Definition of Photography: pho·tog·ra·phy
The art or process of producing images by the action of radiant energy and especially light on a sensitive surface (as film or a CCD chip).
Etymology: From the Greek words phos ("light"), and graphis ("stylus", "paintbrush") or graphí, together meaning "drawing with light" or "representation by means of lines", "drawing".
The man in this picture is engaged in a deep conversation with us. He is saying, "You can see me, but I can also see you. I know you are there, you are looking at me, and I'm aware that you're looking at me. I have left an image of myself for you." He is saying to us, "Allow me to introduce myself," and it's almost as if he is ready to offer us a cup of coffee. By almost any definition, this image is a photograph -- except that, it was done 362 years ago, in 1648. The 362 years that separate us do not exist. This picture seems so real, and is so compelling, I can't look at it without being drawn away from the 21st Century and into 1648. All sense of time is suspended.
More than any other work of art this man has produced, I believe this drawing is his immortality. The drawing is not as famous as most of his other works, and perhaps many people might not even recognize him. But he gazes out at the world, possibly for centures to come, and tells us he was here, he lived, and despite his extraordinary talent, he was just a normal, regular, ordinary person like everyone else -- sitting at his kitchen table, sketching. And in case you don't recognize his signature in the bit of lace curtain at the top of the window, this is Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn.
To me, this picture is an incredible photograph, an immortal snapshot suspended in time.