Something else that I think is rather interesting to go along with this topic is to consider the kind of people a field/hobby such as photography can attract. Not everyone is here purely for the artwork that they can create. For some of us the focus of our interest is actually something more technical.
The things that draw me to photography are optics, mechanics, and digital image processing. Similar to what draws me to astronomy. In astronomy I really don't care what is out there, they could be balls of cheese no more than an AU away from us, but I would still want to build and design telescopes and related equipment to get better images of those balls of cheese, and work at ways to better map and track them. Why would I? Because they're out there, and I enjoy working with the tools.
For photography, while I do want to improve my skill and capture great images, it isn't the main driving point. Actually, the next time I plan to take out my camera is for this weekend, when I hope to be able to demonstrate an example of the double slit experiment that proved light travels as a wave. I'm also curious as to what happens if I try placing a water drop (Or series of water drops) in the path of the light.
Canon EOS 7D | EF 28 f/1.8 | EF 85 f/1.8 | EF 70-200 f/4L | EF-S 17-55 | Sigma 150-500