Many would accurately claim that we're in an astounding photo-based evolution at the moment, one that's fervent and urgent and highly creative. People carry cameras everywhere they go nowadays, and the resulting snapshot may be viewed, and shared widely, in an instant. Thus calling a major and long-running exhibition, one that celebrates and examines photography in its myriad forms, "important" only tells part of the story. The larger story is this: Visually capturing an instant is here to stay, and how. Celebrating photos in all of their forms, from centuries ago and today, is what photo l.a. does so well. And the 26-year-running image extravaganza is back, from Jan. 12 through 15, to celebrate photographers as well as stage a host of panels, tours, and oodles of amazing snaps.