The capacity to freeze detail with negligible labor remained a lauded feature of nineteenth-century photography for scientific illustration…. Very soon, however, another argument was advanced in favor of photographs as a distinct scientific medium.  The automatism of the photographic process promised images fee of human interpretation—objective images, as they came to be called.

 

Lorraine Daston and Peter Galison, Objectivity, Zone Books, 2010, p. 130-1