The Preset Dilemma
Before you get offended, let me just say that presets can serve their purpose. There are some very talented artists out there with amazing presets you can buy for your editing programs.
The problem is that too many photographers rely on presets to be the essence of their art. It's almost as if they have forgotten that sometimes it is just enough to take a really good photo. A photo doesn't become great by pushing the play button and allowing digital software to edit your picture so much that it takes aways from the simplistic beauty. A photo becomes great when you KNOW how to use lighting to your advantage. A photo becomes great when you KNOW how to adjust a tone curve or you know how to soften the skin without taking away from the individuality of the person. Yes we all want our wrinkles smooth, or our skin to look perfect, but that's not who we are or what defines us.
The best compliment I have received was from an industry professional who said that just by looking at my pictures he could tell I have control of my camera. Every day I am grateful that he didn't say that I really know how to use Photoshop.
I hope that people will look at my pictures years from now and see the past as it was, not as some program wanted it to be.