AI & Photography?


The most recent version of photoshop was released on the 20th of October, for both the iPad and the Desktop. Adobe’s promotional material on their blog is promotoing the Artificial Intelligence side of the new update. Adobe, rightly or wrongly is seen as the leader in the field of Digital Photography. I want to vent about them here in my own little photography diary. Adobe justifies their use of AI to ‘save time’, and boost creativity, from the blog.

With the addition of these five major new breakthroughs, you can free yourself from the mundane, non-creative tasks and focus on what matters most – your creativity.

I would argue that for me the most creativity comes when I’m walking alone in one of my favourite locations. Contemplating either a finished print or a ‘networked image’, camera in hand. Any post production is just about fitting the values of the scene. Onto my chosen medium, in a manner I see fit based on my own aesthetic. This aesthetic is of course rooted in the long tradition of straight photography. Not to mention an appreciation of materials and processes I have strived to master. Having good teachers helped me start my own journey on this path in the early 1990s.

This time poor approach to craft has been a growing trend, and one that  I feel runs counter to good photography. Good in the sense that the picture is worth making and says something about meaningful, if this is the authors intention.

Change the perspective of your landscapes. Focus on the story you want to tell. Get rid of unnecessary details and create an impactful photo in one smart click

Recently I returned to Aperture to experiment and explore further, Apple’s professional digital asset management and editing tool. The differences between Luminar 4, and it are huge. To the point where I have to round trip my work to see what I can achieve. I’m still unclear as to how to proceed. I like the AI features in Luminar, but feel at the mercy ofd the software. The AI tools in Luminar 4 are good, but what do they really mean? I can find no comparable tools in Aperture. So I have to wonder am I doing these files the justice they deserve in Aperture? 

When artificial intelligence is able to create art works and portraits where does the human operator sit? I make images because it satisfies an urge. Indescribable; yet one that lies beneath the surface. That needs scratching at least several times a year. None of which involves much input. other than my own desires and understandings of the materials and processes I’m working with. Skills learned from many hours of making mistakes and asking the right questions.

Website | Flickr | Instagram | Photography links | Twitter | Tumblr | altfotonet

Luminar 4

screen grab of Luminar 4
screen grab of Luminar 4

If you are like myself and many other creatives who use and rely on software to get the job done. You may well be sick of Adobe’s new licensing model? I have always been a proponent of alternatives to the mainstream and prior to 2002, there were several much better software programs out there that left Photoshop in the dirt. Fast forward now to the next century and somehow Adobe has become the Microsoft of the creative industries.

screengrab of Lumnar 4
the editing panel of Luminar 4

Have no fear there ARE alternatives. One such player is Skylum software’s Luminar 4. I have been paying for this software for a couple of years now and when version 4 arrived with DAM built-in I was ecstatic. Luminar 4 has several features that beat the pants off Lightroom. These features are great if you are a novice digital photographer and want to get up to speed using software to enhance your raw files. At about $90.00 AU it’s a steal for the current version. [If you click through on this link it helps me with discounts moving forward].

screen grab of Luminar 4
the processing screen show the before and after preview

Before writing this article I did some digging to find some comparisons between Adobe Lightroom and Luminar and found this excellent article, by, Usnea Lebendig on shotkit.com. Here’s an in-depth article on Luminar itself; also on shotkit.com.

I won’t repeat what has been written other than to say the fact that I do not need to import images into the software to work means a lot. I expect version 5 of Luminar to knock Lightroom off its perch. Currently I use the two packages side by side, and given my approach to software generally, I should give the AI features in Luminar more of a go.

screen grab of Luminar 4
The info tab of the interface

Other features that both Lightroom and Luminar have that are useful are the option to review/preview edits. Luminar’s online help looks more succinct and direct than Adobe’s I feel too.

Website | Flickr | Instagram | Photography links | Twitter | Tumblr | altfotonet