Seems I'm two months late, but I'll share my thoughts anyway...
My desire to show my vision has driven my gaining knowledge of the technical side of things. My own self, my art if you will, is the driving force behind what I do and the gear is the furthest thing from my mind. I see gear as a means to achieve what I set out to do in the first place and sometimes it takes a certain one piece of gear to accomplish that, but that just doesn't consume me.
For me, I am trying to learn to see beyond the "snapshot" vision. To develop my artistic vision, if I have any. I think it may depend on what your goal is???? My goal is to see and capture the things views etc. that make people stop and see rather than just look.
But that is my goal...
Why not convince themselves as soon as they have some basic understanding of how to use the tools and techniques of the craft that they have to be " true to their vision" and refer to their work and other photographers as "Art", I don't believe that photography is an art this idea is a relatively recent concept in the last thirty years or so promoted by photographers agents, gallery s and auction houses to sell photographers work.
There are and have been indeed some wonderful photographers in the past and present who I greatly admire, but as craftsmen who are masters of their craft, if you had called them artists to their face they would have laughed at you .
But you are in danger of that happening to you too when you suggest that you can decide that something is or is not a form of art based solely on the medium.
I doubt if the great renaissance painters considered themselves " Artists" in the modern sense of the word with a capital "A" but rather on the same level as a master stonemason, as a very skilled artisan, however I do believe that some great photography can approach "Art" but on rare occasions, and very few of them, by no means as many as those who write about their, and other photographers art on internet forums .