Every image I create, whether I think it's good or bad, contributes to my photographic education. For this very reason I never think that any of my work is a failure: it all contributes in some way.
No matter how good someone thinks they are - the truth is that we are all in photography-school. We will always be learning. Even those we consider masters of the art of photography know this. Indeed, they welcome it. Because they understand that if they are no longer learning then they are no longer growing. And no growth means their art is dead.
The good artist knows that he is always learning, and will always have much to learn. He also knows that creating art isn't about success, it's about the creative journey. There is no room for words like failure or success, it is just a process that they have to do.
I feel a lot of contemporary photographers look for solutions in their tools when they really need to work on themselves more. I'd rather find something that works from the outset, than something that sort-of-works but needs to be worked on later. It's much easier to play with something if it's a great idea than to try to make something out of a poor idea. Looking for solutions in software or technical forums isn't going to help you improve. You need to do the work.
Weak ideas will never work, no matter how much technology or software is applied to them. If an image has a strong idea behind it, it will be carried along by that. It needs no one's help.
You have to fail in order to learn. You have to get used to accepting that the majority of what you create isn't any good. Look upon it as 'prototypes'. Until we get to where we wanted to go with a piece of work, everything we create on the road to getting it right is a prototype. Not a failure.
You have to understand that creating bad work is part of the process. And also to understand that even very gifted artists have to create a lot of rubbish in order to find the good stuff. If it was easy to create good work, everyone would be doing it.
Put the work in.Accept that the road will be a long one, but it will be a growing time while you're on it.
I'm very aware that all of my work to date has taken me to the point where I am now. I couldn't have got here without putting all the work in that has led me here. Everything I've done, every bad photo I've made and every successful one has taught me something, and has contributed to me being who I am now. This work has shown me that it's never the tools I need to improve, or the software I need to change. It is my application of them, my skill and experience that needs to grow.
So with that in mind, I'm very aware that all of my work, is homework. Everything I do educates me, and every apparent failure is a valuable lesson, so long as I choose to listen to what it's trying to tell me.
Our work is never finished. Every image we create, whether we think it's good or bad, contributes to our photographic education and our artistic growth, and I think we should revel in the discoveries and surprises of our chosen art form.