The text is saying that photography is a thing itself, meaning that the world around us is art. In order to clearly appreciate the beauty of the world, intelligence is required to treasure it. The difference between reality and a picture is that a picture can be modified according to the photographer and cannot fully reflect reality. But a picture would never lie because even under alterations, whatever the camera saw would be more of the truth than the human eye. The human eye can be damaged according to each individual and can distort images sent to the brain, so a camera is a better way to fully capture reality and survive.