From time to time, it's good to sit back and reflect on where you've been. So often the race to secure the next big thing can consume us and we lose focus on what's important. Every new experience invites a new learning curve. Sometimes the curve is rather steep and other times it comes quite effortlessly. But we should always strive to learn new things and be challenged. The other day happened to be looking for a particular piece of camera gear and came across one of my old point-and-shoot Fuji cameras. I paused for a moment and blew the dust off the camera, and I thought to myself. This was the camera that solidified my interest in photography and is one the many reasons that I decided to pursue photography.
I often hear from my friends "Wow that's a great photo, did you take that photo with your fancy camera" and when I say no; I'm greeted with a puzzled look on their face. You see a photographer who understands basic principles of photography such as, shutter speed, aperture, and ISO can pretty much get a decent photo in spite of the limitations of the camera. However, having a great camera isn't a guarantee that you will be able to take a great photo. The skill level of the photographer is always a factor.
The learning curve of photography has been lessened by mirror-less cameras like the Sony RX100 and the plethora of smartphones available today. A mirror-less camera allows you to see what photograph will look like prior to taking a photo. DSLR cameras like Cannon and Nikon will show the photo that you're about to take via the viewfinder. However if your camera settings are off or you are in a low light situation, what you see in the viewfinder may not be what you get, which can be very frustrating for beginner DSLR owners.
One great resource that I use and continue to recommend is what I call the University Of YouTube. There is a wealth of knowledge on just about every aspect of photography and it's a great place to start for beginners and advanced photographers. Also, don't forget your local camera store, if in fact you still have one. I know you can go to just about any big box store and get tips and advance on your camera purchase. However, the sales person who works in a dedicated camera store is quite often an active photographer and usually willing help guide you in your camera selection but also share their experience in photography.