Photography and “Reality”

In the hierarchy of plastic and visual arts, photography has historically been placed at that nebulous bottom, perhaps because it has been used in service to the historical document since its inception. Photographs were supposed to “capture” reality. We use the expression “black and white” to define an either/or about reality, even though the photographic image is a translation of a world of color into tones of grey. When color was introduced it was defiled because it was “too real” .  But what is “reality” anyway? And what does it have to do with vision?