2. Art photo

Art historians and philosophers have long debated the place of photography in the art universe. Because of the indexical nature of a photo, containing as it does a trace of the real, some consider the photo as reflecting reality in front of the camera when the shutter was pushed.

Thomas Demand, Heldenorgel, 2009. The original, at about 12½ feet by 8 feet, invites the viewer to study the image at length.

For Michael Fried, photography becomes art when the photographer takes the time and effort to make his or her intentions clear. Fried has written at length about the carefully staged photographs of Jeff Wall and Thomas Demand, in which every element in the frame is there for a reason.

To this extent an art photo is “set up.” Ken Kobré Writes that the art photo falls at one end of a continuum of control, with the relatively unplanned and uncontrolled journalistic photo at the other end. This image of Dali has all those qualities of a carefully set up shot intended to speak to Dali’s personality and art.