It seems to me that the most important way to improve your skill as a photographer is to have some sense of what you’re trying to achieve or say; a sense, even if vague, of how you’d like a picture to look and how to get your camera to produce what you want. Without this you’re basically just snapping the shutter and hoping for the best.

Gordon Lewis pretty much defining what the most valuable thing to learn is if you’re just getting started with photography. With the exception of the experimental HDR photographs, I like to think I’ve secured a certain style for my photos with regard to overall aesthetic look and subject matter. I appreciate B&W photos but I love color too much to abandon it and the same goes with photographing people. Pre-visualizing a photo is a significant part to at least increasing the chance that you’ll be satisfied with what you’ve shot.