If automation is your bete noir, avoid it or shut it down -- at least those features or conveniences you find indigestible. Autofocus can be turned off in favor of manual focus. Switch program exposure to aperture preference or manual exposure. But if you're secretly a camera tech addict, hooked on using all the new fab features, and hate yourself in the morning, don't blame the camera.
While we could handle most outdoor picture taking at small apertures and higher shutter speeds, it was more often indoors where we jousted using exciting large-aperture, slow shutter-speed method of picture taking. Indoors, our families, friends, and strangers became fascinating tableaux as we watched the interaction between subjects and surroundings as angle, composition, expressions, and existing light changed on our focusing screens. Portraits by window light were highly rewarding. We tried to be as unobtrusive as possible so life would go on while we, the silent observers, preserved it. Our subjects had character and dimension. We even became intrigued with still-life close-ups of wine glasses or the graceful changing curls of cigarette smoke wafting upward from ashtrays.
And when we decided the moment was right for smoke, wine glasses, or people, we pressed the shutter and recorded exactly what we saw and how we saw it. (Our further labors in the darkroom to enhance what we saw or wanted to see, is another story, full of pro-con argument for another day.)