Same goes for the photographic books out there, page upon page of technical information, very little on the thought processes and approaches being taken. Freeman Patterson is one of the best at talking about the 'inner game' of photography. Galen Rowell ventured into it on occasion too. It's a short list, compared to the technical authors, talking aperture, shutter, Photoshop buttons and widgets. John Paul Caponigro does well at breaking down the 'why' for editing, rather than the 'how' but again, most of the other authors focus on how to do things, not when or why you should or should not.
I think the main reason is it is easy to talk about the technical aspects. There are hard and fast answers to what an aperture is and how to open and close it. Doesn't require a lot of introspection to explain how to use the clone tool.
That said, I'm really excited about the Canon 5D mkII from what I've seen. I want to get a full frame camera. My 1dII is a 1.3x crop and I feel constrained on the wide end when shooting landscapes with a 17-40 F4L. When I first got this wide-angle lens, I was really frustrated with it. Even on a Canon D60 (a 1.6x crop sensor) I could never use all that visual space. I had a hard time composing anything that would be compelling. I loved using a 70-200 telephoto and a 100mm macro at the time, could crop and compose tightly and create interesting images. But the wide-angle end of the range really frustrated me. Everything would be too small, too disconnected.
That was, until I did a workshop with Craig Tanner, who taught me about his rhythm method of landscape composition. I learned to realise that I wouldn't just stumble upon a good wide angle composition - mainly because your eye just doesn't see that way. You can see telephoto compositions more readily, because you are just cropping out parts of what you can actually see, but not so with wide angle. You have to look through the lens to see what you'll see then. I learned the idea of constructing a scene, finding some key element in the landscape for the composition, then finding other parts to rhyme with it and build the composition, piece by piece. It might be the shape of a cloud and some bush, a crack in mud and the slope of a mountain, anything that can tie pieces of the scene subtly together, making your eye move around the composition. You can do this with a wide angle lens much more readily, because small changes for the camera cause dramatic shifts in the scene. Elements can be quite easily shifted in and out and across the frame, particularly in the foreground.
After a few days of practice, this approach started making my wide angle shots work. I began to find myself frustrated that I couldn't go wider, rather than struggling to make an effective 27mm frame cohesive. The 1.3x crop Canon 1D MkII helped a bit, but still I want more. 22mm is getting there but I want full frame. The other aspect I've found using a 1DII for landscapes is that it is a heavy, solid camera. The new 5DII is about a pound lighter so I'm hoping it'll be better for hiking. There have been trips I decided to forego the 1DII in favour of a small point and shoot, just to keep down the weight. A two day hike up to the rim in the Chisos mountains in Big Bend is one opportunity that stands out in my mind. We had to carry all our water up the mountain side and I didn't feel up to lugging a 1-series body and lens with me. On the rim we were treated to some of the most spectacular sunrises and sunsets I've ever seen. Maybe next time I'll have a more portable camera!
Also in the last couple of years I've moved more towards portrait photography and I think the 5DII is going to be fantastic for that. The frame rate is good enough but in particular the higher ISO modes are exciting, particularly for low light street portraiture. I've had a lot of fun shooting portraits at night in Austin, with a fast lens. I can get away with ISO 1600 on the 1DII for grainy black and whites and from the samples I've seen the 5DII looks to have great low light, with a usable ISO6400 and the option of heading to ISO256000 which is ridiculous. The smaller camera might be less intimidating to strangers when I approach too - not sure if that'll be good or bad.
Full frame, lower weight, great low light and a much bigger sensor than my current 1 series body. Almost everything I could want. I'm going to keep the big tank for sports shooting, 8.5fps is quite addictive after a while - I've even occasionally shot movies with that, in a jerky flick book way.
The final feature of the 5DII is the movie mode. 1080p resolution video up to 12 minutes long. I've dabbled with creating the semblance of movies with my cameras, trying to mix in audio, stills and video. So I'm excited to get to try this feature out. There is an amazing video shot with the 5DII on Canon's site, showing off some of the features of the camera. Mostly amazing because it was put together in a 3 days. The story maybe could with work but it looks lovely.