Hang around online photography forums and photo sharing sites, and it's hard not to notice the constant, long-running discussions about tech specs, sharpness, lens distortion, and other minute technical aspects of photography. It manifests itself in a lot of ways: critiquing photos that aren't razor sharp and technically perfect, comparison photos of brick walls to showcase distortion, slagging off on one particular brand of camera or another because it doesn't work for you, etc. etc. etc., on and on without end.
I get that it's the Internet, and thus a breeding ground for that kind of thing, but the longer I've been in photography, the less time and interest I have for any of that kind of thing. I've stopped frequenting forums where the discussion is more about technical nitpickery than about the feeling and emotion of the photos in question. I've closed web browser tabs when a writer goes off on something like the Holga for not being a "real camera." I unsubscribed from a photography podcast after the six dozenth time the host trashed a Pentax or a Yashica or <insert other brand of camera here> simply because it wasn't a Leica.
It's also why I stopped using 500px, despite it being (for a while) the hot photo sharing site - everything that becomes popular there tends to be very, very sharp, very, very colorful, and very, very...processed. Artificial. The stuff that "wins" the ridiculous favoriting race just seems boring and sterile to me.
Perfection is never going to truly be attainable, and I often feel like the pursuit of it misses the point of photography. There are so many wonderful photos from the past that, to the modern eye that's locked in behind a DSLR or pixel-peeping a RAW file in Lightroom, are full of errors - focus that's a hair off, a slow shutter speed that blurred some movement, that sort of thing. I've never found all those things to be a detriment if the photo moves me.
Up above is a photo I took of the American indie rock band Quasi performing in Denton, TX. Guitarist/keyboardist Sam Coomes was moving around the stage while drummer Janet Weiss pounded out a thunderous rhythm track, and I fired off a shot that was a little less "perfect" than one might normally go for. My shutter speed was a little slow, yes, but the slightly blurred end result captures the energy and power of the music in a way that all the crisp, razor-sharp stuff I shot that night doesn't, and that's the photo I prefer to look at when I think of that show.
As Ze Frank once said, "perfectionism may look good in his shiny shoes, but he's a bit of an asshole, and no one invites him to their pool parties." My advice is to not worry as much about raw technical perfection, and instead, shoot in a way that produces images that move you, whether they're razor-sharp and flawless or not.