What It Takes to Be a Competent Photographer

Suppose you've been taking pretty good photographs with a point-and-shoot camera, but you want more. You want to get a digital single-lens-reflex camera and learn how to use it well. What's involved?

That's what I was wondering in February 2008 when I bought my DSLR. Here are some suggestions for anyone who's starting out down the same path.

Simplifying Images

I create my favorite photographs when I abide by two related precepts. One is that, although photographs don't all have to be simple, they should all be as simple as possible. The other is that I should be steering the viewer's eye towards what matters, and away from what doesn't, at every opportunity. 

Black and White—Done Right

For many of us, our first foray into photography involved black and white film. It was readily available, and cheaper to process than color. Also, you could easily set up a home darkroom to process black and white film and prints. Color processing wasn’t for the average home user, due to its complex requirements for temperature control and chemicals.

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