Over the past nine years, I have read countless photography related books. This includes books on lighting, posing, work flow, weddings, portraits, and many other technical and philosophical books. One of the best books I ever read is a recent book by David duChemin, "Within the Frame:, the Journey of the Photographic Vision".
It is not about gear, technique, or anything that most photography books discuss. This book is about finding your vision. What excites you and keeps you interested in the amazing art and craft of photography. David has a statement in the book that is very vital for every photographer to capture (pun intended). "Gear is good but Vision is better." I suggest bookmarking his blog Pixelated Image.
Trust me, I love to discuss and read about gear and other geeky items. However, all the gear in the world will not create art. It is the vision and eye of the photographer that creates the image that causes the mom to cry when she sees the special image of her child. It is the eye that enables an event to photographer to capture all the emotions of a second in time and makes a amazing image rather than a snapshot.
I will not take away from his thunder in the book but after reading his book (I am on the second time through it), I have a greater appreciation for looking for items within the frame. e.g. When I take city scape shots, when possible, I wait for a person to enter the scene. In the past, I could not understand why I was getting bored with landscape and cityscape shots. Then I realized why after reading his book. I love to photograph people and the typical city or landscape shot does not normally include people. Once I started to add people or a story to the shot, the fun was back for city scape and landscape shots. I enjoy taking a good scenic or city scape shot but I love taking these shots with people in them to tell a story. Another fun item to shoot is light and its impact on the scene.
Regardless of the type of camera you own, the critical part is to develop your vision. When you look at a scene, think how you would shoot the image. When you see an image, look for light. Allow the light to shape the image. (Light and its shaping ability is reserved for a future discussion. :-D ) These techniques work if you are shooting with your cell phone's camera or if you have the most expensive camera. Develop your vision!
I was out for a walk in the late evening and found this area filled with light, patterns, and people. Enjoy the images from Portofino Bay Hotel in Orlando, Florida
All of these images shot with the Nikon D300, Tamron 17-50 f/2.8
Wedding and Portrait photographer