Balancing science and authenticity is what makes great imagery.
It doesn’t take long for a little bit of knowledge to corrupt authenticity in the world of photography. Gaining knowledge is credible, especially if we can retain it, but it doesn’t necessarily make us better photographers. Knowledge on its own sometimes sucks the soul out of photography if we let it. Authenticity on the other hand is not limited to any particular level of photography. We can create authentic images in the most infant stages of our photographic journey. Just as we become fluent in a language over time, we can become fluent in our knowledge, and allow it, combined with trusting our inner eye, to become a conversation that produces authentic work.
Celebrate the work of other photographers.
The world is a big place and there is plenty of opportunity to discover ourselves photographically without feeling overwhelmed or underwhelmed by the work of other photographers. Instead, celebrate them, be inspired by them, congratulate them, learn from them, but never measure ourselves by them. Celebrating other photographers doesn’t devalue our work, it just shows appreciation and curiosity for the art. Our journey is our own, so we can stay focused on our photographic pursuits and in time our work will speak for itself.