I find myself on the Juxtapoz Magazine site staring at a post titled "Is Photography over?" Unfortunately to a certain extent I personally think it is, at least the skill and knowledge that used to be poured into the craft (yes it's art) is slowly disappearing as we evolve into a 'the faster, the better (lazy)' people. In New York everyone and their mother is a Graphic Designer, and now the "In" thing is being a photog. I've seen a few people that have the top-notch gear yet their knowledge is a few light years behind what the camera can do if learned right. Gone are the days where the photographer was highly sought after due to their knowledge because someone bought a Mark II 'cause they could.
This is not to be taken as a photo snob statement at all, I love Photography and sharing shots from anyone that likes it. I just think the wonder of photography is over due to folks with high-end cameras firing away on Auto. Not many care to learn why there is Chromatic Aberrations or what an F-Stop is, yet this is what makes part of a photographer and why many love it. One of the best things to do when snapping away is to try different techniques to get that one shot right and when you get it, it's an amazing feeling of self accomplishment. Or I can just set it to a scene setting or Auto and call it a day... damn it's that easy.
So next time my Auto settings people, remember why its so easy on Auto. It took years of knowledge and playing around with settings by actual photographers to get that perfect one click snap you wanted. Also don't be intimidated in changing that Auto to Aperture/Shutter Priority, or just go all out and put it on Manual! You will see that your photo's visual possibilities expand ten-fold by experimenting with settings. Maaaan you might just pick up something you start to love and appreciate a lot more.