"when I see a spot on a print, I *always* see the spot."
Yeah, I know. It's insidious. The damned thing grows to fill the field of view.
Still, I'm trying to figure out the logic. Does a single clinker spoil a pianist's performance, or a smudge ruin a drawing? Heck, Pollack used to put out his cigarettes on his canvases. Yet the perception is that nothing but total transparency of process (perfection) is acceptable in photography. Why? It makes no friggin' sense to me. I see it as another symptom of photography's inferiority complex relative to the other arts that no trace of the creator or his struggle with the process is acceptable.