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 NatureIt 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.
The Toronto photography scene is full of young and upcoming new Canadian photographers, and there are many ways to get involved in this exciting area of Toronto culture. One way is by visiting one of the many photography galleries in Toronto. There are more than 20 of them in the city, including the Christopher Cutts Gallery, Gallery 44, and the Monte Clark Gallery. Many of these double as Toronto photography studios or printing workshops, but also feature work by famous, as well as local photographers. Some even offer photography workshops and classes, such as the IX Gallery in Riverside, which holds such events monthly. Others boast special exhibits of specialty or vintage photography regularly. Analogue Gallery focuses on music photography of famous artists, such as Bob Dylan, Bjork, and the Beatles, while SPORT Gallery focuses on sports photography. Whatever your artistic tastes, Toronto has a photography gallery that you will enjoy.Another way to get involved is by joining the Toronto Camera Club. It was founded over 100 years ago, in 1888, and on its website, claims to be the “oldest camera club in Canada.” Although membership fees for a year are $100 (or $50 for students), membership gets you access to their Toronto photography library and darkroom, the ability to enter their competitions, and the chance to go on club outings. They hold weekly meetings with competitions, weekly lectures, monthly visits to local Toronto photography hotspots, and occasional overnight photography field trips. They also have workshops and training to help you learn new techniques and improve your photography. It’s a great way to get to know other people that love photography and want to have fun too!Finally, go out with your camera and take some pictures! There are lots of great Toronto photography photo opportunities, such as Union Station, Lake Ontario, the many gardens, and the older historic parts of Toronto. Niagara Falls is only an hour and a half drive from Toronto and is perhaps one of the most photographed locations in the world. If you shoot a photograph that you think is particularly good, submit it to one of the Toronto photography galleries that accepts submissions from emerging local artists. Bau-Xi Photo, a relatively new photo gallery, is encouraging new photographers to submit their work. 44 Wide specializes in helping new artists print and exhibit their photography, and even offers discounts to artists who use their printing services.So don’t be shy: Get out there and get involved in the Toronto photography scene! There are lots of great opportunities to admire, learn, and even display your own work.