Friday, 24 April 2009

Between reason and emotion

Another interesting post at the Landscapist recently on the distance between science and art. I see the point but I think intellectual pursuits are more of a continuum than that.

As an engineer I see a good fit with photography, and see them as something of the middle ground.

Engineering is a very practical science - it's about getting things done or made. But it is still based on scientific principles and the scientific method. However, theory needs practice and data are rarely complete, let alone perfect and time is limited. Experience and judgement are a large part of good engineering practice.

In a similar vein, I think photography treads a middle path between the empiricism of science and the subjectivity of art. Photographs depict precisely what they see, in all bitter detail. But then there is the imperfection of point of view, crop, focus. These are it's interpretistic nature. We can practice photography in a strictly literal, scientific way, or highly subject. It may be suggestive or explicit. But never is it entire one way or the other.

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