I think it's interesting to note that some of the better photographers came from some other artform. HCB and Man Ray for instance started out as painter so were visually schooled before they started out as photographers. They learned to see before they turned their talent to photography.
I think that's hugely important, and somewhat underappreciated in photography---maybe due in part to our collective fondness for gear. (And/or to the modernist reaction against pictorialism: We aren't supposed to learn from painting, we're a whole different artform! I think that attitude isn't nearly as strong as it used to be, though, back when pictorialism was widely considered to be just a sentimental dead end from which the modernists rescued us.)
San Diego, CA, USA
The lady of the house has to be a pretty swell sort of person to put up with the annoyance of a photographer.
-The Little Technical Library, _Developing, Printing, And Enlarging_