What Something Looks Like Photographed

This, from Janet Malcolm's book of essays on the aesthetic of photography, got me in a photo editing mood:

[Garry] Winograd (who has been a commercial photographer, is now a photography teacher at the University of Texas, and does his real work in his spare time) objects to the very idea of professionals—to the traditional distinction between the professional as someone who can control and predict his results and the amateur as someone who fumbles around and sometimes gets a good picture by accident. Answering a student who had asked "What is it, say, in a picture that makes it interesting instead of dead? What makes it alive instead of dead?" Winograd replied with this telling statement:
Let's go back to that gasoline picture [a photograph by Robert Frank of some gasoline pumps]. Let's say [it's] the photographer's understanding of possibilities... When he took that photograph he couldn't possibly know—he just could not know—that it would work, that it would be a photograph. He knew he probably had a chance. In other words, he cannot know what that's going to look like as a photograph... That's really what photography—still photography—is about. In the simplest sentence, I photograph to find out what something will look like photographed.