control the amount of votes everyone gets, but I would be a liar to say I don’t believe that OC should almost always be the recipient of votes before a digital composite like I myself am partial to. And as for what people are ready to “drool” over, this sub could be *much* more of a circle-jerk than it is (and thankfully it isn’t).
The thing is that quite often OC just simply is not very good. There are those who do a great job of course like mkillebrew, jakesgunreviews, othais, or YOU just to name a few and I *always* up-vote solid OC and everyone else should as well, plain and simple. In fact your photo of the Baby Browning was one of my favorites in a while! I’ve always had a thing for small handguns, and if all of the OC was of that ilk I don’t think there would even be the issue you seem to perceive there to be…When the content is high quality, it generally seems to get plenty of love from the community. But that’s the keyword here: high quality. And as we all know, despite that sometimes she goes and sometimes she doesn’t.
I also think it’s worth mentioning the size of this sub. 19,000+ people means a wide variety of tastes and niches to appeal to (or not haha), and I personally try to cover the spectrum on a somewhat weekly basis alternating historical and beautiful firearms with that of a more modern and (often) militaristic nature. But when I use firearm imagery by other photographers, as artists I have great respect for I always make an effort to direct the community towards *them*. So it’s not like it’s all just “factory page trolling” as you put it. Though to be fair those links & that info are always there because we are required to source our images and provide a description. So what may seem like advertising to you is just abiding by the rules 😉 we all do it.
I’d be happy to pm you a copy/paste of all my bookmarks of various webpages and such but a skilled equipment photographer I have been enjoying lately is the talented [Oleg Volk]( http://olegvolk.net/gallery/technology/arms/ ). He’s got a bit of everything from range photos to hi-res studio shots displaying aesthetics to professional promo images. All very well done.
*You would probably also like mkillebrew’s site: http://50ae.net/