So I'm in a rather heated exchange over on dpreview regarding the technical aspects of not just photography, but art in general. The exchange deals with that if a photograph or piece of art doesn't meet some technical criteria, that the image can't be good. Keep in mind that the image(s) that are up for debate are not my own. I don't want to post the thread either because I want to discuss this in more general terms. I guess some questions that I'd like to ask are: Does a photograph have to be technically be good to be...good? Are opinions regarding the coherance to technical correctness always right? That technical correctness(or the opinion of conformity to) is right and a differing opinion is wrong? What makes a "rule" or "technical aspect" in photography just that? What makes that aspect of photography something that we as photographers should conform to? Is this something written in stone? There is a school of thought that says images that don't meet some technical criteria aren't good. This school of thought also says that this "opinion" on technical conformity is not up for discussion, that someone else's opinion on the image or opinion on technical conformity are wrong. This same school of thought says that since established artist, photographers, or those with doctorates create these "absolutes", that there are right and wrong opinions about a piece of work. Now, to my opinions on this. One of the reasons I like photography and art is that I always felt (according to above I am wrong) that there weren't absolutes. I'm a science and math guy, and I deal with absolutes everyday. Art and photography is a break away from absolutes. In my own humble opinion, art is always up for discussion. Art is always moving. The context of a photograph 50 years ago may have a different view today. I don't believe that there is some measuring stick we put art up against. Even in science, ideas are always out there and don't always follow the rules. I've always felt that photography was like cooking. There are recipes for a dish, just like there are rules to photography. Just because I used regular black pepper in a white cream sauce( most books say use white pepper in white sauces ) doesn't make the dish bad, does it? Does the failure of a technical aspect invalidate the art? Is the opinion of conformity to these aspects of art always right? Thoughts?