In art criticism of all kinds, but possibly more so in photography, process has been given less attention than it deserves. Perhaps it is because the viewer, or critic, has to extrapolate backwards from the image to guess the situation and what went through the photographer's mind. This can be done, but it needs thorough practical knowledge. Here, photography becomes arguably more difficult to analyze than painting because the process is much shorter—often too short for the photogra her to be completely aware of the steps at the time of shooting.

This tends to confound art critics with limited personal experience. MoMA's John Szarkowski, writing about a well-known reportage shot by Mario Giacomelli, said: “Analysis was surely ...

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