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Just wanted to echo what monkeybort said.
I’m still such a n00b, but I still go out and try, try again, and then try to remember what worked last time and what didn’t.
There’s one photo in my collection taken in the Skagit Valley tulip fields where there’s a single red tulip in a field of a bajillion yellows. I walked through 5 tulip fields, in the rain and tromping through mud, and probably took 250 pictures that day (thank jebbus for digital). When I got home and unloaded the camera there were maybe 5 photos I really liked. Out of the 250, probably half were me playing with the settings on the camera.
My friends thought it was a nutso way to spend a Saturday but I had the best time that day.
I also read a lot – have this awesome National Geographic Photography Field Guide which has gotten a lot of use. I study other peoples work.
I also think there’s a natural eye for photography. Do you ever look at something and frame it in your mind? Like taking a closer look…maybe seeing something in an object a little diffferently? There’s a game I play with my eyes – I can’t explain it but I see what I want and then try to recreate it with my camera.
Sorry for the winded response – just personal observation.