Michael,

I have had your problem and lived through a couple of years being obsessed with grain, clutter in the pictures, no people in my photographs of urban landscapes, etc.
The cure was to start using a Holga. And then a pinhole camera. Talk about imperfection. Every picture I took didn't even stand a chance to hold up to the quality standards I had set out for myself. But it was so much fun! I could just let go of all those worries. Now I have let go of the Holga, mostly because of completely ruined rolls of film. But the pinhole stays. And what I learned using those cameras was to relax my attitude about hypercritical quality concerns and just worry about a good composition. And I've managed to transfer that attitude into my practice with other cameras, like my 5x7, Hasselblad, and Pentax 35mm work.

Others have said it, there is nothing in life that is perfect. Might as well just embrace those imperfections, or you'll be crowding yourself too much, perhaps even making photography an unhappy endeavor. I also think that what we see as imperfections might be beauty to others. Not that I care that much what other think of my pictures, if they like them or not, but showing them to others sometimes help me see them in a different way, which is really rewarding.

I hope you'll be able to sort it out. I can tell you I have enjoyed the pictures that you have posted here on APUG. You are a very valuable asset to the forum, and I want you to have a good time doing what you love.

- Thomas