My public outcome is my website andthewatersincreased.com and I think it’s finished. That’s not to say I won’t go back and change something, but I have no plans to.
Which begs the question, when is a piece of work finished?
I watched a video interview with the musician Jon Hopkins and he was asked this. He said that he “just knew”. I have heard this from other artists too, they just know.
On reflection, Just Knowing is a crucial part of photography practice. Composing a picture may be based on some rules (rule of thirds, Golden Mean) but often isn’t. Things move in front of the lens and suddenly it feels right to press the shutter. No equation has been resolved, a subconscious response has been triggered. Likewise, when we review those raw pictures on the screen, the right picture somehow gestures to us and grabs our attention.
So do we create pictures with our brains or our guts? Is a picture an output of the same pattern recognition abilities that allowed our ancestors to hunt effectively, or a learned artisan skill?
I suspect that without the basis of skills, we would lack the potential to be a good photographer. But by responding instinctively, we invest the most of ourselves in the picture and it is that personal investment or unique vision that makes the picture distinctive.
I must read some more on this subject.