A friend paraphrased Ansel Adams when he gave workshops and confined his own shooting with the students to a small camera, maybe analogous to the Point-and-Shoot camera of our time. At the end of the training and practice, everyone’s work would be displayed and judged. If anyone beat his score, then he’d refund their workshop payment. But none ever did beat him. All this is to say that the eye or vision of the photographer grows with experience, practice and command of one’s tools all along the workflow from preparing to set off with gear, to capturing, to producing and presenting the finished work.
Numerous essays and postings from Alain Briot at www.beautiful-landscape.com develop this idea of one’s deepening vision and extending the range of one’s technical powers, as well.
To begin with there is the intersection of date, location, time of day and position relative to the sun or other light source. Then there is choice of subject, its composition (lens, lighting, framing, connection or separation from adjacent and surrounding context), and moment of capture. Overlaying these tangible factors they may well be less obvious but still significant context of news value, cultural meaning, or social significance to the subject immediately and personally, or as a symbol or illustration for a more general expression; or even at the most abstract, an overlying meaning that is more abstract of all, derived from the play of color and form, texture and shading.
And so, while aiming the lens and pressing the shutter can produce a visual memento of a subject at a particular place and time, there is surely much more that goes into the decision to be at the right place and the right time before composing, recording and finally producing a vision of the scene.