I have been photographing seriously for almost four decades. Over those forty years I have honed in on the one thing any photographer can do to improve their photography. It does not involve a new piece of gear or imaging software. Rather it is simply to learn how to “work” the situations they encounter when photographing.
What do I mean by “working” a situation? I mean taking many pictures of the same situation till you get the one you want. I am not talking about snapping blindly as you go. I am talking about using the various photographic tools available to you, as you make a series of images, experimenting until you get the image just right, so it tells the story that you want. Examples of those tools include varying the focal length of your lens, varying your physical distance from the subject and especially varying your position in relation to the subject. The viewer of an image made from below, feels as if they are being dominated by what they see. Conversely, an image made from above gives the viewer the feeling they are dominating that subject. Similarly, using the tools to control exposure, time and focus directly impact the viewer’s experience of an image. A high shutter speed used to stop action creates a feeling of fleeting time. A slower shutter speed creates a blur and a feeling of movement in the eye (and mind) of the viewer. I can go on but you get the idea.