The Main ingredient is the inner eye. You must learn to actually see what the camera is seeing. Or how to make the camera see what you want. Our brains are expert at filtering out background or other visual noise. Get a SLR and spend a lot of time looking through the eyepiece until you really understand what the camera sees. Pay attention to the background. Look for the things that distract from the subject. I specialize in nature photography and the second most important thing is patience. Find the shot and then keep returning to it until the conditions are perfect. Good luck!
Really good info, and makes a lot of sense. I admire really good photography and I was wondering what it took to get those kind of shots that speak to the eyes. Makes sense the photographer has to see it.