It helps if I clarify my approach to painting and photography, as both I do without much mental involvement, and with mindfulness.
My painting is highly abstract and very repetitive, so I am free to meditate through most of the process.
The meditative state of my photography is mostly in relation to being present in the moment, before or after my gear is set up, and I can be quite mindful while pressing the shutter release.
The final result is a distilled meditation on the moment.
I agree that any complex task makes meditation difficult.