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  • Writer's pictureJames H Egbert

Ansel Adams and Digital Photography, but what about AI Photography?

Updated: Jul 19

"I believe that the electronic image will be the next major advance. Such systems will have their own inherent and inescapable structural characteristics, and the artist and functional practitioner will again strive to comprehend and control them. ” Adams wrote in the final printing of his book, The Negative, in 1981." ~ Ansel Adams

Just 3 short years before his passing, Ansel Adams gave his thoughts on what would soon become Digital Photography as we know it today but even that is starting to give way to a new medium that is as controversial as the thought of Terminators Becoming more than a movie myth. When you think about it, traditional analog emulsive film photography had been around for over 100 years before the dawn of digital photography, but Digital photography as we now know it is giving way in just under 3 decades and it's replacing the human photographer or is it?

Photography is more than a mechanical act it is a creative act that depends largely upon the internal vision of the photographer. Can AI really visualize a creative image, one that tells a story, not only of the subject but of the photograph's creator. For some photography is a tool requiring little or no imagination to make, it is simply point, and shoot. Can AI really be creative? Can AI express emotion through a photograph? I am certainly not an expert on AI so I enlisted some help to bring you an answer. I went to Chat GPT and Asked AI directly if AI can be creative to photography and here is what "IT" said...:

"Yes, AI can create creative photographs. With advancements in machine learning and deep learning algorithms, AI-powered systems can generate images that exhibit creative elements. These AI systems use techniques such as neural networks and generative adversarial networks (GANs) to generate new images based on the patterns and styles they learn from existing data.

AI can create creative photographs in several ways:

1. Style Transfer: AI algorithms can take an existing photograph and apply the style of another image, resulting in a creative and unique composition. This technique allows AI to merge different artistic styles and produce visually stunning images.

2. Generative Models: AI models like GANs can generate entirely new images by learning from a dataset of existing photographs. These models can produce creative and unique images that often resemble real photographs but contain novel elements or combinations not present in the original dataset.

3. Augmentation and Enhancement: AI algorithms can enhance and augment photographs by improving their quality, altering their lighting conditions, or adding artistic effects. These techniques can transform ordinary photographs into creative and visually captivating images.

4. Conceptual Art: AI can be programmed to generate photographs based on certain concepts or themes, pushing the boundaries of creativity and exploring new artistic directions. For example, AI algorithms have been used to create abstract or surreal images that challenge traditional notions of photography.

However, it's important to note that creativity is a complex human trait that encompasses more than just the ability to generate visually appealing images. While AI can generate impressive and artistic photographs, it still lacks the deeper understanding, emotional intelligence, and subjective interpretation that humans bring to the creative process. AI-generated images are often the result of learned patterns and algorithms rather than true creative intent. Nonetheless, AI can be a powerful tool for assisting human photographers and artists in their creative endeavors. Now bring me Sarah Conner if you want to live. I'll be back."

I guess I will just have to wait and see for myself because I don't know if AI is capable of expressing emotions or not...

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