Through my photography, I share the things I see in the natural world around me. My photographic aim is to end up with a photograph that looks like what I saw in my mind's eye and have it appreciated by the viewer. To that end, I shoot in camera raw and develop the photographs in my digital darkroom to achieve a high quality, realistic-looking photograph. Beyond that process, I sometimes take a photograph to a different plane by rendering it as an oil painting, or as an Impressionist may have painted it centuries ago, or even apply a dreamy effect which is a bit blurry . . . it all depends on the photograph in front of me because each scene is different.
We should never forget that photography is 'drawing with light' or 'painting with light.' My photograph is never finished until I have adjusted the light somehow with my digital brush. Just as a painter leaves the garbage can out of her painting, I will try to use my light and brush to eliminate the same garbage can. I started in photography as a forensic photographer where that was not allowed . . . but now it is.
My decision to take a photograph is sometimes a surprise, that is, something I notice as I drive along a road, or a movement that catches my eye as I stroll through a park; but more often, my creations are the result of wonderful anticipation. I love the anticipation of a shoot, the anticipation of a visit to a new area. Then, during the digital darkroom processing, I edit the photograph to get something that pleases me, a photograph that represents what I saw. In art, I feel everything is okay. You are the artist . . . use whatever 'post-camera photographic management technique' it is that helps you to achieve what you are looking for.
I feel there is an immediacy in photography that does not exist in any other art form. We have all seen examples of a photographer being in just the right place at the right time to capture an unforgettable photograph (e.g., Nick Ut's shot of a little girl running naked after being burned by napalm in Vietnam). In many genres of photography, there exists an immediacy that says, "Get it now, or you will not get it at all." Pull your car over and take that shot the moment you see it.