I realize I am late to the party – and far beyond fashionably late. But I have recently discovered Twitter. Well, I of course knew it existed; I just never really understood it and could not imagine how it might be useful to me. FaceBook has provided me with all the play by play updates of my Internet circle that I needed.

But I can now say “I was wrong,” and the usefulness of Twitter is becoming more and more clear to me. Although I am pretty certain that I have not even scratched the surface as to all it potentially has to offer. But I can see it looming…

My recent venture into Twitterdom got me to thinking about how Twitter and other bits of the Internet can help me improve my photography and get a better understanding of the fundamentals and techniques of photography.

So here are my Twitter and General Internet Tips for improving your photography skills (I am sure these can be expanded, to some degree, to any hobby or obsession):

It is all about the Who!
With Twitter, who you are following and subsequently who is following you is critical. It is easy to get carried away and start following people willy-nilly. I have gotten off track already, but the majority of those I follow are related to photography or design.

Read, Read, Read
I didn’t make this connection at the beginning, but what better way to expand my photography knowledge than to surround myself with others that do what I do. It can get addicting and a bit daunting to try to keep up with all the twitted information. But in just a few days I have already found so many resources and sites and bits of information on the web that I would not have stumbled upon on my own just by reading the tweets of people involved in what I am interested in, photography.

Use Your Tweeps
Don’t just read what everyone else is posting. Contribute. Post your photos and ask for feedback (or don’t ask, but someone is bound to offer it anyway). Ask questions, inquire. Most of these people are twittering because they have something to say (although some have way too much to say and some a lot of nothing to say) and enjoy saying it. Try posting your latest shot with TwitPic and see what advice or critiques people offer.

Beyond Twitter
Forums are a great way to connect to other people that share your interests. No matter what you are into there is certainly a forum out there focusing on it. I came across my first forum through Twitter. I just started using it but so far I got some suggestions for a new tripod and have a photography assignment I’m going to try.

Flickr is another great way to share your work with your fellow photographers. There are more groups than you could ever explore. Find a few that are common to your interests and share some photos. See what people say and what advice they offer. Be sure to offer the same advice to others that post.

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