While this has gone afield from Eric's original post, I think that all of the names that have been mentioned (Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, Fred Picker, and Phil Davis) have their points of view. They have certain strengths and weaknesses. I think to fall at the feet of any of them is to rob oneself of the experience of photography in a meaningful and genuine manner.

I would say that if anyone was commercialized then Fred Picker certainly was...but then again I can say the same thing to an even greater extent about Ansel Adams both prior to and after his death.

Phil Davis certainly has his disciples. I imagine additionally that he earns something from his software, his book(s), his tubes, etc. Certainly anyone that has a genuine benefit to offer deserves to be reimbursed for their efforts.

I did not ever get the impression from the writings of Fred Picker that he espoused exposing for the highlights. In fact he made mention of the need for proper exposure based in the full knowledge of one's materials and the example that I recall him using was Weston's unmetered exposure and resulting print of the Church Door at Hornitos. In this example he indicated that had Weston relied on a meter he would have underexposed this image by over four stops.

The only one of these that didn't seem to gain much monetarily from his efforts while alive is the one that worked the simplest. He had a vision that was a million fold finer tuned then Ansel Adams or Fred Picker. He was an artist in the truest sense in my opinion.