That’s too much. That’s not enough. What was she thinking?! And it’s ruined.
That is a stream of thoughts that have rushed through my head and I’m sure those of other critics when
a) looking at other people’s work
b) looking at my work
Photography is a form of art. It is also a form of documentation. It is many things. It is whatever you want it to be. Remember that. I think we get too caught up in what criticism is thrown around because we want to be accepted, normal, well liked. When it’s a business that you’re after with your photography, then yeah, those things matter. On the flip side though, you’re not going to be everyone’s cup of tea (Also a great new song by Kacey Musgraves btw)
It’s important to stay focused on what you are trying to achieve with your work. I used to think it was wrong to do any editing to a photo, I was a hard hitter on that side of the fence for a while. Then I realized through talking with other photogs and attending some workshops that editing is natural. What used to happen in a dark room now happens on my laptop. Technological advances allow us to perform much more post editing miracles than dark room enthusiasts ever could have imagined but at it’s core it’s the same principle.
An instructor I once had talked about how the camera captures a world that we will never be able to see. It was then I realized I had been thinking about my camera as a tool that I needed to manipulate to capture my perspective. That’s a very singularly minded perspective. Camera is capable of slowing time down to capture the galaxies above and accelerate our world to lay hummingbird wings motionless. They are amazing tools that help us push the boundaries of plain sight. With a single image we open imaginations to things unseen.
It’s a beautiful thing.
I’m still not a fan of heavy photoshopping, swapping heads is a no go for me. I have learned to appreciate enhancing photos in order to convey my world to others. My perception is not like yours, so to come to a commonality I create mine in a 4x6 box for you to share. Sometimes it is rather realistic and plain but other times it is vibrant and alive.
Appreciate your work for what you want it to be. The only photographer you should be comparing yourself to is the one you used to be.