Wednesday, July 24th, 2019

Art or Science: the True Nature of Digital Photography

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What is the true nature of digital photography? Many people have been asking this question for a long time. In fact, when people ask the question about the true nature of digital photography, they often mean to ask whether it is art or it is science.

Here are some arguments for both sides:

A) Art – many people consider digital photography as an art because it allows for an expression of emotion. They believe that digital photography is a continuation of the art of drawing or painting. You see, digital photography is just like painting in the sense that although it does take accurate pictures of reality, it also allows for some modification through the various digital tools available today.

Even without the editing many people still believe that digital photography is art because of the fact that it does take an artist’s eye to find a great subject of digital photography. The nature of digital photography as an art has something to do with the fact that an artist is able to express emotions and statements through visual subjects.

The supporters of the “artistic nature of digital photography” also argue their case by stating its ability to convey emotional messages through aesthetics. The beauty of each photograph, of course, needs also to be credited to the person taking the pictures. One of the strongest arguments for the artistic nature of digital photography is the fact that the picture is rarely really what is seen with the naked eye. Through the camera and computer, a person can alter the image in order to present what he or she wants to show.

B) Science – some people argue that science is the true nature of digital photography. One argument is that photography, unlike painting, actually comes from something existing and not from a painters mind or emotion. This can be very persuasive since, indeed, a photographer does not actually make photographs. He or she merely takes them.

Another argument regarding the scientific nature of digital photography is the fact that the editing that people do and adjustments that photographers make are based on a series of steps that can be narrowed down scientifically. People who argue for the scientific nature of digital photography may reason that the same series of steps can be taken in order to achieve the same results. There is a certain quality of constancy about digital photography that renders it a science.

But what is the true nature of digital photography? We have read the various arguments supporting science and art. There appears to be no solution to this question, right?

The true nature of digital photography will always remain to be a paradox. This means that though it can be considered as an art, it can also be considered as a science. When is the paradox of the nature of digital photography solved? Well, it is solved when a person takes a digital photograph.

The true nature of digital photography lies in the hands of the person who takes the pictures. The way a person treats the process defines the nature of digital photography for him or her. It is not absolutely art nor is it absolutely science. The true nature of digital photography is a paradox. It might seem to be contradictory, but it is somehow true.


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Where there is no vision, the people perish.
Proverbs 29:18

The earth is the LORD’s and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for he founded it upon the seas and established it upon the waters.
Psalm 24:1-2

He makes springs pour water into the ravines; it flows between the mountains. They give water to all the beasts of the field; the wild donkeys quench their thirst. The birds of the air nest by the waters; they sing among the branches. He waters the mountains from his upper chambers; the earth is satisfied by the fruit of his work.
Psalm 104:10-13

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?
Matthew 6:26

How many are your works, O LORD! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. There is the sea, vast and spacious, teeming with creatures beyond number living things both large and small.
Psalm 104:24-25

Sometimes I do get to places just when God’s ready to have somebody click the shutter.
Ansel Adams

When you photograph people in colour you photograph their clothes. But when you photograph people in B&W, you photograph their souls!
Ted Grant

While there is perhaps a province in which the photograph can tell us nothing more than what we see with our own eyes, there is another in which it proves to us how little our eyes permit us to see.
Dorothea Lange

When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.
Ansel Adams

Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.
Henri Cartier-Bresson

You don’t take a photograph, you make it.
Ansel Adams

Beauty can be seen in all things, seeing and composing the beauty is what separates the snapshot from the photograph.
Matt Hardy

Nothing happens when you sit at home. I always make it a point to carry a camera with me at all times…I just shoot at what interests me at that moment.
Elliott Erwitt

Which of my photographs is my favorite? The one I’m going to take tomorrow.
Imogen Cunningham

You’ve got to push yourself harder. You’ve got to start looking for pictures nobody else could take. You’ve got to take the tools you have and probe deeper.
William Albert Allard

If I saw something in my viewfinder that looked familiar to me, I would do something to shake it up.
Garry Winogrand

I always thought good photos were like good jokes. If you have to explain it, it just isn’t that good.
Anonymous

Twelve significant photographs in any one year is a good crop.
Ansel Adams

It can be a trap of the photographer to think that his or her best pictures were the ones that were hardest to get.
Timothy Allen

 


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