One of the contributing factors to the quality of the photographs in my catalog is my critical review of my own work; I eliminate the “almost” photographs. Over the years I have pushed myself to improve by being very selective over which images to keep and which to discard. Sometimes I have worked the landscape for an entire day only to decide later that none of the photographs were good enough to publish. What did I do wrong? What can I do differently next time? What did I not see? I take full ownership; it is my responsibility to create the photograph, art does not create itself.
Being honest is extremely important; it includes not falling in love with a photograph that’s meh just because it was difficult to make or because I personally appreciated the subject. Often, while in the landscape, I will have an idea only to fall short in translating it into a photograph; those failures must be discarded too - no almost photographs - I only keep the great photographs (after learning from my mistakes, of course).
Ultimately, there is no difference between being a great photographer and having a catalog of great photographs.