One recent amazing area of technical progress has been in photographic technology. Many of us have smartphones which contain better cameras than the best photographers in the world had access to not so long ago. Photographic skills that might have taken years to acquire can be learnt in a fraction of the time thanks to the instant feedback afforded by smartphones and digital cameras. We carry these cameras everywhere, though disappointingly seem to use them mostly for selfies. But it can form the basis of a simple practice which allows you to slow down and pay attention to things you might otherwise have missed.

A few suggestions:

  • Try black and white (it places an emphasis on structure); it can be particularly helpful if you want to build a collection of otherwise unrelated images.
  • Learn about photographic composition and how images are viewed. Simple things like the rule of thirds will lead to well composed photographs. Turn the guidelines on in your camera.
  • Ignore technicalities (at least initially, possibly always); manually controlling a camera is usually tedious and often error prone. Automatic settings will probably suffice and corrections can be made later with increasingly easy to use software.