Photographic technique can only get you so far. Technique by itself—without passion or vision-is shallow and meaningless. Cameras don't take photos; people do.
That said, almost all photographers who create effective photos have mastered their craft.
Sometimes I think of my camera as a musical instrument. If I want to be a virtuoso, I need to practice. Indeed, I take photos almost every day. If a week goes by in which 1 haven't done much photography, then I feel rusty when I pick it up again. It takes a few hours for me to really feel comfortable and get back in my "groove."
Understanding my camera and photographic technique leads to a compositional advantage. I know how the technical choices I make in the field will affect my compositions; I have an awareness of the "palette" of techniques available to me; and I can use my camera and its full range of photographic tools to enhance my compositions.
Another way to say this is that understanding photographic technique is necessary to being good at composition, but it's not sufficient. Before you get to the more abstract and virtuoso aspects of photographic composition, you need to understand the notes-the basic elements of your craft.
So here's the deal. Almost two-thirds of Creative Composition: Digital Photography Tips & Techniques covers photographic composition in a way that assumes you know photography basics. The first third is a kind of "cheat sheet": It briefly ...