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The elusive thing that we call the photographic look is an abstract phenomenon. It’s the aggregate perceptual experience that emerges from the sum of many smaller attributes that clue the eye.
“The longing for simplicity in the face of overwhelming complexity is as understandable as it is misguided” warns Mark C. Taylor. As artists, to put all of our faith in the illusory simplicity of bundled systems instead of understanding the analytic components that are the undeniable building blocks of the process is to give up our control and authorship. How has it come to be that we’ve taught ourselves that that nuanced and masterful creative authorship is as simple as choosing Coke versus Pepsi? Expertise requires more than simply memorizing (and then repeating) which of three or four prepackaged options is the best one.
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