I'm a beginner myself (only had a DSLR for a little over a year now) and wanted to share something I have learned that has helped me improve. It's nothing new, but I think it needs to be mentioned more often. 1. Critique your own work. 2. Critique your own work. 3. Critique your own work. Seriously, be honest with yourself. I don't care if it's your first bokeh shot and you're amazed at how well you made a flower in the house stand out against your living room clutter (we've all done it, no shame in that). But ask yourself: 1. What makes this photo interesting? 2. What could be improved? 3. Can I change something to make it more interesting? Lastly, experiment... don't tie yourself into one mode (manual, aperture priority, shutter priority, auto)... use them ALL. If one mode doesn't work, challenge yourself to understand why. I guess that's really the key, challenge yourself... don't rely on others to tell you what's wrong with your photos, try to figure it out yourself before posting, then post it if you still want to and see how your thoughts line up with others.