Here's your Lesson 1 homework assignment:
Practice getting closer to your subject.
1. Take the picture the way you normally would.
2. Zoom in fairly tight around the subject, so it's all there, not chopped off but not a lot of extra space around it. Take that picture.
3. Zoom in tighter, so some of it is chopped off. Take a picture.
4. Zoom in crazy-close, so it might not even make sense. Take a picture.
5. Look at the pictures on the computer and figure out what you like and don't like about each one. Learn from this.
Note 1: If you don't have a good zoom on your camera, use the one built-in at the end of your legs (your feet). Walk closer.
Note 2: If your subject is a person, don't chop off any body parts at the joints. Do the chopping midway between joints. It looks better that way. Cropping at the elbow looks wrong. Cropping halfway between the elbow and the shoulder looks right. I don't know why, but it does. Try it yourself both ways and see.
If you like some of your homework pictures, post them on your blog and leave me a link in the comments, so we can all go take a look. If you're not ready to share, that's OK.