Re: earlier comments in this thread about looking at other artists' work.

My recommendation is to let other artists INSPIRE you to do great things. If their work does not inspire you, then perhaps you should continue your research, but remember anyway, because the work that doesn't set off your creative juices can teach you something too!

To draw a social parallel - how do you form opinions of things? How do you learn in school? You talk to other people, read books they wrote, or listen to them speak, and then you combine those thoughts with what's in your own experience. Sometimes other people tell you something so profound that it alters the way you think. Other times not so much, but it still helps you gain perspective into other people's lives and develop empathy.

Now apply that to photography, or any other art form - I'm sure it could only be good to look at the work of others, whether it inspires you or not. But the idea is to learn from others, learn how to see things you perhaps otherwise would have missed, and you shouldn't be worried about 'copying' because it's all filtered through your mind and your process anyway. Even if you tried to recreate the work of someone else, you could not, so relax, enjoy the view, and learn as much as you can about seeing, printing, presentation, framing, gesture, etc.

- Thomas