“…as in prose, ‘form’ in photography is reluctant to become ‘content’, and works best when it just barely succeeds in converting its subject into art – that is, when it calls the least attention to itself and lets the almost ‘practical’ meaning of the subject come through.
This is why there are so many pictures made with documentary intent among the masterpieces of photography. But they have become masterpieces by transcending the documentary and conveying something that affects one more than mere knowledge could. The purely descriptive or informative is almost as great a threat to the art in photography as the purely formal or abstract. The photograph as to tell a story if it is to work as art. And it is in choosing and accosting his story, or subject, that the artist-photographer makes the decisions crucial to his art. Everything else – the pictorial values and the plastic values, the composition and its accents – will more or less derive from these decisions.”
Clement Greenberg, in Four Photographers, 1964