What is AI?
Artificial intelligence is an exciting technology which is being more comprehensively adopted within the photography area. Although it is not without its detractors, I personally believe it offers great opportunities to visual communicators who want to focus on taking the photos and decrease the amount of time required for repetitive tasks.
Whilst there are lots of different types of Artificial Intelligence, in photography the most common is called ”Deep Learning” which is derived from machine learning where a model is created by training the system with significant numbers of before and after images. Rather than simply executing pre-determined rules, AI allows the system to try and understand the image, and then determine what changes are required.
How are AI Models Created?
Whilst AI models need to be trained, once they have been trained, they allow many of the common tasks to be automated and become much easier. Within the photography context this can include things like Exposures, Contrast, Color Tones, Sky Improvements, Portrait Improvements and so on.
Deep learning AI models are created by ‘teaching’ the model the differences between photos. This usually involves showing the model unedited and edited photos across a range of different genres so that the model can understand the type of photo it is, what is in the photo and then what sort of changes are typically made to those types of photos to improve them (based on the trained data-set).
What are some of the AI enabled Packages?
There are lots of different packages within Photography which are AI enabled, these include both photo editors and photo utilities, these are broken down below;
- Luminar 4 (AI Filters)
- Luminar AI (recently announced)
- Topaz Adjust AI
- ON1 Photo RAW 2021
- Aurora HDR
- Pizza Photo Editor
What are the benefits of AI powered editors and utilities?
Personally, I think the benefit largely comes from the ability to make those repetitive and routine tasks easier. Whilst the notion often is that AI is designed to replace photo editing, I don’t believe this is the real benefit of AI, rather it is designed as a tool to allow photographers to focus on the things that matter most, the results, the vision and capturing the photos.
I don’t want AI to take over my ability to edit (nor do I really think any of the packages advocate that), rather I want AI to HELP me get better photos, by taking the hassle out of editing, and making the easy changes that all my photos need (exposure, highlights / shadows, color tone, contrast, structure) so that I can focus on making the more complex edits that are required, and delivering my creative vision and taking the photos.
The less time I need to edit, the more time I can spend out and about with the camera!