A friend who recently bought a camera asked me for advice on the best way for an armature to improve their skills. Of course my answer was practice practice practice. Thinking back on it later I realized that some practice could be done without even having a camera in your hand or having to drive to some place pretty. There are a handful of social networking type web communities that are centered around photography. Flickr is one example I’m involved in to I’ll speak to it. Flickr is a free convenient place where millions of photographers post millions of pictures. They also hangout, group up, talk about those pictures, talk about gear, technique and everything related to photography. So… if you start watching pictures on a regular basis… maybe join a group or two… you’ll be gaining photography experience from the comfort of your own home (or cubical). You’ll start recognizing what you like and don’t like and you can take that awareness with you next time you go shooting. Pick out a few favorite photographers and try to learn how they do what you like. Maybe even talk to them for a lesson. It’s great fun, you’ll see a lot of great photography and get lots of great practice.
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