From that other Michael "Michael A Smith stated that there are times while driving along, that he saw a vista, but would not stop his truck for it, because he deemed it too commercial for his sensibilities, and he would not sully himself or stoop so low as to take this picture and accept money for it."

My, how you do distort things. What I said was that the only reason I would have made that particular photograph would have been to sell it. As an artist, I decided that was not a valid reason.

Please note: I said, "As an artist . . ."

I do not know one photographer working as an artist who ever makes a photograph just to make money. I'm not alone here.

But I do make lots of photographs, and although the motive for making them is to fulfill something in myself, not to sell them, when they are finished I damn well hope to sell them. Doing so is my only source of income (no trust funds here).

Commercial photography is quite another thing. I have neither the time nor the energy to look for commercial jobs of any sort. However, when commercial jobs come along, and three have in the past 25 years, I jump on them eagerly. Doing a commercial job, as pointed out by F. Dave, has lots of challenges and there is a lot to be learned from doing them. And since they pay well, I would not be the least bit unhappy if one of them came along every month. When I do a commercial job I am not making my art (although I hope the photographs will be artful). I see nothing wrong with this and have infinite respect for those who do commercial work. In so many ways they know a lot more about photography than I ever will. (Examples: My idea of lighting is to "turn the lights on." And I wouldn't know how to use a flash if i were handed one.)

So please, do not take out of context what I said with your contemptuous talk of "me sullying myself."

Making art is one thing. Doing commercial work artfully is quite another. Both are worthy things to do. making art fits the sensibility of some people. Doing commercial work fits the sensibillity of others. Of course, commercial photographers try to make beautiful photographs. The difference is that the motivation for the act of photographing comes from different places.

I have comercial photographer friends. In many ways they are envious of what I do, "You can photograph whatever you want to," they say. And in many way I am envious of them, "You get to make money."

Michael: I'm really not sure why you are so touchy and defensive about this. You must be terribly insecure and feel very threatened. When I stated, or someone else stated, a position that has to do with the way we work--as artists--it had nothing to do with commercial photography, what commercial photographers do, or the valuable things they bring to our society.

I hope this is clear.