Comparing Photography and Digital Art

It’s a strange idea, I know, to compare photographs with illustrations, but I had the idea and ran with it, and this article is the end result!

I have tried to find photographs and illustrations with similar or identical themes. Of course, the illustrator has a freer hand – anything they choose can be included in the illustration, whereas the photographer has to either set up the shot or take opportunistic shots which are not flexible in terms of content.

Here are 10 photographs with 10 corresponding illustrations – see what you think!

Comparing Photography and Digital Art


Photograph: Waterlily


Illustration: Flowers



Photograph: Lemontini


Illustration: Lemon Splash

Lemon Splash

Oriental Girl

Photograph: Oriental Girl

Oriental Girl

Illustration: Daydreamer


Hair Adornment

Photograph: Natural History

Natural History

Illustration: Red Earth

Red Earth

Buddhist Monk

Photograph: Novice


Illustration: Golden



Photograph: Gnome


Illustration: Sad Gnome

Sad Gnome


Photograph: Kiss


Illustration: Kiss of Love

Kiss of Love

Eating Grapes

Photograph: Enjoying the Grapes

Enjoying the Grapes

Illustration: Bunch


At the Station

Photograph: SKC-Train


Illustration: Hua Lamphong Station

Hua Lamphong Station

Elisha Cuthbert

Photograph: Elisha Cuthbert Wallpaper

Elisha Cuthbert Wallpaper

Illustration: Elisha Cuthbert

Elisha Cuthbert

So what do you think? Photography or illustration? Of course, there is really no comparison – they are different mediums usually aiming at different results, but it was a fun project to compare a few examples!

Please leave any comments below.


I love using and learning Photoshop, and I also enjoy creating resources to share with the world. I am at my happiest when I have free time to further explore all that Photoshop has to offer and learn more about its powerful built-in tools. I hope people enjoy either using or learning from my free resources, and welcome any hints and tips - and of course, if you would like to offer a free resource on this site, please don't hesitate to contact me (top right of the page).

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