You get your best pictures when you engage in a process of discovering each other. I want the viewer to have an emotional response to the subject, without some obvious technique getting in the way.
Even if you only want to take pictures of well-known monuments, commit to the situation. Come back when the light is better, experiment with a different technique, lens, vantage point, or light to go beyond the snapshot or the cliché.
Review your pictures closely and learn from the mistakes. The next time you go out, correct the problems, try something more experimental and dramatic.
Photograph what really interests you, something you're pas sionate about. Ask yourself what you think and feel about this subject and why you are photographing it. If you photo graph a flower only because it's pretty, or a mountain because it's a landmark, your pictures will reveal only the surface.
I tell my students, be true to yourself. If you follow every trend, it's like trying to follow the stock market-you'll miss them all. Figure out your own style and vision and stick to it.
Sunrise and sunset light can be beautiful, but you can shoot all day long. In high noon light, shoot downward from a high vantage point; in harsh light, shoot in the shade or indoors; if hard shadows fall over the subject, pop some strobe in there. Do something interesting, make any lighting situation work for you-it can, if you do it creatively.
Clip interesting photographs that you see in magazines. Ask yourself why you're drawn to certain pictures. Is it the lighting? Is it the exotic locations or people? What is it about these photographs that inspires you?