The secondary Imagination I consider as an echo of the former, co-existing with the conscious will, yet still as identical with the primary in the kind of its agency, and differing only in degree, and in the mode of its operation. It dissolves, diffuses, dissipates, in order to recreate: or where this process is rendered impossible, yet still at all events it struggles to idealize and to unify. It is essentially vital, even as all objects (as objects) are essentially fixed and dead.
The tradition of portrait painting, to embellish or idealize the subject, remains the aim of everyday and of commercial photography, but it has had a much more limited career in photography considered as art. Generally speaking, the honors have gone to the Cordelias.Susan Sontag