My friend Michael Thornton asked about the difference in A Picture or a Photograph... and I thought enough about the question to add my two cents worth.
The difference between a picture, or snapshot, and a photograph lies purely in the intent of the creator. If the image is intended as a mere thumbnail of reality that captures a moment in time that documents the location in its chronological state, then it is a picture.
If the photographer endeavors to create interest beyond the obvious by provoking thought or stimulating passion, then it is a photograph. Imagery is a powerful form of communication, and the key is producing a statement that sends the intended message.
It’s not as easy as it sounds. Visual cognition is subjective, and unlike the spoken word, relies on the viewer’s comprehension and interpretation of form, color, contrast and subject matter.
There is something of a knack to effectively achieving the best results over the broadest range of the intended audience. And while it’s not just a hit or miss operation, experience does tend to dictate what works and what doesn’t.
Photography is more of an art than a science. It is seeing what others might miss, or capturing the underlying essence of what lies before you.
And that’s a powerful tool in the arsenal of communication!