This ws taken from a comment on photography.

"Picture-taking is a technique both for annexing the objective world and for expressing the singular self. Photographs depict objective realities that already exist, though only the camera can disclose them. And they depict an individual photographer's temperament, discovering itself through the camera's cropping of reality. That is, photography has two antithetical ideals: in the first, photography is about the world, and the photographer is a mere observer who counts for little; but in the second, photography is the instrument of intrepid, questing subjectivity and the photographer is all."

I have no idea what the sentence in boldface states and implies?

What does it imply by "photography is about the world" and "the photographer is a mere observer who counts for little"? And what "world and little" refer to respectively?

Also, what is the second ideal all about?

Could you please explain them with details for me? Thank you so much.
The world is the objective reality that surrounds the photographer and all of us, so that the photographer is just the one who happens to trip the camera's shutter-- the final image of outside reality remains the same whoever snaps the photo.

On the other hand, it is the photographer's personal talent and vision and artistry that selects the image of reality to be photographed-- he decides the resulting image and its effects on his and others' emotions. etc. Therefore, in this sense the photographer is all-important to the final image.

Does that help any?
Mister Micawber gives an impressively succinct and excellent answer here.

Furthermore, there are photographers who set up very unreal situations to photograph with a camera. And there are photographers who manipulate their photographic images to such a degree as to remove any resemblance to, or any implication of, the real world. Thus, the 'antithesis' between objectivity and subjectivity is made even more extreme.
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
So the photographer can either be a passive observer, or an active decider, right?

Thank you so much. You teachers are really helpful.
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Dear Jeff_999,

It is perhaps that one ideal is to record the world and another ideal is to interpret the world.

I do not think it is a true antithesis.

Kind regards, Emotion: smile

They are antithetic I’d say. The first ideal tells us the world is objective and the photographer is just a passive observer, while the second one implies that the photographer is rather an active actor. Emotion: smile That's just the way how I see it.