This came winging to me from DPS in Oz
The true key to growing as a photographer is to dedicate and immerse yourself in it on a consistent basis. Passion and enjoyment are key to becoming great at your craft.
That beings said, there are many things to consider in order to progress through this journey as effectively as possible. If I were to start all over again, these are the stepping stones that I would have preferred to have taken, beginning with the technical and ending with the conceptual.
Have to say number one is top of my list too, and then number two is second on my list, I think I agree with the author James Maher
1. Look at Light
When you start out in photography, it seems obvious to say that learning to use your camera is the logical first step. However, thinking this way can actually confuse you. The camera is just a tool that has the ability to record light.
When you walk out the door to photograph, the first thing you should think about is light, and not the camera. What time of day is it? How strong is the light and what direction is it coming from? Is it sunny or cloudy? Is the light soft or contrasty? Is the sun in front of, or behind you? Where are the artificial light sources and what colors do they give off?
This is the first thing that a seasoned photographer will look for every time they begin to shoot, and constantly be aware of while they are shooting. They do this for a reason. The light will affect how they shoot and the settings that they use. Even a slight change in direction to your light source can completely change how an image will look. You can’t learn how to use your camera correctly if you do not first understand the light.
You could also be taught this on one of our excellent courses
Here is a big fish