Getting better at photography takes time. Learning the basic technical aspects can be relatively easy depending upon your affinity to mechanical devices. For example, a fast shutter speed stops motion while a slow shutter speed can get you an image with motion blur in it. Getting great at photography takes a bit longer.
Taking complete control of the frame is one of the main issues that I see plaguing many photographers and is something I've been working on for a while now. What I'm talking about is taking the time to ensure that everything that is in the final image is there because the photographer decided that it should be there. It's kind of based on the old adage that "less is more".
I'm far from perfect on this myself and I find it especially difficult when you are shooting on the street as you are photographing impromptu moments in time and you have virtually no control over the environment. In the image below, for example, I grabbed this quick moment in time as the fellow in the bus was bathed in the light of the setting sun when the doors opened at the bus stop. A moment later it was gone. I didn't crop the image but I should have. The bicycle rack is totally distracting and shouldn't be in this shot.
There are times when I do get it right and I really appreciate those times and those times are getting more frequent. For instance, in the following image you'll see the grey stone path within the Halifax Public Gardens showing up in the image. It's not all grass in behind the crocus. I could have moved to remove this but I decided against it. I liked having the grey triangle kind of pointing towards the flower. I also took the time to remove a couple of blades of grass because I didn't want them in the frame.
Of course, I had more time to set up the shot of the crocus flowers than I did of the fellow on the bus. I took that time to analyze what was in the frame and adjusted it to present the image the way I wanted it to be presented.
So, remember friends, take your time to figure out what you can see within the frame before you press the shutter release to ensure that the only things that's in the final image are the things you want to be there.