Hey. Now you know I love you guys, sometimes in a manner that borders on inappropriate...but I think it's time I were honest with you about your less-than-appealing habits. So here goes.
1.) OK, here's the one I always dread complaining about, so I'm going to couch it in a way that encourages rather than scolds: If you have the talent to make a really beautiful manipulation that features a pretty model who's been outlined in a pastel color and is standing in front of a beautiful blurred background and or/ a forrest, you probably have the talent to go farther. So go farther. Stretch. Do something different. Make something surreal. Make something whimsical. I admit that I'm guilty of enjoying these sorts of manips. Some of them are so pretty they transcend their cliched nature. And I know they'll get you a crazy amount of faves. (I bust my hump eschewing--mostly--this cliche so it kinda burns my butt that folks get rewarded with such adulation for this tripe.) But, still, enough. It's been done. And done. And done. Too many times to count. I beg you, please move on. You can do it;I know you can.
2.) Gasmasks: cliched, done to death, I freaking hate them. Enough.
3.) Turning women into robots and other inanimate objects/cutting women's bodies open in general/doing cross-sections of women's bodies/etc. At what point does this go from an exercise in creativity to out and out misogyny? The sheer number of these sorts of manipulations makes me think that women's bodies are considered something they have little autonomy over--that they belong to everybody. They don't. Besides which, the robot/cross-sectioned woman has been DONE TO DEATH. Move on.
4.) Over-sharpening. I used to notice that a lot of manips looked over-smudged and blurred. Now I see a lot of people are over-sharpening their works. When you do this, it starts to pixelate your picture. Take care with the sharpen filter.
In case you're wondering, yeah, photomanipulators, I'm still totally into you. And for listening to me whinge, here's your reward...your gorgeous art.