Nothing is done automatically through photography. Good photographs differentiate themselves from all the rest of any other sort principally by being informative – interesting: not boring. It is difficult (if not downright impossible) to take a bad photograph seeing all means are provided, and all means function (quasi-?) automatically. (And in the quagmire of uninformative [not interesting: boring] photographs, the badness in bad photographs only underscores their uniqueness and their inevitably informative [interesting: not boring] nature.) There is no such thing as ‘the act of painting a painting’. ‘To paint a painting’ is not an act and is not mediated by any verb. ‘To paint a painting’ is pure concept; ‘painting a painting’ is a conceptual task.
What’s all this argumentative shite about good and bad photographs all about? Good photographs are good; bad photographs are simply data!
We do not see things in the same way that the photography apparatus sees things. The photograph looks like the way I see things because that is how I would see things had I to be able to see things in the same way the photography apparatus sees things. And! I see! The photography apparatus and biological eyes, though, are both limited to seeing only that which happens to appear in front of them. Painters are essentially blind. There is nothing in front of the painter. It is indeed the sad fate of all paintings that they all end up being merely looked at. The eyes can see; the hands can create anything. Anything created by the hands can then be seen by the eyes.
When we look at a painting, the eyes do the seeing; at the back of our minds there is ‘the photographic’.