I used to be firmly of the opinion that if it came out of the camera “bad”, it was just tough. I still think one should be more careful about the image capture itself, and would like to think (with the help of some way more talented friends) I’ve got much better at making the camera do what I want.
However, I have also come to appreciate that there is a whole world of creativity that can begin with those captured images. They are not photographs per se, but are images, in the way a painting is a representation of an idea in the artists head, not necessarily a literal representation of what’s in front of her/him.
I saw “Go Your Own Road” a couple of years ago, but today I discovered more of the work by self-taught Erik Johansson. A couple of his pieces I think look really contrived, but most of the 18 here look very well executed indeed. See what you think.
Just to get an appreciation of the amount of effort involved, here’s a time lapse of the creation of “Cut and Fold”