*NOTE* The following topic is based upon my experience of being a perfectionist. I am a rehabilitated perfectionist and is learning every day not to be nit picky…
Well… *cough* now that that's out of the way, I wanted to write about how being a perfectionist can affect your passion for photography.
Nikon D7100, Tokina AT-X 116 PRO DX 11-16mm f/2.8 @ 11mm @ f/5.6 @ 30 sec @ ISO 320
Take me, for example. I was very critical about the photos I took. I would enjoy taking pictures and executing proper settings to get the image I want. Then I would go home and start editing my photos and even though the pictures were great, I would be disappointed in my shots! Sometimes images would look great at normal view but when I zoom in 1:1, I would see that the image was a tad out of focus or find that there was a hint of noise in the image. You can become so hyper critical of your work that you want to give up photography. The reality of it all was that everyone kept telling me that my photos were beautiful and I couldn’t see that because I was looking for perfection that doesn't exist.
I would ask myself: "Why do you love photography? Are you just trying to make yourself look cool? Are you getting so technical that your forgetting to tell a story with your images?" (I can be very harsh on myself lol)
Nikon D7100, AF-S VR Zoom Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G IF-ED @ 200mm @ f/2.8 @ 1/160th sec @ ISO 100
So I went back to the basics. Focused on my composition, practiced from beginner's to advanced techniques, not thinking too much about getting the settings right, just having fun and enjoying pressing that shutter button. You'll soon find yourself enjoying photography again and see how your images will get better and better each time.
It's good to master all the techniques in photography… but remember why you take photos in the first place. For the fun. The memories. The art. Your way of expressing yourself. To create beautiful imagery.
Nikon D7100, AF-S VR Zoom Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G IF-ED @ 125mm @ f/2.8 @ 1/640th sec @ ISO 200
When you feel that you're not enjoying your photography and criticizing everything about your photo to the point of letting photography go, you're probably being a perfectionist and your pictures are most likely beautiful.
Now I'm not saying you can't criticize your photos at all. A little bit of constructive criticism and knowing where you can do better is a good thing but the key is to be balanced. You see, everything in balance is good. Perfectionists tend to go to the extreme, which isn't good. So it's best to be balanced, even though at times it may be difficult… trust me. I always have to remember this when I feel like giving up on photography.
So the moral of today's story is to not a be a perfectionist and go out there and enjoy your photography and remember…
Be creative. Envision. Capture.