From the outside, photography may look like an easy task to those who have not spent much time playing with it. Point and shoot, right? Wrong.
Ignoring the large helping of luck which helps to create a defining photograph, the job of a photographer is not an easy one, as many students looking for an 'easy' A level or degree will attest. There are many skills and 'tricks' to be learnt which can turn a good photo into a beautiful one.
The photographer is ultimately held responsible and judged on the quality of the image, but there are some factors he can, and some he cannot be answerable for. He/she is of course responsible for choosing the subject. Does it make sense? Does it tell a story? Is it interesting? These questions are really a matter of opinion, the subject may be of no importance or interest to you whatsoever, but equally could be the life's passion of the man next to you. He/she is responsible at least in part for the equipment they are using and the condition of it. Of course the wallet defines the equipment but certain cameras will suit certain styles more or less depending on the photographer's desired look and feel.
The photographer needs to take into account the atmospherics of the picture - the weather, the light, or any other aspects of the surroundings that may affect the picture being taken. These elements can completely transform the image, and changing its story completely.
One of the most important factors in photography is light. To understand light, especially from the camera's view point will help the photographer immeasurably. If the camera has a light meter this will show the photographer how much light the camera is taking in from a combination of sources such as the aperture and shutter speed. Once the photographer has a grasp of light and how to control it, he/she can start playing with it and using it to their advantage. Once you have a grip on how to handle light try experimenting with backlighting, and lighting from the side. Experiment with sunlight, and artificial light. If you need artificial light but want to keep a natural feel, indulge in some 'natural light' light bulbs, you won't regret it. Play with reflectors and flashes, the correct light makes so much difference to the finished.
If you just can't seem to create exactly the image you want under difficult conditions don't forget, you can't do everything!
Henri Cartier Bresson