Somewhere along the way, and I don't know when this happened, a shift took place. A lowering of expectations. A lack of appreciation for something finer, more special, and in its place, an acceptance of average as exceptional.
I see this in many walks of life, but I'll use photography as an example.
The advent of the DSLR, with all its automation, has, effectively, put the professional photographer out of business. Anyone with a DSLR, even an entry level one, can take a picture somewhere north of phone quality, and the result is generally regarded as "professional".
I'm a hobby photographer. I don't claim to be a professional. I don't hang out a shingle as a professional, and I don't collect monetary compensation for my hobby images. I've been told they are good. I see them as adequate, but not special, and some will even argue with me that I am too hard on myself. The truth is, I am demanding exceptional from myself, and anything less is not worthy of praise.
My images are certainly more special than they were in the beginning, but to really be special, they need something that can't be achieved by any flunky with a DSLR who hung the shingle "professional photographer" outside their door 20 minutes after they unboxed that entry level camera.
The concepts of composition, lighting, exposure, and the technical use of the camera beyond "auto" aren't required to impress the typical onlooker now. The professional photographer, and even the dedicated hobby photographer, can tell the difference between professional and beginner, but most cannot, and it has hurt the artistry and craft of the professional photographer and his legacy.
Ansel Adams worked with equipment that required knowledge - in depth knowledge. In order to turn out quality, he needed to know how to use his equipment, in every possible way - he needed a command of his equipment that exceeded just turning on the camera. He needed to understand the finer points of his craft and his equipment. His limited equipment would only take him so far, so he forced himself to exceed the limits of his equipment with a dedication to photography, and the development of a skill that couldn't, wouldn't be matched by the technology available in his day.
Today, our equipment takes us further than it possibly should. What is quality? I guess the truth is it's in the eye of the beholder, though I must admit, I miss the days when people expected something more...demanded something more.
When a truly exquisite image is shared, I often see cries of "Photoshop" foul, when the truth is very different. When the professional, with years of experience and an understanding of the technical capabilities of his equipment, allow him to achieve results that aren't believable, it's not Photoshop, it's skill - it's the skill of a craftsperson with a life dedicated to excellence beyond the equipment he holds in his hands.