On the Beam by JohnHarmonGallery
What I'm learning (that you probably already know!) is that while established, universal criteria exist to separate the artistic sheep from the goats, ultimately, visual art, like literature and music, is largely a matter of taste. Photography on etsy covers a huge range, from black and white to manipulated color, from simple nature to complex collage. We all have our favorites, our bias, you could say. Mine tends toward minimalism in both subject matter and post-capture processing, with some exceptions.
Lake Erie 3 - Moonrise by jennifersquires
The lesson to be learned here is if you've submitted work for a show or art fair and been rejected, keep trying! The first judge I submitted my work to rejected it; the second one, a gallery curator, not only put me in two shows, but sends me information about other calls for art.
Seagull Picnic by WindDancerPhotos
On the other hand, if you've been following the POE Team blog, you will have seen that certain artists' work appears in our selections regularly. Clearly, those photographers have achieved a high level of excellence, but I suspect their passion for their subjects also helps make their work so compelling.
Studying other artists - not just photographers! - paying attention to scenes in real or composed life that capture our interest, and taking classes all help to make us better photographers. The old learning curve goes through the roof after a good class.
Chinaman's Lighthouse on Lake Erie by TheCamerasEye
Before the Storm by luxedesign
Nakedeye17 (Su) thinks of photography as a wake-up call: "Hey, everybody! Are you seeing this?" She loves to capture humor, too, and anything wondrous strange. Find Nakedeye17's shop here.