Seeing Beyond the Subject

Landscape photographs suffer the fate of being a close enough representation of reality that most viewers never get past the subject of the image to the physical reality of the photograph itself. There's the illusion of a physical location represented in a photograph, then there's the actual two-dimensional object (either a piece of paper coated with varying densities of silver or a projection on an electronic screen), with its own abstract shapes, patterns, textures, and tones. To fully appreciate and experience the entirety of a photograph, I believe we must see it on both levels; as an illusion that tells a story about some other time/place, and as a two-dimensional physical object that exists in the present, with its own reality (and value) separate from the subject it represents.