I am in the middle of a book that has a somewhat surprising title: The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*CK. While this book has significant ideas on how to improve your life and well-being, it also has great significance for every creative. Many of us determine that we will produce when we have the motivation and inspiration to produce work. This of course applies to any vocation. We use this as an excuse in a subconscious manner, not necessarily in an attempt to avoid work. The book challenges us to first take action rather than wait for inspiration and motivation. I've heard this before in a round about manner from writers or photographers that take action for inspiration. I remember one writer who has an office and sits in his office for four hours everyday, whether he writes anything or not. This is a habit in order to force inspiration. I would say the same thing for my photography. I have had a slump because I have not felt inspired and void of motivation. As a result, I took no action. Coincidentally, on the first day of 2017 I started a 365 project. A 365 project is committing to make and post at least one NEW image per day for a whole year. It's actually not easy as you have to search for INSPIRATION. The important thing is that you have the MOTIVATION to take ACTION. How fortuitous that both of these activities entered my life at the same time. Don't wait. Take ACTION
Whatever camera you own please at least read your owners manual. You'll be surprised at all of the things that you can do. In some cases people write third party books with even more information that the manual left out. The author of this one Ibarionex Perello. He hosts one of my favorite podcasts about photography called The Candid Frame. Every week he interviews someone significant in the world of photography. I highly recommend it as a good listen.
I just finished reading "The Passionate Photographer", by Steve Simon. The book concentrates on three basic elements: intent or passion, practice, and technique. The is a must read for photographers of all levels trying to improve their photography. The beauty of this book is that it details specific techniques while emphasizing tried and true composition theory to practice as assignment suggestions throughout the chapters. Steve Simon sprinkles his own images, good, and bad, to give examples of what to, and not to do when creating an image. Please do not think that you need to be an experienced photographer to understand, or put in practice the ideas in "The Passionate Photographer". On the contrary, I would also gift this book to the beginning photographer. I don't believe that I am lacking in the passion, but I can honestly say that I learned from every chapter. I recommend it highly. I purchased the book online at Amazon.