Interesting comments, djk....
But if the criteria for "Fine Art" hinges - absolutely - on the "deliberateness" involved in its creation, how does one justify Adams famous - and often quoted statement, "Thirty percent of the world's greatest photographs are fortunate accidents." ??
One thing I am certain of ... Adams may have been seen in many different "lights" to many people - but NEVER as a hypocrite.
If "Fine Art" MUST be the result of excrutiatingly thorough planning - what is to be done when one of us discovers a "surprise" ... something we had NOT intended - that is a shatteringly beautiful, expressive, enchanting work of our hands? Do we throw it away - to, in some way, protect our "honor" ... or is it possible to destroy anything like that - and call that action, "a good thing" ?
Two problems - Edward Weston's "Eggslicer, 1930". Weston thought this through thoroughly, and photoraphed it meticulously. He later came to write that he HATED that image, and he wished he had never taken that photograph. The critics and the public LOVED it!! Where does that photograph stand? -- Fine Art, or what?
Then, Adams' "Moonrise Over Hernandez". Whether well thought out or not is questionable - certainly it was HURRIED. Although critically acclaimed, and generally accepted as "Fine Art Photography", Adams was never satified with it, and continued to print from that negative until his death.
I won't belabor this. If an image comes out of my darkoom door - and it WORKS - no matter how it came into being, or what other criteria someone else may judge it against - I consider it "successful", and that is enough - more than enough - FAR more than "enough" - actually, a time for rejoicing - for me.