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Post-Photography in the Light of AI: Exploring the Intersection of Art and Technology

Art and technology have been intersecting for centuries, producing innovative creations that challenge our way of thinking and push the boundaries of what is possible. 

Photography is no exception. 

The medium has undergone significant changes, from the use of daguerreotypes and wet plates to digital cameras and smartphones. However, the core principle of photography remains the same - capturing real-life moments in different shapes and forms, but the question is for how long?

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a relatively new technology rapidly transforming various industries, including photography. With collaborative tools such as DALL-E 2 and Midjourney, AI allows you to generate images using text-based input prompts, a whole new approach that challenges the innate relationship between art and humanism while redefining our perception of reality.

Combining AI and photography in the NFT space

Even though the excitement is there, some artists are worried about getting replaced by this fast-growing behemoth. There are some fair arguments regarding the future of the more traditional forms of art. Yet, multiple big names in the NFT space are already showing us how to use AI to our advantage and have a more open-minded view when it comes to this new technology.

One of the few established photographers exploring the possibilities of AI in his work is Blake Wood. He uses his experience as a photographer to instruct the AI on lighting and composition, resulting in realistic and emotional photographs that challenge our perception of what is real. Wood’s work explores the relationship between humanity and machines, highlighting the potential for collaboration between both sides.

A black and white photograph showcasing two lovers lying on the grass while staring at each other.
“Fields II” by Blake Wood, 2022

Another great example is The Metascapes, a collaboration between landscape photographers Cath Simard, Ryan Newburn, and Iurie Belegurschi, using artificial intelligence to bridge the gap between reality and the Metaverse. 

After a successful collaboration with The Metascapes, Cath Simard continued to explore the AI space and figure out new ways to elevate her art. She joined forces with the AI design studio EpoLabs to launch a project called From Nowhere to Somewhere.

The intent was to expand the relationship between the artist, the collector, and the technology. 

The Metascapes by Cath Simard, Ryan Newburn, and Iurie Belegurschi
The Metascapes by Cath Simard, Ryan Newburn, and Iurie Belegurschi

Last but not least is Pablo Chaco, an artist, and photographer, who released a series titled "I Am The Black Sheep." It includes 20 digitally created images to honor those who feel like outcasts in their own families. 

I Am The Black Sheep by Pablo Chaco
I Am The Black Sheep by Pablo Chaco

What does the future look like for AI photography?

As we observe this fast technological shift, one might assume that photography is heading toward a downward spiral. However, that’s not necessarily true. The purpose of technology - including AI - is to improve our lives, and by collaborating with it, we can create art that reflects our ideas and feelings.

The younger generation is increasingly shifting from the physical to the digital world, and modern technological advancements are injecting new immersive experiences into our everyday lives. 

For many people, online experiences are becoming as important, if not more important, than real-world experiences. The intersection of AI and photography gives everyone the opportunity to express their ideas and experiences visually, even if those thoughts live outside the real world.

Easy access to AI applications will lower the barrier to entry for those who want to pursue this new field of photography. However, that will still require specific knowledge, technical skill, theory, and an understanding of art history to generate great work. 

The intersection of AI and photography presents an exciting opportunity for photographers to expand their creativity and explore new possibilities. It challenges our traditional perceptions and sets a playground for collaboration between humanity and machines. While this new field of photography may be intimidating, it presents a platform for artists to create innovative work that reflects their ideas and emotions.

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  • Thank You New York by street photographer JN Silva and abstract artist ThankYouX was one of the first collections that have put NFT photography on the map. They created a video clip combining one of JN Silva’s photographs of Manhattan and ThankYouX’s 3D motion art which demonstrated the amazing creative opportunities that collaborations can bring.
  • The Metascapes is a unique photography collaboration formed between Cath Simard, Ryan Newburn, and Iurie Belegurschi using artificial intelligence to bridge the gap between reality and the Metaverse.
  • Dream Lab developed by Jacob Riglin is the first-of-its-kind generative photography project that harnesses the serendipity of blockchain mechanics to compose 1,111 unique one-of-a-kind NFTs based around Riglin’s photograph of Raktozbrucke Bridge in Germany.
A summary of tactics and strategy to succeed as an NFT artist
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