Why AI (Artificial Intelligence) is Good for Photographers!

There’s all this doomsday talk lately how AI (artificial intelligence) is going to kill and destroy us, and steal our jobs. I think this is silly. To me, I see artificial intelligence as just another benefit to humanity; hopefully something that helps simplify our lives, and help us focus more on artistic creation!

I personally love shooting fully automatic in photography (either in p, program mode, or now with “intelligent auto” mode on my Lumix G9). I like the “set it and forget it” approach in photography, or anything that allows me to think less about the technical settings, so I can focus more on what’s important to me: catching the “decisive moment” in photography, as well as focusing on composition, and capturing emotion and mood in my photos.

Often when I’m shooting street photography, I’m self-conscious. I get nervous. The last thing I want to think about when I’m approaching strangers is my aperture, shutter speed, or ISO.

This might sound a bit controversial, but I think learning how to shoot photos in fully-manual mode is useless for 99.9% of photographers. Even recently I shot an entire wedding on intelligent auto mode on a Lumix G9, JPEG, and all the photos came out great. No need for manual; only perhaps if you’re doing very complicated stuff with flash setups.

But I think the future of photography should just be “point and shoot”, and even let AI (artificial intelligence) assist us with the autofocus in our camera, the technical settings, and the post processing of the photos as well!

To me this is good, because us photographers can display our skills not just by technical know-how. Instead, we will show off our skills in photography via our compositional skills, our ability to time and capture a good moment, and the ability for us to take brave and risky photos!

So some practical ideas:

  1. Try shooting your photos in program (p) mode, and set your ISO to 1600 and just shoot photos. Or if you have a Lumix camera, just shoot in “intelligent auto” (iA) mode.
  2. Try shooting with some new smartphones with artificial intelligence baked in. See if you like it. I’m a big fan of “computational photography“, especially what Google is doing with their Pixel phones and HDR+. Google your Android phone and see if you download the Google HDR+ camera in your phone.
  3. Nobody will care about the technical settings of your photos, but the soul in your photos!

Some entrepreneurial ideas:

  1. An artificial intelligent program that helps you select your best photos: Today’s problem in photography is we have too many photos to look through. What if AI could help us cull down our photos from 1,000 photos to our best 100 photos? When I was editing Cindy’s sisters wedding, choosing the best photos was 10x more difficult than shooting the photos!
  2. AI programs that see what kind of post processing style you like in your photos, and automatically apply them to your photos.
  3. AI program that helps you with your composition while you’re shooting photos!

This is a brave new world in photography; don’t get left behind!