I'm at the NGV viewing a photography exhibition (black and white, early 20th century) and it strikes me that there are two determinants of the photograph's 'respectability': the framing and the level of effort or technical skill involved in the photo's creation. I say this because in this age of easy-to-use/produce digital photography, a modern photo bearing similar 'artistic' qualities to that of the 20th century photos doesn't occupy the same exalted level of credibility or status simply because of the comparatively effortless process of producing the modern digital photo.
This 'demotion' in rank is compounded if the modern digital black-and-white photo isn't haloed within a frame, preferably of a sombre wood construction. Oh, and having plenty of white or off-white space between the photo and the frame (to let the photo 'breathe' you see) is a necessary element of credible art photography.
Frame any image and its rating on the 'credibility-o-meter' jumps up a few notches.