I apologize but I really don't get what's been said so far. That's why I've been a bit recalcitrant about the bloody standard. Alain has announced in another thread that he wanted to talk about raising our standards. Asher has created this thread and gave us an extensive intro and a couple of in depth posts about the subject matter. Alain has only said a few one-liners. And the discussion has kind of derailed in a pool of miscommunication. No wonder I'm confused.
I don't think it's derailed. Just remember exactly what Doug says. When there are several meanings, he intends them to be applied, all of them and i've explained pretty well the options of the standard.
We are quite capable of addressing the subject of improving standards, up until the part of marketing where Alain is so adept and can teach us a lot. I'm quite happy to be asked to write down what I think is important in this context. for me it's the connection with the past art and then creating goals for one self, but first getting orientated. That requires a cut out frame or a rectangle made of the fingers of both hands to visualize or else a little viewing loupe with a frame on it like movie makers use.
After that one needs to be open to new experience. That's why I like to follow impulse and that way
I'm not limited to preconceived notions, yet I'm rooted in the great works of the past I admire.
After that improving requires killing of those images that do not meet one's hopes and dreams. Leave the one's that are closest to one's intent. Make copies, draw on them and start all over again. That's how I personally work to improve my own standards.
Now what do others' do?
I know we can learn from the various approaches each of us has in getting the most fun and satisfaction out of one's work.
It might just be making sure one gives copies to folk and spread some happiness. That increases the standards in photography and brings it back to impact folks lives as opposed to sitting o hard drives.
I know Bob Watcher gives out prints when he revisits villages in Nicaragua.