How do you improve your photographic skills? There are websites, podcasts, books, courses, seminars, workshops, DVDs, and online videos designed specifically to help you take better photos. Certainly each of these has its place with regards to improving your craft but if you think academic learning will in itself make you a better photographer then you are simply wrong. You MUST practice. Absolutely take time and devote to the study of your craft but you have to get out there and put into practice what you have learned. There is an old proverb that says “The difference between a novice and a master is 10,000 hours”. This is as true in photography as any other craft.
Most importantly, make photographs don’t just take photographs. Be deliberate with your captures and brutal with your editing. Look for every way to grow in your craft but understand that it is putting into practice that which you have learned that truly helps you improve you skills.