I feel I must question this statement, but as your experience and knowledge is so far beyond my own I am probably missing something.
Originally Posted by Michael A. Smith
I have tried what I believe you are suggesting and without the feedback from my own efforts I have made no progress at all. What seems to help is to focus in (pun intented) on a particular subject such as the famous Weston green pepper and see how close I can come to duplicating it. Not so that I can show "my pepper photo" but so that I can learn how to achieve a particular look as to framing, posing, exposure, processing etc. Just because I photograph a pepper and it looks blah doesn't mean there isn't something there.
For me the same applies to landscapes and architecture and sometimes requires that I travel a long trip back to the scene of my failure and try it again after analysing the results. If I haven't learned HOW I can achieve a particular look I will probably continue to feel that it was just not a suitable subject instead of a failure in my technique or vision.
I have always felt that if you don't waste some film you will never learn. This despite my addiction to numerous books.