A theme that often appears in our various forum discussions is that there is a big difference between simply photographing things, and “creating art,” which is much more self-conscious, intentional, and involves taking into account the history of art and images, culture, etc. For example, I can simply take a picture of something because I, personally, thought it was interesting, or beautiful, or evoking a certain emotional response for me (I confess, this is basically my own approach). In contrast, there are artists who make photographs because they are following through with a well thought out idea relating to theories about art, the history of photography, and, they are trying to make an original personal statement in this context. The photographs that come out of this latter thought process are often pretty alien to the average viewer, who is not schooled in the history of art. Examples would be the photographs of William Eggleston, Sally Mann, or Andreas Gursky, to name a few. I think it is safe to say that most of the photographers here in photo.net are in the former category, and simply take pictures of things in which that they are interested. There are others though, who are definitely in the artist category, who are working much more conceptually, and whose comments relate more to the concepts of the art world. My observation and desire for comment is about this distinction, because often there is a lot of conflict in the forum discussions about the relative merit of certain images, or artists, which seems to come out of these basic differences in the approach to photography. Is there room for both points of view? Are the opinions of the “unwashed” simply too ignorant to be acknowledged by the cognoscenti? Conversely, are the opinions of the cognoscenti about photography just too specialized or intellectualized to have any meaning for the average viewer? What can we learn from each other?