- Discovering a new technique. For example sharpening. Start off with the basic "Sharpen" function in Photoshop, then graduate to "Unsharp Mask", which offers more control. From there, discover a new sharpening technique using "High Pass Filter" and layer blending. I am always on the lookout for new techniques which provide higher quality results.
- Discovering new software. For example, I use DxO Optics for my RAW processing now, rather than Capture NX. DxO seems to produce superior results. I'm sure the next version of DxO will be even better, which may convince me to re-work some more.
- Realising you can do better. Sometimes this could be due to a comment you recieve with some constructive criticism, or just looking at a photo again after some time has passed. I must admit to posting the occasional shot, where afterwards I wonder whatever possessed me to do that. I'm starting to see that it's useful to look at one of my photos, as if it belongs to someone else, and ask myself "Would I really want to hang this on my wall?". Very soon, I intend to have a bit of a clearout of work I'm no longer happy with. If I can re-work it, to make it better, then great. However even old shots can provide inspiration for not repeating certain mistakes, whether in Photoshop, or behind the camera. Having an existing photo provides a good point of reference to compare the re-worked image with.
I will admit to rushing out a few deviations, which seemed like a good idea at the time, but which went down like the proverbial lead balloon - and rightly so.
I am starting to think that maybe after I create a deviation, I should "sit on it" for a few hours, maybe even a day or two before I post. I should try to look at it objectively, rather than subjectively. It's only when I have a point of reference to start with, that I can try to improve on it.
There is an argument therefore for creating every potential deviation twice (assuming time is not a barrier). If the first version cannot be bettered, then it affirms I have tried my best. While I won't commit to doing this all the time myself , I certainly will re-consider any of my work which receives any justified criticism, or any work I think can be improved.