It has taken me a long time to see this, and you can laugh at me if you like. But here goes.
Photography is the serious art of our time. It also happens to be the most accessible and democratic way of making art that has ever been invented. But first, let's define photography.
A photograph is an image captured on film, paper or – most commonly now – in digital memory. Photography also includes moving images captured on film or video. Moving or still, we all know a photograph is not a pure record of the visual world: it can be edited and transformed in infinite ways.
Moving or still, and however it is taken, whether by pinhole camera or phone, the photographic image is the successor to the great art of the past. It is in pictures by Don McCullin or films by Martin Scorsese that we see the real old master art of our time. Why? Because photography relishes human life. The greatness of art lies in human insight. What matters most is not the oil paints Rembrandt used, but his compassion. Photography is the quickest, most exact tool ever invented to record our lives and deaths.