As I have allowed myself to dive back into one of my oldest loves, photography, and revisit as an art, and not just a design research tool, I have found a lot of great resources to support me in this freedom and journey. And as I have been sharing them right left and sideways with folks, it became evident, this was worth a quick post. All approach the goal of improving from different perspectives so pick your poison, or if you are like me go all in!
If you do nothing else, go to the website of professional photographer Ken Rockwell which is a wealth of knowledge on so many levels. He has apps in the itunes store which are absolutely worth buying for your camera, you only need to pay the 4.99 for your camera specifically and I am constantly learning new things about my equipment as he cuts through the BS. If you want to go deeper, he appears to be based in California and does workshops there which I highly recommend (human time is irreplaceable, even with youtube videos) but it is his break down of each type of camera and lense for that camera, cutting through the jargon, and explaining what they actually mean, which is invaluable. The website is helpful, but the app is the way to go.
Subscribing to Tobias van Schneider's newsletter and website is a must for any creative. And although I have a love hate relationship with instagram, it is a reality of our creative world, and his post on "how-i-edit-my-pictures-for-instagram" like all of his writing is very accessible, meticulous and intense, but inspiring. It will up your game even if you only decide you might start taking your iphone shots in the Cortex Cam app instead of the iphone standard camera app.
Improvement is incremental and a practice.
And last, if this isn't already clear, go find humans. I highly suggest going to a workshop first. I like the Boston Photography Workshop for the approachable teaching style, realistic scope of content in each class -- I have real skills to add it to my tool kit, and they will stick, and affordable rates. I have taken night and editing, to learn the former and spiff up the latter, and am looking forwards to the soon to be added classes in portraiture, landscape and travel.
From a more theoretical approach to the creative journey, in general, and specifically, written by a deeply thoughtful, humble but talented photographer, I really enjoy David Duchemin's book, Beautiful Anarchy, which you can buy and download here. His website is full of other awesome tools and inspiring resources to up your game from a guy who has been at it for a while and has journeyed through the highs and lows of being a professional creative.
I think once you have a few workshops under your belt for skill building, then meet ups are a great way to challenge yourself with new styles and situations. Instagram and google searches bring up loads.