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The impact of AI on the photography sector

By Jas Jandu, Marketing and Campaigns Coordinator

In recent news, we saw how the Princess of Wales was forced to make a public apology for digitally editing a photograph that was released to the media. It raised several questions about the authenticity of images being released by the Royal Family. However, photo manipulation has been around for centuries and if done right can be considered to be ‘skilful artwork’ (Wikipedia).

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is further having a significant impact on the photography sector, shaking things up in exciting and thought-provoking ways. Its impact on photography is multifaceted, offering both challenges and exciting possibilities for photographers:

AI-powered editing and creativity

  • AI-powered software is revolutionising photo editing by automating many tasks and generating artistic filters and effects in seconds. This frees photographers to experiment with unique styles and focus on their creative vision.
  • Smarter cameras equipped with AI can track subjects with precision autofocus, offer real-time composition suggestions based on principles like the rule of thirds, and help photographers capture well-balanced shots.
  • While still emerging AI can generate entirely new images based on textual descriptions and suggest edits based on a photo’s content or style. This expands the boundaries of artistic exploration while allowing efficient, consistent editing.

Challenges and ethical considerations

Some professionals in the industry fear that AI-powered editing tools could automate tasks currently performed by professional photo editors. However, AI is more likely to be a collaborator, freeing up time for higher-level creative work.

An over- reliance on AI for editing and composition could stifle creativity and hinder a photographers' ability to develop their own unique style. Finding the right balance is key.

AI-generated imagery raises questions about originality and authenticity in photography. As this technology evolves, questions of ownership and artistic credit will need to be addressed.

The future of AI-powered photography

AI is not here to replace photographers, but to empower them. By embracing AI as a tool, photographers can streamline workflows, explore new creative avenues, and focus on what truly matters - capturing the essence of a scene, telling stories with their lens, and injecting their unique artistic vision into every frame. The future of photography with AI is bright, filled with exciting possibilities for both creators and audiences alike.

Learn more about the Photographer apprenticeship standard

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