Over and over I have felt compelled to relate to the artist in others....that spark in fellow photographers to refuse settling for the "norm"...That idea that "straight out of the camera" is the only true ideal for a "real" photographer. Don't get me wrong....I love photography in all of it's expressions. I just happen to have settled in on a combination of expressions of HDR and Textures. There are so many variations of this medium, each carrying a voice of expression that is unique, dramatic, informative, and inspirational.
But for me, the combination of these techniques has given me an expression that I feel, for now, expresses what I FEEL for what I see....and not just a "true" expression of what I see. I'm not interested in showing exactly where I've been. I want others to gain a taste of how where I've been moves me....capture my attention....affect my emotions. Each image evolves.
Please!!!!....understand, if "out of the camera" works for you....expresses what you meant to say....the reason for why you felt to capture the image in the first place.....fantastic! Keep it up, and learn all you can to perfect that voice of expression possible.
But, if you are anything like me, and the image the camera collected just isn't enough....than explore. Search out images....ones that move you...make you linger....make you think. Don't allow yourself to just pause for a moment while thinking in the back of your mind...."I wish I could do something like that". Ask questions. Look for answers. Be willing to learn.
I was sure in the beginning I was stuck with what I was able to do. I hid the reality of being self taught as some kind of shameful past. I was embarrassed to ask questions of other photographers because I didn't want to appear stupid. I was certain that everyone else had years of experience behind them.
What I found however was quite different. People are willing to answer questions....they are willing to share their secrets....the things they have learned. I haven't always been the least experienced one in the crowd. When I was, it really didn't matter, because they all knew what that felt like. The other photographers I've shot with have been more interested in sharing what they've come to understand than hide it away. Oh sure, people are people, and there is always going to be one along the way that you can't wait to get away from. But from my experience, the vast majority, even if they are locked into this idea that there is only one way to express photography....have been an interesting and generous lot.
Don't allow what you don't know to hold you back. If your images are not expressing what you think they should, put yourself out there. Ask questions. Experiment. Learn. If you have discovered and grown to love this world of photography, the greatest thing I can offer is to learn your voice of expression in this art form and then......stay true to that voice. Leave that legacy of expression others would otherwise miss.