Hey - new in here - this is my first post. I dive deep. I try to get to the 'basement' with my thinking. Sometimes, I think I come close... We've all heard the story of the five people that witnessed (whatever), were questioned by the police and told five different stories, because they were five different people. Likewise, of the old police car for sale - five men saw it, five men had their own ideas about it and then we are asked if there is one car, or five... or as many cars as there are people, that see it. It's the same with every image you show. There are as many images in that one image as there are people, that notice that image. No two people will evaluate that image in the same manner because no two people share the exact same values, concerning images. One man's garbage, is another man's gold. Once I said, "There are no absolutes." Then I realized I had concocted a classic non-sequiteur! Now I say there is but one absolute - one thing known by all and with which none, will disagree: I AM. 1 + 1 = 2. Absolute... right? No deviation is possible... or, is it? When 1 is a quantity of plutonium, equal to or greater than critical mass / 2 and less than critical mass, 1 + 1 = KA-BLOOIE, and 2, well, it never quite happens .) And yes, I know there would not really be an explosion, only a meltdown, but 2 would not happen, just the same. It would seem that there are two 'schools' of thought - 1) do it by the numbers; follow the rules and 2) just do what you feel; express your self. Ah, but good and bad are perceptions, and nothing more. Witness, if you will, how those poor, poor men that died while destroying the WTC actually believed what they did was good and so right that they actually gave up their lives, to get it done. If we are making a certain grade of chromium steel... the result is black or white - we made the exact compound we were after, or we did not. Photography (like all the arts) is not an exact science... the results are always some shade of grey. (pun intended) When what will be liked and/or accepted varies, and varies greatly with the individual that views the work, how can there be any 'rules?' When I am certainly unable to adopt your likes and dislikes... how can I make something intended to please you? My answer is simple - perhaps overly so: I express my self, in everything I make. I realize that is what I am doing - all I am able to do, with any honesty and/or certainty. I make what I like... obviously! I wonder if any here would care to share their thoughts on this, rather thorny subject? It's OK to bleed a little. As long as progress is the result, taking the thorn was worth it. What do you do? Do you try to 'do it by the numbers' or do you 'let it all hang out?' Do you follow the rules, or make your own? I won't say what I do. Go here: http://www.MageProductions.com and find out for yourself!