Surely you can agree, though, Dan - that a photograph can still be an 'exact replica' (i.e. deadpan documentary shot) of what's in front of the lens and still be HIGHLY artistic...? I think we're getting into territory here which is HIGHLY dependent on rhetoric to describe it - so I think that's a problem.

I also think that one could say that ANY photograph is, by definition, a denial of an accurate rendition of something. A photograph is always a HIGHLY subjective take on something. I think you can have a photo that has a 'look' that we ASSOCIATE with 'objectivity' or the semantic of scientific photography... but beyond that all you can really do is try to effectively illustrate one or another surface quality of a given subject.