A comfort zone is a wonderful place. But nothing ever grows there.
We all like the odd word of appreciation for our work. Yet praise when it does come your way, is seldom genuine, and is very often false. That applies to the majority of comments found on the internet. Constantly receiving false praise will create a sense of complacency in your photography, that will make your work stagnate. Eventually you become reluctant to experiment or try different work. You Become resistant to change what you see as your winning formula, for the fear of failure. The temptation amongst photographers, when they hit on a successful type of image, is too keep repeating it.
I fell in to this trap many years ago when I found myself working almost exclusively with infra red film. When that particular film was withdrawn from production by Kodak, I had to start using conventional b&w materials and learn again how to see and make pictures again. The experience made me aware of how important it is to keep looking for new ideas, alternative ways to see and produce images. Not everything will work, or even be deemed acceptable. But if you don’t try something different, you will never learn, and you never know what you might discover.
Don’t be repressed in your work, dare to experiment, consider any urge, if in a new direction all the better.
I take pictures of subjects that interest me, and as a monochrome worker that means texture, tone, shape and form. Many are really only observation of detail and light.
I have never consciously made an abstract images, although many of my pictures are labelled so by other people, mostly judges. I can understand how this happens. How do you describe an image that is just a collection of shapes in black & white, has no reference point for scale or dimension. The simple answer is to call it an abstract. How should it be classified? Must all pictures have to fit into a preconceived genre?
There is only two kinds of music, good and bad.