Is AI & Technology Ruining Photography?

Duade Paton
26 May 202413:41

TLDRThis video explores the impact of AI and technology on photography, addressing concerns that advancements like AI-generated images and high-tech cameras might diminish the skill required. The host shares personal experiences with Adobe's Firefly AI, showcasing its impressive capabilities while acknowledging its imperfections. The discussion delves into the emotional and creative aspects of photography, emphasizing that AI cannot replace the joy of capturing moments in nature. It also touches on the ethical considerations of image manipulation and the importance of honesty in sharing photographic work. The video concludes by arguing that technology is not ruining photography but expanding it, offering various challenges and opportunities for photographers to express themselves.


  • 🤖 AI technology, such as Adobe's Firefly, is advancing rapidly and can now generate highly realistic images that are difficult to distinguish from photographs taken by humans.
  • 🎨 AI-generated images can be very convincing, but upon closer inspection, there may be inconsistencies or 'giveaways' that reveal their artificial nature.
  • 🌅 AI can create beautiful and imaginative scenes, like a sulfur-crested cockatoo overlooking an Arid Australian Outback at sunset, even if they are not based on real photographs.
  • 🔍 The current AI image generation technology still has gaps and requires more reference material to improve its accuracy and diversity.
  • 📸 Photography is more than just the end result; it's about the experience, the feeling of capturing the shot, and the time spent mastering the craft.
  • 🏞️ For many photographers, the joy comes from being in nature and the process of capturing images, not just the final product.
  • 🤝 Social media has made it more challenging to stand out with non-manipulated images, as AI and image manipulation tools can create perfect-looking photos.
  • 💬 Honesty is important in photography; photographers should declare when they have used AI or manipulated their images to avoid deceiving viewers.
  • 🏆 AI-generated images should not compete in photography competitions as they are a different form of art and can undermine the skill of photographers.
  • 📷 Modern cameras with advanced AI and technology, like the R5 and Sony a93, do not diminish the photographer's skill but rather assist in capturing better images.
  • 🔧 Technology in cameras should be embraced as a tool that can help photographers, but the skill and creativity of the photographer are still paramount.

Q & A

  • Is the author of the video suggesting that AI and technology are ruining photography?

    -No, the author does not believe that AI and technology are ruining photography. Instead, they argue that these advancements are expanding the field, offering new ways for people to enjoy and express themselves through photography.

  • What is Adobe's Firefly and how does it relate to the discussion in the video?

    -Adobe's Firefly is an image-generating AI that the author tried out in the video. It is relevant because it demonstrates the capability of AI to create realistic images, which is a central point in the discussion about how AI and technology impact photography.

  • What was the author's reaction to the images generated by Adobe's Firefly?

    -The author was blown away by the quality and realism of the images generated by Adobe's Firefly, noting that it was difficult to distinguish them from real photographs at first glance.

  • How does the author address the concern that AI-generated images might be indistinguishable from real photographs?

    -The author acknowledges that AI-generated images are becoming increasingly realistic but points out that there are still inconsistencies and giveaways that can reveal their artificial nature, at least for now.

  • What is the author's perspective on the role of AI in the authenticity of photography?

    -The author believes that while AI can generate impressive images, the authenticity of photography lies in the experience and skill of the photographer, which AI cannot replicate.

  • What are the author's thoughts on the impact of AI on social media and image sharing?

    -The author sees AI as a double-edged sword for social media, where it can help users manipulate their images to stand out but also makes it harder for non-manipulated images to compete in a saturated market.

  • What does the author suggest about the importance of honesty in image manipulation and AI use?

    -The author emphasizes the importance of being honest about image manipulation and AI use, suggesting that photographers should declare when they have used AI or manipulated their images to avoid deceiving viewers.

  • How does the author view the role of modern cameras with advanced AI and technology in capturing images?

    -The author believes that while modern cameras with advanced AI and technology can capture impressive images, the photographer's skill in being in the right place at the right time and using their creative abilities is still crucial.

  • What is the author's stance on image manipulation and digital art in photography?

    -The author is not against image manipulation or digital art but suggests that there should be a clear distinction between when an image is manipulated to the point of becoming digital art and when it remains a photograph.

  • What advice does the author give to photographers regarding the use of technology in their craft?

    -The author advises photographers to embrace technology and use it to enhance their work, while also being mindful of the importance of their own skills and creativity in the process.

  • How does the author suggest the photography community should approach the issue of AI and technology in photography?

    -The author suggests that the photography community should have open discussions about the role of AI and technology, create spaces for sharing non-manipulated images, and establish guidelines for when an image crosses over into digital art.



🤖 AI and Technology's Impact on Photography

The video script begins with a discussion on whether AI and advanced camera technology like the R5 and Sony a93 are diminishing the skills required for photography. The speaker expresses initial skepticism about AI-generated images but is impressed by Adobe's Firefly AI, which can create realistic images from text prompts. The script includes a comparison of AI-generated and real photographs, highlighting the difficulty in distinguishing between them. It raises the question of authenticity in images and the rapid progress of AI, suggesting that while AI has advanced significantly, it still lacks certain reference materials and has room for improvement. The speaker also shares community opinions on AI in photography, emphasizing the irreplaceable experience of capturing a moment and the importance of being in nature.


🖼️ The Ethics of Image Manipulation and AI in Photography

The second paragraph delves into the ethical considerations of using AI for image manipulation. It suggests creating spaces for unmanipulated images and advocates for photographers to be transparent about the use of AI or image manipulation techniques. The speaker shares personal experiences with image stitching and the importance of honesty in representation. The paragraph also touches on instances of AI-generated images being submitted to competitions, highlighting the need for clear guidelines to differentiate between photography and digital art. The speaker emphasizes the ongoing debate about the role of technology in photography and the need for consensus on when an image becomes digital art.


📸 The Role of Technology in Enhancing Photography Skills

In the final paragraph, the discussion shifts to the impact of in-camera AI and technology on photographers' skills. The script addresses concerns that modern cameras with advanced features might undermine the photographer's expertise. It presents various viewpoints, including those who feel that technology reduces the photographer's role to that of an engineer. However, the speaker argues that despite technological advancements, the photographer's skill in composition, lighting, and timing remains crucial. The paragraph also includes a comparison of images taken with high-end and entry-level equipment, illustrating that the photographer's experience and knowledge are more important than the gear. The speaker concludes by encouraging photographers to embrace technology as a tool for expression and to focus on enjoying the creative process.



💡AI and Technology

AI and Technology refer to artificial intelligence and technological advancements, respectively. In the context of the video, these terms are central to the discussion on how they are influencing the art of photography. The script mentions AI's role in generating images that are increasingly realistic, challenging the traditional skills of photographers. For example, the video discusses Adobe's Firefly, an image-generating AI, and its ability to create images that are difficult to distinguish from those taken by a camera.

💡AI-generated images

AI-generated images are those created by artificial intelligence without the need for a physical camera. The video script provides examples of such images generated by Adobe's Firefly, which are so realistic that they can be mistaken for photographs taken by humans. This concept is key to understanding the debate on whether AI is enhancing or undermining the skill involved in photography.


Photography is the art, practice, and technique of capturing images through a camera. In the video, the discussion revolves around the impact of AI and technology on this art form. The script explores the idea that while technology can automate certain aspects of image capture, the skill and creativity of the photographer remain crucial.


Skill, in the context of the video, refers to the abilities and expertise required to capture high-quality photographs. The script discusses the concern that AI and advanced camera technology might diminish the importance of these skills. However, it also emphasizes that understanding light, composition, and behavior are still essential, regardless of technological advancements.

💡Adobe's Firefly

Adobe's Firefly is an AI technology mentioned in the script that can generate images based on textual prompts. It represents a significant advancement in AI's ability to create realistic and aesthetically pleasing images, which raises questions about the future of photography and the role of human photographers.


Manipulation, in the context of photography, refers to the editing or altering of images to enhance or change their appearance. The video script discusses the ethical considerations of image manipulation, especially when using AI, and the importance of transparency about the extent of manipulation in shared images.

💡Social Media

Social Media is a term used in the script to describe platforms where photographers share their work and receive feedback. The video notes that social media has become saturated with high-quality images, making it harder for photographers to stand out unless they manipulate their images to some extent.

💡Canon R5

The Canon R5 is a high-end camera model mentioned in the script, representing the latest in photographic technology. It is used as an example to illustrate the capabilities of modern cameras and the debate over whether such advanced technology detracts from the photographer's skill.


Authenticity in the video refers to the genuineness and originality of a photograph. The script discusses the challenges of maintaining authenticity in an era where AI can generate images that are nearly indistinguishable from real photographs, and the importance of photographers being honest about their use of AI or other manipulation techniques.


Competitions in the script refer to photography contests where the use of AI-generated images has sparked controversy. The video mentions instances where AI images have been submitted and won awards, leading to discussions about the rules and fairness of such competitions.

💡Raw File

A Raw File is an unprocessed image file that contains all the data captured by the camera sensor. The script mentions that some photography competitions now require submission of raw files to verify the authenticity of the images and to reduce the chances of cheating through AI or other manipulations.


AI and Technology's impact on photography is a topic of debate, with concerns about skill reduction and authenticity.

AI-generated images, such as those created by Adobe's Firefly, are becoming increasingly realistic and challenging to distinguish from real photos.

The presenter shares an experiment comparing a real photo with an AI-generated image, highlighting the difficulty in telling them apart.

AI's current limitations include a lack of reference material, leading to inaccuracies in image generation.

The community's opinion on AI in photography varies, with some valuing the emotional experience of capturing shots over technical advancements.

The joy of being in nature and capturing images is seen as unaffected by AI, emphasizing the personal experience over technology.

Social media's saturation with manipulated images creates a challenge for photographers to stand out with unaltered work.

Honesty in image manipulation is advocated, with a call for transparency when AI or other tools are used in creating images.

AI-generated images have caused controversy in photography competitions, leading to discussions on the validity of such entries.

The presenter argues that technology, such as advanced cameras, does not diminish the photographer's skill but rather enhances the possibilities.

Comments from viewers express concerns that modern cameras may undermine the photographer's role and skill.

The importance of being in the right place at the right time, and using creativity, is emphasized over reliance on technology.

The presenter shares personal experiences, comparing images taken with high-end and entry-level equipment, to illustrate the photographer's skill.

A discussion on the value of different levels of photographic challenges, from film to DSLRs to modern cameras, is presented.

The importance of enjoying the photographic process and not comparing oneself to others is highlighted.

The conclusion emphasizes that AI and technology are not ruining photography but expanding it, offering new ways to express creativity.

A call to action for the community to embrace technology and engage in discussions about its role in photography is made.