Originally Posted by Maris:
With the proviso that "digital photography" isn't photography at all, it's "digital picture-making"
For thousands of years the only light sensitive surface available was the megapixel sensor lying in the back of the eye that we now call the retina. All realist paintings and drawings start with this megapixel sensor intercepting the real optical image furnished by the eye-lens and cornea. The retina then transduces the image into a data stream that gets stored in memory. This memory is processed in the brain and is finally output in the form of a picture laid down by a mark-making device. The traditional "mark-making device" was a human hand pushing a paint brush or pencil.
Digital picture-making offers an exactly analogous workflow to traditional painting and drawing. The separate roles of lens, megapixel sensor, transducer, data stream, memory, processing, and mark-making device match exactly.
Making pictures out of light sensitive substances, photography in its true sense, is radically different! The photographic sensor is changed by the penetration of light and becomes, in situ, the picture itself. In particular there are no pixels in photography, no transducers, no data streams, no memories, no data processing, and no mark-makers. A photograph bears a physical and indexical relationship to its subject in the same way a footprint in a beach bears a physical and indexical relationship to the foot that made it.
Photography, and indeed fine-art photography, is forever secure if its unique qualities are never muddled with those of drawing, painting, or digital.