I recently noticed this 2004 article by Huntington Witherill, whose photographs are maintained in numerous distinguished public art collections. Since 1975, Witherill has taught photography for a variety of institutions and workshop programs throughout the United States:
If you don't intimately know the technical and expressive capabilities and nuances of your tools, and know precisely how to get those tools to perform to your will, you'll likely never achieve successful photographs on a consistent basis.
Digital tools and materials continue to change and reinvent themselves with the frequency of high fashion hemlines! Acquiring and subsequently maintaining control and familiarity with digital tools and materials remains a particularly elusive, redundant, and time consuming task.
Charlie Parker was arguably one of the greatest jazz saxophonists of all time. Yet, I wonder if he would have been as accomplished a musician, were he to have been compelled to re-learn a "new and improved" fingering scheme (fill in the latest version number here) on his horn every six to twelve months.
Digital based photography has a lot going for it....Yet, in my opinion the digital path will also continue to offer a reasonably frustrating and difficult approach to fine art photography. Achieving any sort of enduring mastery over such a relentlessly evolving set of ultimately incompatible tools and materials is likely to remain a decidedly mercurial pursuit.