Quote Originally Posted by Michael A. Smith
All in all, Aurore, you could not have it more wrong.
I disagree - intensely.

I don't read into Aurore's response a tribute to remaining stupid. What I see and I'd agree with, is starting from a clean sheet - without the "dots to connect". If we choose to study another's work, we should be getting into the way things happen... but it is as valid to avoid another's work, as it is not - depending on what works for each one of us.

Chalk this up to ignorance, if you like, but I've never been able to explain *my* emotional reaction to a photograph, or any other work of art. That emotional - a.k.a. "aesthetic" is the most important aspect of all art.

Some may choose to evaluate a photograph in technical terms ... "proper contrast, good Dmax, balanced composition ..." I would rather experience the work aesthetically ... either standing there, struck speechless, or possibly, taking stock of my response ... I see this photograph of a waterfall, and suddenly I feel wet, and somehow my ears seem to hear the sound of rushing water. I have no idea of how to teach this - or how it could ever be "learned" .

Now, I'll preface this by saying that I have a great deal of respect for Michael, and *everyone* here ... I don't mean to submarine or disparage anyone, but I might suggest that ... strike that....
*I* will be careful NOT to characterize another photographer, of whatever ilk, as "having gotten it all wrong." That is just a tad too dangerous; I'm left open to the response, "Oh yeah? ... And just what is it that makes you so sure that YOU have it right?"
Not doing that is a course of action that *I* would follow. I cannot speak for another.

A conversation between two accomplished and respected critics at the opening of an exhibition:

Critic 1: Look at that!! Some people call this art? Composition is 'way off' colors are muddy.."

Critic 2: I agree ... totally without redeeming quality. Wait, here is a description in the program ... Uh ... It was just sold for three million dollars... !!"

Critic 1: "... What marvelous brush strokes... what a unique, expressive composition ... "