A photograph of a canyon in Arizona set the record on Tuesday for the most expensive image sold.
Peter Lik’s black and white photo of Antelope Canyon, titled “Phantom,” was sold to an unidentified private collector for $6.5 million, according to The Phoblographer.
Lik, a landscape and nature photographer from Australia, has shot four of the 20 most expensive photos in the world.
"The purpose of all my photos is to capture the power of nature and convey it in a way that inspires someone to feel passionate and connected to the image," he said, according to PR NewsWire.
The private buyer also purchased two other masterworks from Lik: "Illusion" for $2.4 million and "Eternal Moods" for $1.1 million.
The Guardian’s Jonathan Jones scoffed at the auction, writing in a column: "Photography is not an art. It is a technology.” He says to look it up online, where a vast trove of photos showing the same natural features can be accessed.
“They are all just as striking as ‘Phantom,’” Jones wrote. “The photographer has added nothing of any value to what was there already.”
He adds: “Someone has been very foolish with their money, mistaking the picturesque for high art.”
A quick search for “Phantom” on eBay brings up plenty of results for Lik’s works. The photo has also been printed in color with the title, “Ghost.”