Do the technical aspects of a photograph automatically detract from the artistic/aesthetic aspects? I almost think they do. I've always said that photography is both an art and a skill. And I'm more of a "technician".... there's not much I can't do to a high level technically, advanced lighting/studio/product/macro/action/etc/etc. But IMHO, it often/usually lacks in artistry/vision, at least to some extent. It's kind of like how I can also build a guitar from scratch and play all of the chords/notes, but I have no musical "talent." I do think that images always have some degree of both aspects. But when viewing/creating an artistic/aesthetic image the technical aspects have to be judged w/in that context. I.e. it's not a question of "is it sharp?" It's a question of "is it sharp enough?" The question "is it properly exposed?" becomes the question "does the exposure suit the mood/message?" The question "is there noise?" becomes "does the noise hurt, or even help the image?" And so-on... One thing I can say with near certainty: If you focus only on the technical it WILL inhibit/detract from the artistic. It's kind of like trying to bring out the details in a foggy scene... as the details/sharpness increase, the mood/feeling is destroyed. I guess it kind of correlates with the photographer's learning curve.