They say that photography is suited for those, who lack the artistic ability to become painters. With the same type of logic you could say that foorball is for people who aren't tall enough for basketball. It's a differend game. So is photography and so is painting. Yes, photography means painting with light and a ball is used both in football and basketball. So whats the difference? This has the potential for a book, at least volume-wise. That's because there are so many different styles and techniques both in painting and photography. And because actually they can be combined. Photography was created relatively soon while painting has been there since cavemen. To me the main difference is that in photography you have a lens. In painting the lens is you. Yes there is viewing angle, perspective, distortion and all the physical properties of a lens that can be related to any real world-ish painting. But the world as we see it directly through the eyes is different from the way we see it with a lens, because the image we create with our eyes usually is heavily manipulated by the brain - focus stacking, hdr, motion panorama, perspective correction, healing brush (you don't see your nose bit it's there). All that happpens with every single image we put in our memory bank. Beautiful, licence free and powerfull inbuilt Photoshop. But that is merely one of the tools we are given by whom created us. And it's not the mind too. It's the creative potential that lies beneath that bio-cybertech we call "mind". It's both mind-full and mind-less as it was also created first. It is what created us, so it's before anything else. And that is our inner painter. No camera or lens could see what our eyes, mind and creative power within can create. Then why bother with photography at all? What is it good for? Weddings and vacations? Take a series of photos of one person and you will see their expression is different. Take a few photos of a natural lansacape or a sunset and the picture changes dramatically over minutes. Here's one of the things you can do in photography and that is to capture the moment. Maybe that fascination of the magic of the moment has influenced my style a lot. That and the quick ability to change perspective. The result is instantly seen in the viewfinder and it takes just a little more felxibility of the mind to see things from a different angle.
But that doesn not explain fully the difference between photography and painting. From my point of view there is one major difference between both and that is in the process of making. Painting and sculpture are tactile - you use your hands to apply the driectly to the artistic surface with your fingers, a brush, a knife or whatever tool is used. But in photography the process of creation is mostly conducted through the eyes and brain directly and facilitated indirectly by the tool - a camera. That doesn't take away from either but sets a major difference in the way the process goes. We as human beings have inherent bodily inteligence that we can apply only through movement and tactile feedback / proprioception. My thinking is, you can actually apply much of that to photography. How ? Well let your creativity guide you. Dance, move in an organic way so to facilitate your own process. Play it out if you will. And don't forget to warn the other people participating in the process. You could also use props, water, wind and fire. Take breath control and posture - even that matters in photography. You can allow yourself some CameraSutra for the sake of getting the angle and stability you desire. There is no right or wrong beyond the camera controls and boring theory. And by this Photography both differs and is the same as painting and sculpture. It's not a matter if you use your body and the consciousness of it, it's the way you do it.