If prices at auctions are anything to go by, it is not until relatively recently that photographic images have been treated as art objects in the same category as other more historically accepted media. This is even more true of the snapshot; once mainly a prosaic way for the family to record their daily lives, it has now achieved an aesthetic legitimacy because, not in spite of, its lo-fi quality.

Opponents of modern and contemporary art on the grounds that there is a lack of technique or craftsmanship have even more to complain about when it comes to photography. After all, what could be easier than just pressing a shutter button? Naonori Oshima’s exhibition at Tokyo’s Photographers’ Gallery is exemplary in showing that it’s not the camera, or even the subject matter, that makes the photo — it’s the person behind it.

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