I am allowing Registered visitors to be Authors, so I don't know if this occurs with lesser access rights. If an author clicks on "View" below a photo in the Media Library, a "Leave a Reply" form is available below the image. However, the comment doesn't show up on the designated comment page (lacking a "Leave a comment" link, I assume), you need to go back through the Media Library (which doesn't indicate that there is now a comment associated with the photo) to find it and comment further.
If the Media Library page indicated which photos had comments, I'd seriously consider putting a link to the library on the home page and have separate comment threads for the photos. Assuming that's not a high priority as an added feature, any ideas on how to eliminate the "Leave a Reply" form from the page that's generated with a view request in the Media Library?
On a different and general question, I assume there is SEO value to creating tags for posts, but are they ever visible anywhere if you don't use a Tag Cloud?