It has been said that a photograph is just a photograph, except when it's a work of art. Photography has, in that sense, become simply another medium of artistic expression. Photographs are in auction houses, galleries and in prominent private collections. According to Matthew Carey-Williams, vice president of contemporary art at Sotheby's New York, "Photography has been the most important medium over the last five to 10 years." Younger collectors in particular are embracing photography for its accessibility and affordability.
In its inception, as the camera obscura, photography functioned as a tool of the artist. Its primary use as a form of documentation, in the first half of the 19th century, assured that photography assumed a dual role both as a record of the moment and as a timeless and resonant form of artistic expression. Many professional photographers today work both commercially and in an artistic format. Common to all is a commitment to the craft, and a sure grasp of the tools at hand. Most photographers follow new developments and technology but are not reluctant to use legacy technology in the expression of their craft.