Formula 1 and an 'ancient' camera
I think it's fair to say that CG (I still don't like using this term) is a medium that is obsessed with technical fidelity. The software development is seemingly inexorably bent towards capacity, flexibility, and outright power.
One of things a budding lighter will struggle with in 3D is the 'unhinged' nature of rendering. There are no rules, and those that artificially imposed can be easily broken, either intentionally, or accidentally. That is to say, it takes a conscious effort and meticulous application of skill to 'anchor' a 3D environment to at least a basic set of principles or axioms.
A typical bastion of reality is the world of photography, and the edifice of raytracing is more or less predicated in the world of photography, and the physics of light transport algorithms. It's one way of doing things, especially if the objective is photorealism.
But what if it isn't?
I found this article on Airows to be a fascinating example of how even 'photorealism' has a certain breadth of interpretation. There is an intrinsic flexibility in how the world can be seen and therefore captured, even when we are all using very similar hardware (let's say, eye balls). Even moreso, however, that fidelity is not intrinsically synonymous with 'quality', or at least not exclusively. The imperfections of the tool used in this imagery gives birth to a kind of soul, or essence. The flaws that it concedes impart a kind of warmth or honesty to the imagery.
It feels more real than the real thing. At least to my mind. How strange these things are indeed, and how humbling it is to know there is still so much to learn and to experiment with.