On Being a Perfectionist

I’ll be the first to admit that I am quite picky when it comes to visual aesthetics. The word “perfectionist” comes to mind, though I really despise that word and all that it represents.

This is the reason why I opted not to pursue graphic design. I was quite happy with my design work, but I was always on the quest for “perfection.” Of course no such thing exists. Nothing is perfect, nor would I really want anything to be perfect. It is the imperfections in life that makes life worth living.

With graphic design, it would take a lot of work for the design to “click” into position, and have that polished feel. I’m sure that if I worked harder at design, and became even more adept with the software, I would feel more in control. I don’t know that it would ever be a very fast process though.

With photography, I find that it is much easier to get that “click” feeling where everything falls into place. I think this partially stems from the fact that we have very little control over the scene as photographers. Maybe if I had superpowers that afforded me control over weather, sun position, and time, I would again be overwhelmed by the control at hand. Chances are that I would use that power for evil, so perhaps it is best that I do not control such things.

As landscape photographers who do not have control over our subject, it forces us to think, and to be creative. What is the best way to capture this scene? What angle best portrays the feeling I get from this beautiful location? I find it much easier to be happy with my work as a photographer than a graphic designer. If I make all of my decisions properly while taking the photo, I usually don’t need to spend much time at all in Photoshop.

Besides, my girlfriend is a very talented graphic designer. Completing with her skills would be like me trying to swim against Phelps. My endless barrage of cannon balls (my speciality) might slow Phelps down a bit at first, but my trusty water wings sure make it tough for me to keep up with him.

All that work for a degree in graphic design did not go to waste though. I’ve got some awesome looking business cards.

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