One of my “homework” items I assign myself is to always be studying. Whether it is actually studying a methodology on how to improve a technique on shooting or how to improve my post processing. I will be the first to say that I have a long way to go in terms of photography, but for me that is part of the joy of photography. The fact that, if I want, I can continually grow and learn new ways of doing things and new techniques and hopefully by doing so, improve my end result.
All that being said, part of my studying is to always analyze photographs I see in the media or on the web. I have just been looking at some photography on Flicker and some things I have seen are impressive but so many more are just retouched so much it is insane. I mean, I have seen images that are so saturated with color they lose any appeal to me. Some that are so “HDRd” out that they lose all sense of reality. I love working with Photoshop and Lightroom to adjust my images, but that is it! Only to adjust them, not to convert them to something that doesn´t even resemble what I had in mind when I shot in the first place. Here below is a pretty good example of what I am talking about:
Nice image but so over saturated it isn´t even funny! I get it that this photographer loved the sunset but no way did it look like that! This one is “HDRd” to death not to mention super saturated. Oh well, I guess there is something for everyone. I am sure that my style of photography doesn´t appeal to that guy either.
I guess what I am saying is that just because you have a brand new shiny tool you don’t have to use it to death! Sometimes a little goes a long way.