AI has been the buzzword for a few months, and it’s certainly on the mind of every professional photographer right now. Photographers have reason to feel concerned with image generation improvements happening in leaps and bounds. We contacted many photographers to gather their thoughts about Artificial Intelligence and its impact on photography.
Simply put, AI has exploded onto the scene of almost every professional field today. And photography hasn’t been left unimpacted by the alarmingly fast progress of AI algorithms in the image generation field. AI usage in post-processing software has been around for some years now. But it hasn’t been until late last year or so that photographers began to take notice of AI algorithms creating (somewhat) lifelike visuals. For a while, deep fakes of Hollywood stars started getting traction on social media. Now, a whole set of artists and camera users have dipped themselves completely into image generation with tools such as DALL-E and MidJourney. And they seem to think that these are photographs and keep referring to themselves as photographers. Here at The Phoblographer, we still refuse to term these AI creations as photographs, despite the kinds of headlines they continue to make.
You, me, and a whole bunch of other professionals have indeed wondered where this is all going. Will AI replace the need for pro photographers in the years to come? I certainly don’t think so. If that were the case, why are we still around when 3D generation software is so good these days? Likewise, I don’t see a day when our skills are entirely replaced by AI. Much like how robots and assembly line workers still work together in factories, the key is understanding AI and how we can best use it. Can AI get out of control if unregulated? Possibly, and AI experts and evangelists have stated as much. Even if we’re still a long way from this, AI today is either hated or loved in our industry.
We got in touch with many photographers we’d featured previously on our site to hear what they thought about AI. Most of them had similar thoughts about AI-generated images but differed on other AI-related topics. But all of them had valid concerns about the rate of the increasing influence of AI in photography today. Click on their profile pics in this article to be linked to their earlier interviews with us. I asked all photographers the same set of questions:
Q1. What are your thoughts on AI images that are generated using algorithms? Do you consider them as photographs or not?
Q2. Is AI usage in imaging software alright? Will AI end up doing all our editing for us, or will it just be a tool to aid in post-processing?
Q3. Are photography jobs and gigs at risk because of the rise of AI imaging?
Q4. Would you say that AI in photography is here to stay, or it will be phased out in the years to come?
Table of Contents
By definition, AI-generated imagery is not photography. I would rather consider it as artwork in another form. And I WOULD consider it artwork – as I don’t consider producing artwork inherently human; there is artwork everywhere and most of it we did not create. Humans created MidJourney, it is an extension of our vision and our creativity and can only operate within the specifications we’ve defined – in that sense, it’s just a very fancy paintbrush still held by human hands.
Photograph – the word’s loose translation is, write with light. Whether done with a pinhole camera or mirrorless, if what I’m viewing was written with light captured by a camera, then to me, it’s a photograph. I’m pretty old school, so if it didn’t come from a camera with light-sensitive material, it’s not a photograph. I have seen some digital artists use AI to create something from nothing, quite beautiful. That to me is not a photograph but is most definitely art.
AI has been involved in our editing software for a long time! It’s just that now you can grab elements that one has not created, and insert them into your photograph. Having always gone by the standards established in photojournalism, AI crosses the line. I use Masking in ACR which is AI. You still have to drive, it just takes us the course. Will AI do all the editing for us? Only if we push the button telling it to do so. Photography to me is more than that final image you might see. It’s about experiencing the world, telling the wonder I see, and using a camera in being a visual storyteller.
I know my job is not at risk, my gigs aren’t going away. I am a photographer, and the whole world knows it. AI is only at work if one pushes the button. Computers haven’t taken over our lives or the world, yet. AI has already been around much longer than photographers are aware of, much longer! It is a tool like any tool, it depends on the user whether it’s a good or bad thing. But phased out, that I doubt.
I think it’s harmless to use AI to create ‘what-ifs’ for fun, but it still bothers me because it’s hard to tell the difference between what is real and what’s fake. I find it problematic to label AI-generated imagery as real photography or art. Levi’s for example, recently used AI photography to generate ‘more diversity’ rather than hiring real models. For me, this brings up topics of AI race-fishing, among others. I don’t like the idea of a white editor and a large corporation using AI to generate fake people of color for a modeling campaign.
I don’t mind AI when it comes to helping with post-processing. Sometimes, it’s nice to have someone else make a mask for you. However, I don’t like that this threatens to eliminate the job of a human retoucher– especially as AI technology further advances. I don’t think a photograph that’s been heavily altered by AI can really be labeled as a photograph anymore, but it can still look really cool, and I respect that. However, I do feel like there is a difference between a photograph and a digital composite, in the first place. The lack of human touch personally doesn’t sit right with me, and it feels more like a generated composite, based on other found imagery.
I understand that the world changes– like when cinema was replaced with Netflix. I also understand that for someone who maybe cannot afford a professional photoshoot, camera, or something along those lines, it’s more financially efficient to use AI software. However, this is problematic to me because it not only encourages people to take away human interaction and not hire a photographer, but it also diminishes a photographer’s services by making the job seem easier or unnecessary. I’m not afraid of this becoming the norm any time soon, but it is definitely possible in the future. I think AI will stay but develop into all sorts of other types of things. I’m not sure what, but I think it will become a part of many social media apps.
AI-generated images are AI-generated images. They are not photographs. They can be defined as digital art, in the loosest terms perhaps, but not photographs. I still define a photograph as an image of an object in physical space where its light rays are refracting through a lens medium and reaching a sensor/film. A photograph must be captured in the real world, at the very least its foundation. It must be the starting point. Although even that definition is starting to be heavily debated since AI is taking from images that have been taken from the real world. This is quite an interesting time.
AI usage in image editing software will be in the same space as digitally editing photos now. It’s similar to “manual” mode to “auto” mode, where the efficiency of processes will be more streamlined, but it’s still digital editing. This debate of whether a photograph still remains one has been going on since the transition from analog to digital photos. It will continue with the current discourse of AI. Seems like the whole world has generally accepted digital photographs as photographs, and talks about heavily altering the images and removing the authenticity of the photo have been going on for many years now. I won’t say what’s right or wrong, I’m just stating that this theme is not new, and AI will not change that. Synonymous with people using the term “Google it” to search things, people have been saying things are “photoshopped” to say it was altered, even if Photoshop wasn’t used. Will editing change the definition of what is a photograph? I think AI’s integration into editing will be a continued part of this discourse, but we shouldn’t be too resistant to it.
Photography jobs will be at risk, but they’ve been at risk since the advent of real good cell phone photography. To be honest, the risk is there, but the pool and medium get bigger. We fear the loss of jobs in various sectors of the workforce due to AI, but job losses have always been around. Technologies that enable productivity have been around and replaced the markets. Again, I’m not saying that’s a good or bad thing, but that it’s happened time and time again. Photography jobs will be no different. I feel like corporations will find ways to cut costs no matter what, that is the point of corporations – drive maximum profit for minimum operating cost. It motivates me to continue being an artist and doing whatever I feel makes me feel alive. I sit on that as my foundation because it can be quite demoralizing to lose gigs, but the root cause is not AI, it’s the people who choose or prefer to make decisions and use whatever tools they see works cheaper or better for them.
Currently, I’ve been messing around with how to better use it for my own needs whether it’s in editing, analyzing images, mood boards, or other parts of the workflow. I will wait until I’ve studied things further to see where they fit. The main joy in photography for me though is going out, and photographing people in various places around the world. Connecting with people in various communities or a portrait/fashion setting, that’s where I find joy in photography. Creating art in general is where I find myself in love. AI should not prevent me from doing that, and I hope that it only further enhances the process. In the grander scheme of AI things, we do need to pay attention. AI will have changed every fabric of our technological world, like cell phones, social media, and the advent of the internet to society. You don’t have to completely adopt everything or follow all the doom, but definitely, pay attention.
Photographs are traditionally created by capturing light through a camera & lens, It involves the photographer capturing reality. AI-generated images, on the other hand, are computer-generated and do not involve the physical capture of light. So I do not consider them as photographs.
I don’t believe AI will completely take over all editing tasks, but it can definitely speed up the post-production process. AI tools can be valuable in tasks ranging from culling to removing spots and blemishes, making the editing workflow more efficient. I view AI as a tool that aids in post-processing rather than a replacement for human involvement. It can assist photographers in automating certain tasks and enhancing the editing process, but the final creative decisions and artistic vision should still come from the photographer. Personally, I am not in favor of using AI for creating composites or heavy manipulation. If AI is heavily employed in editing to the extent that it significantly alters the original content or introduces elements that were not present in the scene, I would consider that as AI-generated rather than a traditional photograph.
To some extent, I see AI affecting photography jobs. With advancements in AI imaging, certain tasks that were traditionally performed by photographers, such as basic editing or retouching, can be automated, potentially reducing the demand for those specific roles. However, capturing authentic moments and reality can never be replaced by AI. Despite the rise of AI imaging, there will always be a demand for photographers because they offer more than just technical skills. They bring their artistic vision, expertise in composition, lighting, and their ability to connect with subjects, all of which contribute to the creation of meaningful and impactful photographs. Clients who value these qualities and the human element in photography will continue to hire photographers for their projects.
I don’t consider them photographs. I think they are a separate category of visual arts. In order to skillfully create images as we have imagined them, we also need to acquire a lot of technical skills and develop ourselves in writing so-called prompts. I believe that AI tools offer wonderful opportunities to translate words into images, but they are not comparable to the artistic means we have known so far. They will gain supporters as well as opponents, with the rest, like any other technique.
We must remember that even in analog photography, retouching used to be done with a pencil or brush. The world is moving forward, and tools are improving the way we do our work. I believe that a true creator, not a reproducer, will still want to have an impact on the result and will want to be able to control it as much as possible. At the moment, artificial intelligence used skillfully in a fraction of a second can perform an action that photographers previously would have had to spend long hours on using other tools. For real creators, it will always remain just a tool.
There are areas of photography that are already being heavily improved by the use of AI, and separate positions for AI specialists are also being created, but I think there is no better combination than a photographer who learns the new technology and knows how to use its full potential. However, I think that certain genres of photography, especially those used commercially, can be replaced by generating images through AI, such as photography for the e-commerce field or stock photos, due to the lower cost, time-consuming or easy customization of graphics for the client’s requirements. AI has developed extremely quickly, conversations about ethical use have only just begun, and the law has not kept up with the innovations that are coming at a rapid pace. Some programs were learning from images to which they had no rights. I also suspect that AI-based tools will be created that will be able to tell whether it is a real photograph or an AI-generated graphic, but will also be able to point out parts of the photograph that have been modified during editing.
While I don’t consider AI images developed solely from prompts to be photography, I do consider those that are developed in concert with one’s own photography to be photographs, in much the same way as I would if they were developed in Lightroom with AI tools. I think it’s important to start with a camera or lens-based image in order to call it photography. What happens afterward is the development of that image in the direction your vision takes you.
AI in image software has been there all along with Photoshop and Lightroom, it’s just that it’s improving exponentially. As long as the photographer still has choices and can bend the software to accomplish their vision, I think it’s an expression of creativity. That being said, I think there are many that might rely too heavily on the software and not necessarily exert their own ideas. When “the machine” is responsible for the creative end, it’s no longer personal expression.
There is no way that this won’t diminish the need for photographers. It’s just going to be so cost-effective that companies and creative directors will opt in to get more control over their images and save a tremendous amount in the process. I think it’s here to stay and will be both a blessing and a curse. On one side allowing us great tools to work with and on the other side diminishing the need for photographers. However, I think for photo-based artists like myself, AI will not be an issue as the more we see AI, the more the art market will gravitate towards the unique and handmade in order to present something of value to collectors.
MidJourney and other AI, this is a big step forward. They have been in our life for a long time, they greatly facilitate it, and in the future, they will integrate even more into our lives. I have a positive attitude towards AI. If the resulting image is fully generated, then formally it is not a photograph, it will be more of a picture. If there were photo edits using AI, then, in my opinion, this is a photo processed not in PS, but with AI. The line here is very thin, but in any case, it will be a work of art.
AI will allow you to completely remake the future frame, add any image, and generate objects. It will be able to do everything in a short time. It will greatly simplify the processing of photos, which will contribute to more immersion in creativity. In the end, AI will do the whole routine, but we will think more about ideas, and creativity. I generally see that in the near future, AI will process photos directly on the phone while shooting. We will only choose the mode, and it will already do everything itself. I.e. when taking a photo on a phone, AI will do color correction, skin retouching, if necessary, remove people from the frame, we will be able to do digital zoom, imitating a 100-300 mm lens, and AI will increase pixels by itself, generate details so that the photo looks like it was really taken on a 100-300 mm lens.
An interesting nuance related to copyright – if the photo is completely generated by AI, who is the author? There are at least 2 authors, a human, and an AI, in commercial photography, where copyright is very important, to whom and how the rights to use it are transferred; this is a very interesting point. AI has entered our lives and will develop rapidly, this is now our future, moreover, in the future, we will rely on it completely, in almost everything. It will replace routine matters and questions in all spheres. We will talk to it more than to people.
Even though those who know how to use this technology in depth are able to influence the final result to a certain extent, what I find attractive is the surprise of what AI will generate on its own. It can be considered either as a sort of dialogue between the “machine” and the human mind (which generates the thought) or as an invasion of the machine into the realm of a unique thing that human beings possess: the imagination. I don’t consider AI-generated images to be photographs, but illustrations. In order to be realized, photography requires an object to be photographed and an instrument that captures that object. With AI, images are generated from a synthesis of thousands and thousands of photographs, but there is in fact neither a camera nor a physical, material subject. Photography also implies being in a physical space and relating to it.
Photography has been at risk for many years. Nowadays everyone takes pictures and posts them on socials. Images have become one of the main ways of communication. They are part of our daily life. Despite this, I believe there is a great lack of visual culture, and also, of imagination, creativity, sense. I think AI will stay and be used more and more. The basic idea is that with AI things will get easier and even more affordable for everyone. Anyone can make a work of art, write a novel, and so on. I think it is a much more complex issue. Technology is not inherently good or bad. It depends on how you use it.
The experience of taking a photograph is radically different from sitting in front of a monitor.Laura Visigalli
AI images are a different form of creative expression. I see them as digital art, not photographs because of the simple reason that they ‘miss’ the human touch and feel of a photographer and its subject. Don’t get me wrong, I have seen incredible artworks that are 100% AI-generated images, but I don’t view them as photographs. I foresee that the AI system will eventually do most of the ‘basic’ retouching for us. Ever since for example, Photoshop launched its content-aware feature (which is basically what AI is doing) it speeded up the retouching workflow enormously.
I think wedding photography will not be replaced by AI, as well as sports and events photography etcetera. All things that represent the documentation of an event or people doing their craft will remain. But the first big hits will fall in the commercial photography sector. Product photography and conceptual commercial ads will be affected by AI tremendously. Thinking it will go away is thinking digital wouldn’t replace film. It’s here, and it’s going faster than everyone can imagine. But don’t be too scared, it’s just another set of tools to create images. And I’m 100% positive it will not fully replace photography, the craft will remain.
Akhil Vinayak Menon
Essentially, AI images are digital creations without a singular artist behind them. It samples patterns, content, and colors from its huge database of both original and generated work from the same or different artists and puts it together either entirely or partially into an image or artwork. Not sure if the term photograph is apt for these kinds of works as an image was never captured from the field. I prefer to call them digital creations. There is a very good likelihood that AI image creation will create risk for photographers. I have already noticed that many people (including photographers) are generating fresh stock content using mid-journey and other tools. There are also plenty of artists that are posting AI content as their work on social media as well. From an ethical standpoint, for at least now, these artists should let the audience know that the images are AI-generated rather than misleading the audience. AI will also impact the existing photography workflows where limitations may be overcome using this new technology.
The use of AI amongst photographers is likely to stay and even improve/impact further. Hopefully, more use of it should eventually give more respect to the efforts of original artists who may not use them and the photographers who do not rely on computers for their creations. But with the customers looking for cheaper quicker and easier, this is unlikely and original artists may need to push even more to get their works noticed. So it’s either join the gang, or get more creative.
I don’t consider it a form of art. I think photography is a natural process governed by the ability of the photographer to use his eye and talent to capture a moment or scene.
I’m indifferent about AI usage in image editing software. I guess it’s the extent to which it enhances or changes an image? But if AI enhances the product for the consumer to indulge then it may be here to stay.
While I find the capabilities of MidJourney fascinating, I don’t categorize the images it produces as traditional photographs. This is primarily because these images are computer-generated, even though they are derived from real photographs. I’ve experimented with this tool on several occasions and am consistently impressed with its results. MidJourney has indeed caused a significant disruption in the field of image creation. Nowadays, it’s often a challenge to differentiate between real photographs and AI-generated images. The development and popularization of such tools have blurred the lines between what we perceive as real and artificial. I see artificial intelligence as a tool that has substantially streamlined the image editing process. Most of us have been leveraging Photoshop and similar software for many years, and with the introduction of AI plug-ins, we’ve been on a trajectory toward more automated image processing for some time. In fact, it’s reached a point where simple button clicks can initiate complex edits, broadening accessibility to those who are new to this field.
I do believe that there is a certain level of risk involved with AI killing photography-related jobs. As with any technological advancement, adaptation becomes the key factor. We witnessed a similar transition when photography moved from analog to digital. There were individuals who preferred traditional methods, while others embraced progress. Consider the music industry as an example. Despite the dominance of digital music, vinyl records have made a substantial comeback and now lead in sales. This is indicative of a cycle, a recurring pattern of evolution and resurgence, that perpetually influences all fields of creativity and technology, photography included. Thus, while AI might pose a challenge, it could also herald a new era in the artistry and profession of photography.
I firmly believe that AI in photography is here to stay. If we consider the progress of technology, as illustrated by Moore’s Law, the potential integration of components like Nvidia chips into our devices could significantly accelerate this trend. Such advancements could motivate more individuals to delve into photography since human nature often drives us to replicate what we perceive. We’re indeed living in intriguing times. I recently invested in a device called Arsenal, an intelligent camera assistant that employs AI to capture scenes and adjust settings. While it may not work perfectly all the time, it drastically reduces the time I spend on corrections when it does. This allows me to focus more on capturing the shots I desire. The continued refinement of such tools underscores the staying power of AI in photography.
Check out Howards’ Instagram page to see more of his photography.
AI has improved my workflow a bit in terms of image editing, specifically with the masking tools in Lightroom. The software is able to recognize subjects very easily, making exposure or color correction to part of an image a breeze. I don’t use AI tools much beyond that since journalism work prohibits the use of retouching or compositing.
As a documentary photographer, I don’t feel as threatened that AI will impact me in terms of getting work. Photo editors and producers will always need good humans/photographers to go into the field to gather the news and events, and to tell stories. What happens to the image after it’s released into the world is another question though.
AI is definitely here to stay, no doubt about that.
My thoughts on AI are that companies are generating images on any and all images available on the internet which is a copyright infringement and they are making money from it. We should not normalize this type of theft. AI images are not photographs, they are computer-generated images.
I asked Chat GPT if a computer-generated image is a photograph.
Chat GPT’s response to Katarina Premfors
“Technically speaking, a computer-generated image (CGI) is not considered a photograph in the traditional sense. While both photographs and CGI create visual representations, they differ in the way they are produced.”
For me and my type of work a photograph is a process, a moment in time that captures light and something fleeting that can not be recreated. In my editorial work, AI editing software is a tool that should is used appropriately and not be overused. Batch processing and editing has, to some extent, existed for a long time but it’s getting better and faster.
Currently, my editing is better than AI because I am always looking for the less obvious. A quirky moment. I don’t do much post to my images, I still try and get the perfect/imperfect image in the one frame. I do toning and grading. Sparingly.
I am constantly reading articles on Content Authenticity Initiative, this is something I care about – content transparency – and I am trying to follow the fast-paced evolution. Too much post-processing means it can become more graphic – photorealistic illustration if you will. Having said that when I do architectural work I sometimes use CGI, and now I may even use generative fill. Some of my advertising work is comp work and quite complex.
Jobs for sure are at risk, but that is across the board not just in photography. I don’t think AI can generate what I do yet. There is still room for photographers. Where photography requires a controlled environment such as product shots, car shoots, FMCG, etc. AI can control everything.
It can be a massive cost saving on studio hire, people, lights, etc. Assuming that you still need skilled operatives and skilled photographers for the input and creative ideas.
As my friend said ‘the Genie is out of the bottle’ and it’s here to stay for better or worse. We need context – to be cautious of the real photograph vs a doctored ‘AI-eyed’ image, and we need to be able to tell if an image is authentic – especially in news photography. Maybe AI will be able to reduce our digital footprint. I for one could certainly do with the help to get rid of many images stored digitally that I will never use again.
Chris van Riel
A tool like MidJourney is quite revolutionary actually. The power and potential is mindblowing because it offers so many new possibilities to creators of all kinds. I think its important that Images that are digitally generated should never be considered photos. It’s important, because if we would consider artificial images as photographs they would become a threat to photographers. Artificial images are being submitted to contests and actually winning prizes. That’s something we need to take very seriously.
Photography jobs aren’t at risk yet, but Midjourney and similar software take away the sheer amount of skill that used to be necessary to create incredible pieces. I’ve seen very mediocre photographers post artificial images that were stunningly beautiful. The problem is when these creators neglect to mention these creations aren’t photographs. Their audience simply can’t tell the difference. Not knowing the images were simply generated by software, they will misjudge the creators’ talent and consider them as creative masterminds. To me, that’s unfair credit.
I think at some point all our editing software will inherit some kind of AI process within it. Automated processing will become more common and will reduce the skill level needed to be a great editor. It will also speed up all processing. This might make competition amongst photographers a bit harsher.
Let’s just hope that if Skynet does ever become real, photographers aren’t the first ones to be destroyed.
As a photographer, my feelings about AI and its impact on the creative process are obviously multifaceted. On one hand, AI is undeniably bringing incredible advancements to creative fields, photography included, such as ease and speed of post-production, new tools and methods for image manipulation, and streamlining workflows. To me, however, there is a definite level where I do not consider the image produced a photograph, in any sense of the word. The act of creating an image from scratch only utilizing AI is a clear line for me. 100% AI-generated content is more a form of digital art to me, like an illustration, and falls well outside the traditional definition of photography.
I think my thoughts in terms of post-production/editing are more that AI will become a standard tool, like a digital personal assistant that is intended to be directed. I’ve tried many products at this point, including Evoto and Photohop’s Generative AI tool. Both of these are already producing mind-blowing results. With Evoto, you can use sliders that automate and speed up the process of retouching. I found this process incredibly helpful as a tool and I consider the end result of this process a photograph, as the tasks are all things I would normally do manually to a photograph, just much much faster and more autonomously. On the other hand, I did an experiment the other day where I took a few older photographs of mine- landscapes, portraits, and interiors. I extended the canvas and used Photoshop’s generative AI fill to have AI imagine what was going on outside of the original frame. The results required very little, if any, editing to seamlessly match a believable reality outside of the original constraints of the photographs. This was blurring the line between being a photograph and not, and where things get tricky for me. I can’t say I have a clear answer for this scenario, however, the results were still being guided by me, a human, with an idea of what I wanted to accomplish, and the AI was just filling in the blanks while starting with an actual photograph.
I think at minimum it’s definitely a real concern and commercial photographers should start thinking about becoming skilled in areas that AI can’t replace until it evolves further. In particular, I think e-commerce photography is highly at risk of being replaced completely by AI. Why bother with studio rental, prop styling, lighting, etc when you can soon input your product and visualize it anywhere believably with any lighting conditions and produce multiple iterations from your desk within 30 seconds? My hope is that AI’s evolution is two-fold. That it becomes its own form of art without competing with traditional forms, and commercially, it becomes just another tool that photographers and other artists can rely on to make their work more interesting, be more prolific, and achieve things they couldn’t otherwise.
I consider it as digital art. There’s nothing wrong with this new addition to the visual art form. Digital artists have been doing this in the form of very detailed composites for years. At the very least, it will make their job easier. I do not consider them photographs because that’s simply not what they are. It’s fantasy art.
AI has been introduced to us in some way for many years and with many editing software. The technology has just become more advanced. It will always be a tool. Those with extensive knowledge of Photoshop may have done heavy editing for many many years, and those images have always been considered real photographs. I don’t believe that the thought process should change now that AI editing is more mainstream. I can see some commercial/editorial jobs becoming impacted. Meaning, if an unknown person(s) is needed in an image or some product photography is requested, AI images can easily produce that for a client.
AI is definitely here to stay. I also believe that photographers who took the time to really learn Photoshop very well will be the biggest beneficiaries of this new phenomenon. Those who relied on Lightroom will be slightly left behind.
Photographs need to originate from a camera, arguably at least most of it. However, we all know that we rarely see pictures created from a camera as-is. The pictures are edited and in some cases look so different from reality. For example, pictures of the milky way, are one of the most dramatized pictures posted on the internet. But by definition, images created by AI tools like Midjourney are not photographs.
There has been development at many levels of photography, not just AI. Initially, film photography was expensive, and only the elite few could afford it. Then digital photography happened, and more people jumped into the wagon of photography. Youtube brought learning to our desktops, and we could learn every element of photography, improving the quality of images and also elevating the threshold of what we perceive as a great image. Social media took the work of amateur photographers far and beyond to audiences who could not be reached otherwise. None of these developments has replaced one critical aspect of photography, which makes a photographer an artist, which is creativity. None of them has changed the most important human factor, which is the ability to harness intrinsic emotions, build the story mentally and weave a narrative using images.
AI is not an intelligent tool, but a very obedient and hardworking one, which uses the works of humans from the past. It offers a cumulative outcome of what it thinks is the best representation of what it is asked to do. While it can do a million calculations or iterations in a minute, it has no imagination, it cannot think outside the box (the training data) and create something beyond what it is asked to do.
Photography jobs will exist, but given the nature of the tools available to us today as mentioned earlier, the quality of work and client expectations will elevate. Clients will expect final images within a shorter period. AI is here to stay, and it will only improve with time, as did all other tools in photography, along with it humans will adapt and start crossing boundaries of creativity that could not have been possible a few decades ago.
While it can do a million calculations or iterations in a minute, it has no imagination, it cannot think outside the box (the training data) and create something beyond what it is asked to do.Jaysun Dalmeida on AI
All images used here have been provided by the respective photographers and used with permission.