This is a chapter from the book A Lesser Photographer.
“That’s the disease you have to fight in any creative field—ease of use.” — Jack White
The more fun something is to use, the more you’ll use it. Creativity is spurred when there’s just enough pain to prompt thought, but just enough fun to keep you clicking the shutter.
I’d go back to pro-level gear tomorrow if I thought I could rely on my brain to consistently deliver better ideas with automated equipment. That just isn’t the way my brain works. If given the chance to be lazy, it will. It’ll tell me to use the equipment to produce the same kinds of images I’ve seen in all the books. I suspect that’s true of most people.
That said, gear is not the enemy.
Surrendering creativity for automation is the enemy. Looking for features instead of benefits is the enemy. Not doing the work is the enemy.
Every photographer has to find that boundary between the pain and the fun to be at their most prolific. When’s the last time you went looking for yours?