There has always been a lot of debate about photography – that is, how exactly it should be classified. Depending on who you ask, people will either tell you photography is an art or a science.
Why Photography is ‘Art’
Many people believe photography, including digital photography, is a beautiful and unique art form as it allows for emotion to be exquisitely expressed. They see digital photography as a natural evolution of the arts of drawing or painting.
In reality, digital photography is very similar to a painting. Although the original image is an accurate picture of reality, that picture is generally modified using digital tools to reflect the photographer’s thoughts and emotions.
Even digital photos that haven’t been digitally altered are often considered art, simply due to the artistic eye required to find the appropriate subjects for memorable photos.
Those who believe digital photography is an art generally support their stance by saying that the conveyance of emotions through aesthetics makes photography an art form.
Case for ‘Science’
On the other end of the spectrum, a number of camera experts believe photography is a science since it is merely a documentation of something that already exists – not a product of a painter’s mind. This can be a very hard stance to argue, as photographs aren’t made but taken.
Another integral argument for digital photography being science is that any editing or photo taking done by photographers can be traced to a series of scientific steps. In a nutshell, there seems to be a certain consistency surrounding photography that renders it a science.
Photography’s True Nature
It seems as though photography, now as much as ever, remains somewhat a paradox. Not quite a true art, far more artistic than an actual science, it seems as though people will never come to a real consensus concerning its nature.
Perhaps, like most forms of aesthetic expression, digital photography as an art may be simply in the eye of the beholder. Because no one can argue that photography has the ability to convey emotion or take your breath away.
That being said, regardless of the beauty of a photograph, the process of getting to that end point remains virtually the same – the product of a fixed set of processes that must be recognized as scientific rather than inherently artistic.