Today I realized how similar the path I took with the saxophone versus photography. In terms of learning, I approached them similarly, but one of self taught (photography) versus the saxophone, which I had the guidance of a really good teacher.
First, is learning from the masters.
One underlying topic my sax teacher has pushed is transcribing (I am pretty sure I wrote this in another post but whatever) - by doing so not only do we train our ear, we also learn the nuances of how the pros play, how they articulate to give a certain feel, it's like parker vs pepper vs desmond. Learn from the masters, and incorporate them into one's playing.
Exactly like what Everything is a Remix is trying to get across.
On the flip side for photography, I do the same, analyzing how the photographers I respect do their photography - this is exactly what I've seen mentioned in the many books I've read. But I only took to this several years ago. And indeed, it seemed like my photography skills improved quite rapidly after that.
So bottom line, copy. Devour everything you enjoy, find out how they do it, copy copy copy. And like the borg, become something greater than the sum of the parts.