Quote Originally Posted by Rudeofus View Post
light is as much part of our habitat as rocks, water and air are?
Yes, light is an essential quality of our natural habitat; we would not be the same kind of creature, and interact with one another and the universe in the same way, were it not for (what we perceive as) light.

Quote Originally Posted by Rudeofus View Post
The author seems to be fascinated by modern physics to the point where he assigns ethereal properties to electromagnetic waves. He hangs on to some catch phrases from physics 101 (or the science section of daily newspapers) to derive a very odd theory of what goes on in photography.
Well, light is ethereal, isn't it? Only because we have deduced its behaviors to elegant theories and equations doesn't deprive it of its 'magical' effect on our minds and bodies. Also, don't assume that this guy ( <- his CV, use google translate if you can't read french) doesn't have a reasonable grasp on physical theory. He's attempting to relate the empirical elements of environmental examination with subjective elements of our lived existence, and hypothesizing about how these things come together in photos.

Quote Originally Posted by Rudeofus View Post
Yes, electromagnetic waves connect the cosmos as we know it, but so does gravity which is not recorded by cameras. We have reasonably good eyes well suited for life in the Savannah during daylight, and a brain that can make incredible images out of what we see, but that does not mean "man captures light in a most balanced and integrating manner."
It's not about connection, but the transmission of information. The thing about light that makes it special is that it is a rich spectrum of EM radiation which moves from one place to another, and can be influenced by (and thus can carry information about) the things it interacts with--gravity, or any other natural perceptible phenomenon (like sound, or smell) cannot carry information in this way, we cannot 'see' with it alternatively. The integrated manner in which our physiology has been selected to interpret the information that light carries, balanced well around the spectral intensity of our star. I don't see what's confusing about this.

Quote Originally Posted by Rudeofus View Post
Cameras are certainly no black boxes to those who make or service them, and the fact that case and shutter let only those few photons in that are meant to be recorded does not make a camera "secret and genital". A video camera is quite illuminated inside while it records, BTW.

And that's one of the weird things in many of these "philosophy of photography" tractates. Authors go through great length to derive a very solid train of thoughts, including lingo that is nearly impenetrable to humans not trained in that subject, and then base their whole train on thoughts on a very fuzzy image of modern physics, brain science and aesthetics.
Cameras are, in fact, designed to be black boxes which we employ without being able to fully know and fully control (to the extent possible with manugraphic modes of object and image making). Of course, technologically we understand the principles and designs, tradeoffs and comprimises and mechanisms inherent in a tool, but it is almost impossible to completely fathom what is happening, all at once, inside of it while we use it. In the heat of the photographic moment, it is just a thing that we twist a knob, turn a crank, depress a plunger, slide a frame in and out of, knowing that at the end of it all we get an image that more or less precisely describes the world we point it at according to the skill of the user. Although we are a part of an instance of photographic activity, the camera itself handles the capture, registration, recording (the key aspect of the act) of the spectacle on its own; despite very complete technical knowledge and involvement, in the same sense as using a computer or the internet, these technologies mask their inner workings which we are not privy to in the action of their function.

It is secret in its exclusion, it is genital in its technological creative primacy; and here in the excerpt from the OP he's speaking more specifically about the (often solely inhabited) darkroom. I think your biggest problem with the book is that you're not actually reading it, content to (as a few others are, it seems) dismiss his ideas out of hand and without adequate inspection. Your first reaction to the text indicates to me that I think you'd find some value in there if you spent some time, I feel my first reply is still very valid. His theoretical grounding and explication is very precise, at least well enough suited to purpose, and if you gave it a read through over a couple weeks will definitely uncover some surprises.