A friend was dismissive of digital photography on Facebook yesterday, describing it as "point and shoot". They were going "old school" and using film-based cameras.
I think there's some merit to this description because digital cameras can do a lot of the work. Of course, there are a number of decisions that the operator makes but it is easy to fire away and worry about composition later.
One technique I've found to avoid shooting and force myself to think is to use a lens that requires manual focus. It helps that it's a nice lens, a Nikkor 35-70mm portrait lens which gets sweet shallow focus with a macro feature, as you can see above.
The process of pulling focus on the subject gives me time to think about the shot. The result isn't necessarily obvious in the quality of the photographs, especially since my eyesight is poor, but it does change my experience of taking the picture.
It makes me feel like I'm part of the moment.