As someone who picked up on photography quite quickly thanks for digital trial and error, I have to say that yes digital photography gives people the impression that everything can be corrected in post.
When we say skill we're looking at more than just exposure, we're looking at lighting ratios, at small details like whether there is lint on someone's clothing before we photograph the person, down to the colour temperature of one lamp vs another.
Most people pay less attention to these things these days, how many people actually spend alot of time dealing with creases on clothing these days? (oh we'll fix it in photoshop)
That said, as Ian has said technique and artistry are two separate things.
Actually due to the fact that photography has gone digital is actually a good thing for the masses as it helps anyone interested in photography learn with a shorter curve. Due to the fact that many pros are seeing less skillful photographers is also due to so many people jumping into the bandwagon whereas comparing to the past only those had the strong passion and willing to spend will go into photography. This makes the ratio so much bigger thus creating this impression. Well, those who are good and have passion are those who stand out in the masses and create a photo that makes a viewer impressed.
Autofocus, power winders, etc are technology one relies on to overcome physical limitations, such as eyesight and film winding speed.
Matrix metering is a substitute for thinking, where one lets the camera decide exposure. One turns over exposure decisions to a program; as such all photos turn out well-exposed but extremely boring because one no longer thinks about whether highlight detail or shadow detail is more important, whether underexposure or overexposure would create a stronger message, etc.
Photoshop is even worse; it makes people think lousy makeup, lousy lighting, lousy posing, even undesirable body proportions, can be corrected. Thus it creates a tendency to shoot first and worry later, rather than getting the basics such as lighting, exposure, makeup, etc right first.
Digital can also create laziness because shots are free. If you have only $1, you think very hard how to spend it. If you have unlimited cash, you don't think so much. That's why I see the gyc's blasting away in burst mode at xmm shoots, rather than trying to get the lighting, expression and pose right before they press the trigger.
People say it's the photographer who decides if he wants to think before he shoots, or let the camera do the thinking. Strictly speaking, that's the case-- else we would not have free will. But in practice, people tend to go for the easy way out, and thus the machine's thinking takes over for the majority of photographers.
Last edited by Xtol19; 22nd January 2010 at 09:27 AM.
The Ang Moh from Hell
Professional Photography - many are called, few are chosen!