Camera Ready

Photography not only provided this century with two of the things it likes best--greater realism and superior fantasies--but also showed how deeply entwined they can be. Circa 1900, ambitious photographers aspired to pictures that resembled paintings. Then came modernism, which taught them to rethink the characteristics of their own medium. Sharp focus, accidental arrangements and the just-the-facts stuff that cameras provide became a new path to the supreme fictions of art. Of the pleasures cameras give us, the transfiguration of plain reality is the most indispensable. It implies that the world is more than it seems--which, after all, it may well...

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