Two professional photographers I know, Jay Goodrich and Anne McKinnell can take a 10+ year old Canon EOS 20D and give their Canon EOS 5D Mark III or 1-D X to a less accomplished photographer with both shooting the same venue. They will still shoot better photographs without all the geegaws associated with the latest and greatest cameras. Why is that?
It is because of their commitment to and understanding of composition, textures and light. One way to improve your composition understanding is attending Jay’s workshops that start with an intense 3-hour presentation with composition examples. Then the students go out in the field and practice what they just learned. Day 2 goes into textures and deeper composition concepts. It is like drinking from a fire hose for the newly initiated as I was last year. As a linear thinker I have to push that side of me to the background and move into the artistic mode. After attending two Jay Goodrich workshops it starts to sink in. Attaining all the education needed to become a better photographer is a continuing journey. Aspiring to higher levels and personally critiquing your work helps gain insights to improve your photography.
Anne has two eBooks, CompellingPhotographBook1 & 2, that both describe composition, paths to the subject and textures. At the end of each chapter is an assignment that will reinforce the chapter principals. My suggestion is to get your hands on as many composition books as you can to grasp the secret of the difference between “snapshots and artfully done photographs.”
One thing I have learned is first focus on composition. If you have to then first shoot in Auto mode, mastering the subtle camera functions can come later. All cameras shoot only what you put in the view finder. Find mentors, coaches, books and workshops to learn as much as you can about composition, subject and textures. Then, you will be further down the road to capturing stunning photographs.
You can learn more about composition by attending one of Jay’s workshops at Jay Goodrich Instruction & Travel Website Page. The venue is not as important as what you learn applying the techniques in the discussions on composition, and at Anne’s eBook Site
Practice, Practice, Practice