We photographers often speak of our work, and when we do, we reference this photograph or that, but I think the work of any artist is internal, and lies in wrenching his ego and prying his want of recognition and approval free from that part of his character that is unique to himself, and in finding the courage to express it, and the willingness to fail, over and over, and to find inspiration and redemption in those failures that are ours alone. What we call our work might better be termed the manifestations of our work, and a record of our progress along that difficult path towards an earnest expression of our truest selves. If we give in to that ever present temptation to express only that part of ourselves illuminated by our virtue and decency, we have accepted defeat, and embraced mediocrity. We'll know this defeat by the admiration of our offerings by a wide audience, and our successes by an intense emotional and intellectual discomfort. As photographers, we should be acutely aware that pure light is formless, and given meaning by a palette of shadow and darkness. Don't be afraid of the dark.
Wow. You have summed up what I believe about art better than I ever have. I would like to take the liberty of saving your comments for future inspiration.