Chris, before you get totally riled up with my flippant reference to accounting, let me explain. I figured you are not teaching it.
My background, however, has been in financial management (quite close to accounting). I also teach occasionally at a college level (business classes). So, whatever meaning I had in mind with my accounting/teaching remark, it affects me as well.
You see, being anal-retentive is an asset (pardon the pun) for accountants. Perfectionism, crossing the t's and dotting the i's, having everything balanced, straight, accounted for, all ducks in a row, etc.
Similar thing goes for teaching: we have to explain things at their basic level, simplify, dumb down if you will, textbook style. Especially at the entry level. Correcting our students' work is part of our job. And now do we correct? Based on those same textbook rules we teach.
I often catch myself trying to straighten every line in an image, "square" it, correct distortion, etc. Then I slap myself silly, as I recognize it is the anal-retentive accountant in me speaking. Not every picture benefits from everything straightened and squared up. Nor is life so. Leaving some imperfections is a sign of real life (and a healthy one, may I add).
It takes one to recognize one. That is why I've been against some of your critiques, especially in this thread. I found them too didactic and formulaic, and, sorry to bring it up again, anal. The same goes for Oscar's, in another thread.
I teach business differently at a college level than I discuss it with my peers, business school classmates and professors. I teach it differently when I volunteer in high schools. Again, context matters. Hence, I do not see the point in providing a critique to an 82-year old (in his own counting) accomplished photographer, delivered in the same way you would teach a teenage neophyte.
So, when I look at his work, I do not go for imperfections and technicalities, I know he got that covered. I go for emotions, memories, personal meaning. And that is what his roses image exudes. I also know his stance on cropping, so, while I would have perhaps cropped it differently, I respect the way he did it - it reflects his view of the scene, not mine.