Nowadays, thank goodness, most of that fiddly difficult stuff has been cleared away. A contemporary book, workshop, or similar, on photography is both short and tends to jump ahead pretty immediately to artistic and creative elements. No, wait. That's not right at all. If anything, instruction has become even more lengthy and tedious! What the hell is going on here?
The first thing that's going on is that you can always make a buck selling a book about so big. So the books are about so big, pretty much no matter what. You can always fill it up with trivia, as needed.
The second thing that's going on is that, as photography has gotten easier, the old guard has always insisted that it is hard. It was hard in the days of glass plates. There was an incredible amount of finicky, dangerous, difficult stuff. As things got simpler, the glass plate guys complained that it was too easy now with these new-fangled dry plates, so the books written in the wet to dry plate transition no-doubt started to put in filler, to replace the no longer relevant stuff about collodion. And so the dry plate guys learned that photography was hard, and so when roll film showed up, they stuck in more filler. So the roll film guys learned that photography was hard.
And so it goes. Now we have books and tutorials that are mostly filler. Sure, they tell you a few things. Now we spend a tremendous amount of time "teaching" things that can be learned by the student in five minutes, by using a process best described as Open Your God Damned Eyes. 75% of the crap about where to put the lights can be learned in a few minutes by looking at pictures, and looking at a model, and moving the lights around a bit. But no, it has to be turned into 150 pages of canned formulas complete with diagrams about where to put the lights, and (if you're lucky) sample pictures of the loop under the model's nose, which are the only part that matters a fig.
And let's be clear here, by "filler" I don't necessarily mean that Chapters 5 through 8 should simply be deleted. I mean that, perhaps Chapters 5 through 7 should be condensed to one short chapter, and 8 should be rolled in to chapter 3 as a single paragraph.
As of this writing, searching the web for the exact phrase "photography workshop" garners nearly eight hundred thousand hits. Everyone wants to sell you a goddamned workshop. It's crazy. There's every stripe out there selling this crap. There are internet-famous amateurs and pros looking to squeeze few more bucks out of their hobby. There's art and design schools or varying degrees of credibility. There's National Geographic. There's honest-to-god credible artists.
I'm sure that in some small subset of these real value can be obtained by the student. Indeed, I dare say it would be rare to go to one and learn nothing at all.
Still, the most useful piece and sage course ever taught in photography boils down to this:
Look at what you're shooting. Look at other pictures. Look, for crying out loud, at the settings the camera has chosen for you. If the shutter speed says 8 that's probably why your pictures are all fuzzy.