I recently saw this question on the website 500px and immediately wondered why someone would even ask it. The question wreaked of preconceptions.
It’s as if the questioner was, but somehow wasn’t, conscious of the fact that each word is partially comprised of the term “photo.” I wondered whether or not the questioner assumed that photography was some type of grail that would be tarnished by being associated with consciously constructed images. What could be wrong with allowing photomontage to simply be a subset of photography? Isn’t a photograph in and of itself a constructed image? What if I were to cut-and-paste paper images together and then photograph the results – what would that be called? It’s a montage that’s been photographed. My god, what have I done! Have I violated a sacred separation of art forms?
I then realized that if photography could be photomontage, vice versa could equally be true. So, problem solved. But the motive behind questions like this always seems to be a desire to protect the status quo. In my mind, the primary goal of any art form is not to preserve itself, rather it’s to give rise to a multitude of art forms to follow just as one thought gives rise to another. Maybe the more important issue for the questioner to understand is why and how his concern doesn’t even matter.