Is Photography Art Or Science?

So is photography considered art or science? There hasn’t really been a consensus about this, but there are generally two kinds of thoughts when it comes to this –

(1) Photography is an EXACT SCIENCE.


It comprises of a known set quantitative values for each and every parameter during the exposure of the image. Shutter speed, aperture, exposure value, focus distance, focal length, light output, fill-in factor, etc.

(2) Photography is an ABSTRACT ART.


Everything is about quality, not quantity. Hard light or soft light, warm tone or cool tone, high-key or low-key, sharp focus, or soft focus, and a whole list of other qualities that I can’t even imagine how to describe here…

Well?… Which exactly is it?…

The way I look at it, there’s truth in both of these claims. Being schooled in the scientific environment, I was brought up to think that it’s all about science. But as I progressed in this profession, I was tempted to look to the other side of the curtain. There, I learnt that there are certain qualities of “good” images that can’t be explained by science. Images that are intentionally underexposed to bring up sombre mood, cool lighting tone to instill some spine chilling experience, etc. In essence, some of these “technically wrong” images are actually quite good too.

What makes a good photo… Well?… Good?…

There is no right or wrong answer to this question. The path of enlightenment actually lies in the grey area, sitting smack right in the middle of the thinly and vaguely drawn line. A correctly framed and exposed image may be spot-on when it comes to the quantitative values. But nobody can help it if it’s of a boring image… Likewise, a blurred or underexposed image could instill some sense of mystery to the image. So, after many years in this industry, I’ve started to develop a keen sense of art to compliment my scientific skill when it comes to cooking up an image, before actually taking a camera to it.

A human being has five senses. Make full use of them all when composing an image…

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