Photographs are common now.
It is important to stress, however, that in the early days photography was something wonderful and new.
Once the technology had been perfected, what was this thrilling new medium going to be used for?
The technology, it seemed, preceded the purpose.
(A)For the early pioneers, it was enough to demonstrate that it worked, and that the natural world could be "frozen."
Their photographs didn't tell us much new about the world, other than that it could now be photographed.
(B)Once the novelty wore off, however, photography began to open up a visual world as never before.