A short time ago a new record was set for the most money paid for a photograph. It was Andreas Gursky's "Rhine II"; here are a couple of articles about it and the Wikipedia entry. When I saw it, I thought nothing more than "how ridiculous" and moved on with my life. I'm sure my take on the price tag hasn't changed, but apparently it had more impact on me than I realized.
This break I headed up to Michigan's Upper Peninsula to go the Porcupine Mountains for a couple days. I discovered that several of the shots I took were influenced by "Rhine II". I knew it when I was taking them, not exactly how I was being influenced, but I knew the shot I was taking was a result of having seen that photograph. I guess that makes it art, right? It had a lasting influence and apparently, if only to a small degree, changed how I saw the world; is that not the criteria? Anyway, here are a few shots (click to expand) that I took as a result.
That last one is my favorite. And here's one that wasn't influenced by it at all, just for kicks and giggles.