I always believed that photography could stand on its own feet as an art form without needing to emulate painting. The earliest photographers of course only had painting as the measure. Rejlander for example seems to have explicitly set out to replicate the big set piece paintings so beloved of the Victorians.
[An even greater insult is probably 'illustrator' but I'm not going there!]
The art elite however dismiss so called popular culture out of hand - these are amusing commentaries on this tendency. They try to force photography into that same strait jacket by an obsession with limited editions.
Now however the position is different - just as photography freed painting from the need to be representational (if there ever was such a need), the availability of digital imaging now offers the chance for the difference between painting and photography to become largely a distinction based on media - no more than between oils and watercolour.
(The post above originally appeared on Panchromatica Too)
My post (above) about the value of photography as an art form in its own right came back to me as I read this The New York Times piece.
I think I agree with the comment posted here on Fotolog that:
I think originally the size was an entry point to "art photography" market rather than anything else. Galleries need to make the objects, as valuable and noteworthy even aside from any intrinsic pictorial merit. Sales gimmick. So a contrarian will go small and get ahead of the curve.
It makes me wonder if I should spend quite so much time trying to get my digital images up to the larger sizes when I print. Why not print at 10 by 8 or even smaller?