AI and Computational Photography-When is it no longer a photograph?

AI and Computational Photography-When is it no longer a photograph?

I have been asked a lot recently about what I think about some of the new tools digital photographers have at their disposal. Many programs now offer “AI or machine learning” to help edit photographs. Now with the click of a few buttons, you can replace skies, change expressions, or quickly composite images together.

In today’s podcast, we talk a little about a few issues that arise when you think about the nature of computational photography and the language and words we might consider when talking about photography moving forward.

AI and Computational Photography-When is it no longer a photograph?

The rules and repeatability of composition

In the end, I think we all want to make interesting photographs, and the composition and framing are so much of that experience. The more you can be aware of composing, the more interesting and accurate stories you can tell. Being aware also gives you something else that is critical to photography–repeatability. You can repeat something repeatedly because you understand what happened and not just got lucky once with an accident. At the end of a day of photographing, knowing that we’re able to get the image you wanted because you understood the composition’s impacts making the editing and selection process that much more fun.

AI and Computational Photography-When is it no longer a photograph?

The joy and pain of muscle memory

In this week’s podcast, we look at the impacts of muscle memory on our photography. Muscle memory, or the body’s ability to do something without thinking about it, is an important aspect of working as a photographer. This memory allows us to be able to quickly and efficiently do our jobs. From settings on the camera to keyboard shortcuts in a program, being efficient can really make a difference in how we can do our work. Yet, there is a downside. Anyone who has spent too much time hunched over a desk knows that bad things can happen when muscles remember bad things. Hunched over a desk can make our backs and necks hurt for days as the muscles unwind. In our photography, bad muscle memory can reinforce bad habits or make us a little lazy in our approach to editing and working. Spending some time to sort out what is good and bad about our muscle memory habits might make us better photographers and a little less sore. 

AI and Computational Photography-When is it no longer a photograph?

How do you approach knowing when enough is enough in your photography?

In this week’s podcast, we look at a possible photographic approach and discuss how you approach knowing when enough is enough when creating the image. For many of us, our approach to getting an image completed is incremental. We take small steps in our approach to framing, editing, shooting, and printing. While this method works, I propose that by making more grand shifts earlier in our process, we can get to a better result faster. We can get a better image, better concept, and better experience with the work by taking big leaps of faith in our workflow and trusting that going too far sometimes and backing off can produce more interesting images.

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