I am reading Program Earth and I think I mentioned this before. But one of the things that I realized from reading the book that is perhaps obvious is that cameras are sensors and photographs are data they are not images.
What does this mean and it is this an important distinction?
A camera, both the original model based on emulsification and the contemporary version based on pixels are sensors. They are indirectly capturing the world, and only by creating additional machine (the dark room/photoshop) can we create and view the product of that sensor. This is different than a painter painting a picture which is a direct action. A painter takes paint and puts it on a surface. He does not create a machine or framework to create a picture.
When I take a picture I decide all sorts of meta details about the picture, what is included and excluded, what is the light or color space. The details are provided as probably light. When I paint a picture I create the details (in addition to the meta details).
Now what does this mean? I have no idea. Most practically it means that cameras and photographs can be used in different ways since they are sensors. What ways are those I am not sure – but I suspect they can be used cybernetically since that is what sensors can do that non-sensors cannot.
Aesthetically, what does this mean? I do not know either.
But Photographs are not images they are sensors, however I still maintain leggings are pants.