Take a look at that woman: http://www.lisesarfati.com/index.shtml
Her pictures also could look like banal flickr uploads, but they aren't really.
You look at a pic out of a context and because it looks banal, the "I could do it" or my "sister in law could do it", doesn't give it any value.
It is not, or never the pic itself.
Everybody can do a black dot on a white canvas, therefore it should not be considered as art. But this is not, and never has been what art is about.
In fact it depends on who is doing it, why (the intention), how and the relevance in the context it appears.
Lise Sarfati is not one more flickr photographer because behind her imagery, there is a severe reflection on social codes, there is an conscient intention and repetitive investigation
on the same content. Those are not pictures without purpose, but carefully planed working path.
Then, I do not understand why it is so shocking that an image can be bought at an high price, wether it is a speculative intention or a real emotional response from a wealphy buyer, and it looks
more normal that people are actually buying Diamonded Leicas or Ferraris Hasselblads collectors.
Those people, like Gursky, rarely take pictures for taking pictures.
By the way, a quick meditation if I may: I've noticed that the more talented photographers I ever met, never take their cameras without a clear intention. They generally do not shot out of their work and generally have a precise idea about in what their work consist of.
Completly the opposite of the "I shootitall" nervous culture we are living in.
The definition of art, and the value of art can not be limited to what appears to one "correct" or "real art", like it happens in religion. There is no "real" art as such. And there is no logical monetary value, therefore it can be speculative, and it does very often.
So, if you you take that Gursky image, take a ruler, you'll see that the composition obeys to a fractal pattern and that the distribution of the h lines matches excatly without any centimeter error, to a mathematical and geometrical proportional scale. This is so precise that it can not be without purpose. Bingo.
It's not, I take my camera, wait for the sunrise to get a decent light and may have a printable pic on my Epson_. This is something else...