One of the best photographers, Arnold Newman, infamously stated that the art of taking a picture is 1% inspiration and 99% moving furniture. I wholeheartedly believe this is true. Especially in this information age, I generally think that there is no craft that can't be technically learned. Anyone can become proficient at using a camera if they just read the manual from the box. But someone with vision understands how to craft what is really captured in the frame. It takes more than adjusting the settings on the camera in order to do that. Knowing how to "paint" the photo and directing people, objects, and more are required, which is where the '99% moving furniture' comes into play. This is where an artist separates him or herself from a plain photographer.
One of the elements that dramatically affect a photo is the lighting. Most would agree that it has the biggest effect. Therefore, I'm sure Arnold Newman would say that part of the furniture being moved is the light kits needed for a shoot or at least positioning a shoot to intentionally use natural light. Thus, I've been rethinking my approach to lighting and studying it this past weekend. For me, that means a lot of research of Annie Leibovitz shoots. She loves the Elichron Octabank and now I want one. Bad. But the black hole of Googling and YouTubing led to me finding this gem of a website - Guess That Lighting. It's a great resource that figures out the the light setup of particularly great photos and diagrams it. Here's an example from Erwin Olaf's "Hope" project.