What Photography is

brainstorming session

Thinking about the question "what photography is?" I started to notice that it isnt just a cut and dry answer, in fact many things will influence how we view the question and our interpretation of it. The dictionary definition is nothing if not very basic, and probably the least helpful definition.

It doesnt take into account anything, other than an extremely blinkered and descriptive view. It would be more appropriate as an answer to the question What is Photography? But that is not what we are looking at, and grammar aside, What photography is? is a completely different question giving rise to a wider, more encompassing range of answers. A more detailed definition is found in 

Whilst this is a much wider definition, taking into account many of the ideas, noted down during the brainstorming session, it again is extremely descriptive, and does not take into consideration the more ephemeral ideas, or artistic considerations of photography. 
For example is photography, the process of taking images, or is it the art of processing those images?, and when processing them making the choice on how long to expose the negative for, or to leave some images out, is that photography or is it an artistic decision, similar to a painter deciding to use green paint instead of blue. Or when you see a selection of images in a book or in a box hidden away for years in the attic. Is that photography? They are certainly the byproduct of the dictionary definition, but are they in themselves a definition of  'photography'