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Photography as a medium in art has been a constant topic of debate; while many argue its difference of technique as too different from other mediums, those fighting in favor highlight its creative use of light, shadow, color as duly important to its classification as artwork. The flexible boundaries of art and their constant revisions have made photography a new age medium of expression, operating on a fundamentally close level to original artistic mediums. In ‘Reinventing the Medium’, Rosalind E. Krauss mentions how “art and photography first converged in the 1920s, in Soviet photomontage practices and in the dada and then surrealist integration of photography into the very heart of their movements” (Note 1). The photographer’s vision matters and alters the image as much as the painter’s vision; though the subtlety of expression is distinct. Derided earlier for being a technologically-dependent ‘mechanical art’, photography’s aesthetics, especially in the age of social media that we live in, have constantly tried to redefine themselves and operate in a constantly shifting space. Photographic communities, created by both experts and amateurs, began to develop in the mid-19th century, which led to the emergence of photography as an aesthetic medium.

Some were designed to enhance photography in general, while others emphasized only the artistic expression. Along with these organizations, journals also appeared that promoted photography as an art form. As a means of communication and visual presentation, photography has a variety of artistic values. In order to understand, one must first understand the features of the process itself. One of the most important factors is speed. Usually, the recorded image is made up of a lens on the camera. After exposure to light that creates an image, a sensitive object changes its shape, forming a subtle (but distorted) image referred to as ‘negative’, and the image appears to improve and become permanently fixed by ‘hypo’. With modern conveniences, processing can be done quickly, as opposed to earlier when it could be delayed for weeks or months.The essential elements of an image are often established quickly during exposure. This feature is different in photography and distinguishes it from other mediums. Automatic visual recording of the image by giving the process a shared sense of authenticity is present in no other art form. This sense of urgency is what characterizes the photographic image and binds the spectator to it. Similar to Baudrillard’s simulacrum or Roland Barthes’ mythology, Krauss points out how “as a theoretical object, photography assumes the revelatory power to set forth the reasons for a wholesale transformation of art that will include itself in that same transformation”. Walter Benjamin’s condition of the plurality of art, is what prepares photography as a center-stage phenomena today; the idea that art exists as a multiplicity, and not as one, unified theoretical or philosophical construction. Photography as a medium challenges and demands answers to the question of what is ART; the camera brings into focus or takes out of focus what is and isn’t art for those behind the lens. A deeply personal medium, photography tries to tell stories as they are, inadvertently also bringing in the question of portrayal and the idea of performance.