Compare Your Photo Work Against Your Photo Work
I think a great way to measure your progress as a photographer is to compare your current work to your past work. In my opinion, it's the best way to gate how you personally have progressed. Study the work of others for sure. Learn from it. But look at your own past to gate your improvement.
In 2012, I was really enamored with HDR. This photo of the Clark Center at Stanford isn't too over the top when it comes to HDR. I like the composition. This building longs for a symmetrical framing. Although I cringe at the halos I left behind. Ouch.
These days, I don't do much full-blown HDR processing. I still like a well done HDR photo (check out Elia Locardi's stuff... awesome). My own personal style has moved toward selectively blending frames, different than tone mapping.
If I were to take this shot now, I probably would have angled downward a bit more, having the two sides of the building sweep in from the upper corners. Perhaps brighten the center a little. A person walking across that bridge would add a sense of scale, and give my eyes something to land on after following those leading lines, too. And of course deal with the halos.
Maybe I'll make another visit to Stanford someday. My photographic eye has changed. I'm sure I'd see the campus differently.