Is Photography an Art or Science?

An age old question is whether or not photography is an art or a science.  You can get different answers from different people but there is a case to be made that it is a little bit of both.  Let us look at the art versus science debate when it comes to photography and see where you stand.

Photography is Art

There are lots of people who believe that photography, including modern digital photography is a beautiful way to express emotion and it is a form of art all by itself.  It represents the evolution of not only of photography but of drawing and painting as well.  While the image represents an accurate snapshot of reality it is also like painting in that the image is modified with digital tools to suit the artist.

A picture doesn’t have to be altered to be considered art there is still the artist behind the camera who finds beauty in a subject and turns it into a memorable photograph.  The critics who fall on the “art” side generally agree that because it conveys emotion by using different subjects then it is an art form.

Photography as a Science

The other side of the art versus science debate holds that photography is a science because the artists don’t actually create anything all they do is document something that is already in existence.  Much like someone who records the minutes of a meeting.  While that claim does hold some truth it doesn’t quite capture the essence of photography.

Another reason that some refer to photography as a science is for a couple of reasons.  First is the science behind a camera and the steps that are taken to both take and edit a picture.  There are grounds to refer to photography as a science.

The Paradox of Photography

Photography is far too creative an art to just be a product of science and there may never be a consensus on its nature.  Whether you want to call it art or science really has no bearing on the joy and frustration of the photographer.  Will you appreciate your pictures any less if someone refers to them as a science project?  Modern photography is beautiful and has the ability to evoke all kinds of emotion based on the skill and creativity of the photographer.  Don’t get too caught up in the idea of labels and just appreciate the beauty of a well taken picture.

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