How to visually communicate ideas and emotions using artistic principles. Cameras are tools, Photoshop is technique. Aesthetic skill is the bridge between your idea and production. The quality of your work is not defined by either tools or technique but by the aesthetic quality. How well you can communicate ideas and emotions artistically to the viewer without needing words. The ‘commercial value’ in your photographs is ultimately it’s aesthetic quality and appeal.
A camera will not create a picture any more than a brush will create an oil painting. Cameras record, people create. We must understand the fundamental difference between taking pictures and creating pictures. If we take pictures, we are a prisoner of the tool; we add nothing of value to the photograph. If we create pictures, then we take control of the aesthetic quality and add value. You must add something personal to the photograph to give it value.
Aesthetic quality is common to all forms of art, so the best way to learn aesthetic skill is to learn from other forms of art. Old master painters are history’s most qualified practitioners of aesthetic quality because painting requires starting with a blank canvas. They studied how to portray beauty, harmony, light, mood, drama, atmosphere, and spatial depth. Study old master paintings, work out what their solutions were, then use those solutions in your photography.