+1 great thread, thanks everyone too. The only new one I can add (3 times!) is something that distant.star's
54-yr old photo highlights immediately from the subsequent posts -- like them, I see great merit in the shot too.
The same thing happens in pretty much all my shots -- what others see, and like (or dislike), is seldom what I as the photographer sees. From judging and reviewing photos in various contexts over the years, I have learned this is common.
Maybe the best photographers are different, and either innately or come to learn how others will perceive their shots, and tune their efforts accordingly. For me, I shoot for myself, and it's potluck what others take from it. Such is the indulgence of the amateur, and why I would never make it for a millisecond as a pro. (Respect to all that do!)
I'm reminded of a quote my Scottish mother used to like: "O wad some Pow'r the giftie gie us, To see oursels as ithers see us!"
The photographer's version, and my contribution here, would be:And would some Power the small gift give us, To see our shots as others see them!