Howdy - a philosophic question:
Do your photos look like yours because you came down with a look of your own (you saw something, copied or reproduced it - or even created THAT look yourself) or do they look the way they do because “that’s as far as I can do”?
There are probably few who can master all the tools and functions in a complex software package like darktable, Gimp or any alternative program. You get more knowledgeable with time, but you never know half of it’s possibilities. So where do you stop?
Have you ever come to the point of saying “I wish I could make my pictures look like that” and not found out how to get there? Have you ever “stopped” post-prod saying “well, that’s as good as I can make it”? Are you able to make your pictures look exactly like you want them to? Or have you somehow stumbled into your own look and found that “I could do more, but this is it”?
Don’t tell me that you are just happy when the light is about right and the colors can be recognized. We all have our preferences. If in doubt, I will always cut the lights and come up with a darker result. Maybe you prefer to weaken the contrasts rather than go for a graphic effect … we all have our little ticks and spleens.
Was the software you use a factor in your way towards your propper style? Did it enhance or limit your choices?