I guess you could say I don’t believe in perfection. I don’t think it exists, at least not in the technical form. For decades there have been photographers who argue over what makes a perfect image, is it the lighting, the camera, the film or which digital camera you used. The biggest problem I see with all of this is that we photographers really aren’t the ones who decide what is perfect. The viewer ultimately decides what is perfect, therefore there is no formula for perfection.
My personal tastes for my own work are very different from a lot of photographers I know. I like a gritty feel, I like to feel the mood and not look at it as if it were high definition. To me HDTV looks unrealistic and is not what the real world looks like, so I don’t photograph it that way. While I know other photographers who have to have the latest gear and make everything as crystal clear and sharp as possible. I personally don’t like it, but several other people do.
So there really is no one definition of perfect. I had a photographer once tell my wife that her histogram was wrong and if she changed her lighting she could deliver a “better image” to the model. My wife was speaking about personal style, he didn’t get it. He didn’t get that her style was not to take a text book technical image. She was creating a mood and therefore the histogram would not look like what it shows it should look like in the photo magazines. He just couldn’t understand how this internationally recognized and award winning photographer could shoot images with a histogram that looked like that. To him a perfect image needed to be technically correct. Style and technique are two different things.
Honestly, most of my clients wouldn’t even know what a histogram is and they probably don’t care! What they want are images in my style and how I get them doesn’t matter, as long as I get them! I shoot with different cameras, I shoot with film and digital, I don’t follow the rules set by others, only those I set for myself… which are very few!
I’m not saying what I do is right for everyone, but it is right for me. When someone criticizes me for the camera I’m shooting with or for my histogram being off, I ignore them. I don’t have time to waste on these arguments, it is the equivalent of someone criticizing Picaso, Dali, or any painter on which brush they use. Does it really matter? No, it doesn’t. What matters is that you deliver the vision you had in your head to a print. The final product is what matters, how you get there is up to you!