Editor’s Note: Photographer and digital artist Mohammed Sattar doesn’t capture reality, he creates dreams. In this article he shares 7 quick tips he believes are critical for taking your photography to the next level. Read on and happy shooting!

You can find more of Mohammed’s work by following him on 500px or giving his page a like on Facebook.

My name is Mohammed Sattar. I’m a 26-year-old professional photographer and retoucher, and in this post I’ll provide you with my top tips for capturing and creating brilliant results:

1. Take Advantage of Free School

YouTube gives you access to an amazing amount of free educational videos—more than 400,000 by my count. Make sure to follow some of the photography tutorial channels, they’ll show you how to master you the basics, help you develop exceptional skills in Photoshop, and teach you how to use some of the most important tools in photography.

The Way Back by Mohammed Sattar on 500px.com

2. Figure Out What Inspires You

There any many photographers worth following on 500px… follow them! This will inspire and motivate you to do great things in addition to increasing your visual attention and giving you ideas that will help you improve on your own photos.

One Way by Mohammed Sattar on 500px.com

3. Get Creative

Don’t just copy what you see others doing. Create your own special touch that distinguishes you from others.

Dreamland by Mohammed Sattar on 500px.com

4. Compete

Compete with others. Use their ideas to inspire you, but then craft your images in your own special style.

Unbroken by Mohammed Sattar on 500px.com

5. Be Meticulous in Post

When you process an image, focus on each single pixel in the image and make sure that everything is done perfectly. Your image deserves nothing less.

The Escape by Mohammed Sattar on 500px.com

6. Don’t Buy Expensive Gear

Having expensive camera equipment doesn’t mean that you’ll take good photos… pure and simple.

The Dreamy Lake by Mohammed Sattar on 500px.com

7. Focus on Quality, Not Quantity

One single special photograph or image per month is better than 30 forgettable ones.