Street photography made by Artifical Intelligence in the style of Saul Leiter. Symbol/Article-Image for Article: Is Artifical Intelligence taking over street photography?

Is Artificial Intelligence taking over street photography?

Bastian PeterOn The Streets Leave a Comment

I was not one bit surprised when I read about the Sony-A.I-photography headlines.

Sony World Photography

For those who may not be aware, the Sony World Photography Awards is an international competition open to photographers between 18 and 30 years old who are enrolled in a photography education programme. The contest has experienced some changes compared to the previous year, and submissions are now open earlier than ever before.

In simple terms, the Sony Award has recently faced controversy due to a “photographer” winning with a computer-generated image (CGI), rather than a traditional photograph. This development has sparked a debate within the photography community about the impact of artificial intelligence and CGI on the future of photography as an art form and profession.

Generated by Artificial Intelligence: street photography.

The rise of AI and the Midjourney Bot

Artificial intelligence has infiltrated various aspects of our lives, transforming the way we create and consume content. From the moment we wake up to the moment we fall asleep. A.I and computers are surrounding and supporting us. One such AI technology is the Midjourney Bot, which has made it increasingly easy to generate images that can pass as real photographs. This powerful tool allows users to input text descriptions and choose specific photographers’ styles or mix characteristic elements to create seemingly authentic images. As a result, AI-generated images are becoming increasingly indistinguishable from real photographs, raising questions about the future of photography as an art form and profession.

I created this using the midjourney bot. Gilden style.

The impact of Articial Intelligence

The rapid proliferation of AI-generated images in the media has led to a mixture of outrage, amazement, and concern among photographers and the public alike. Professional photographers who have invested time, money, and effort into their craft may find themselves competing with AI-generated content for recognition, features in magazines, and online hubs. Similarly, hobbyists who take pride in their work and participate in competitions may feel disheartened by the rise of AI-generated images, as they can no longer rely on the authenticity and originality of their competitors photographs. And vice versa.

Also done with A.I.
Remember, this is just the beginning. And I didnt even had the proper prompts.

Controversy and the future of photography

A recent controversy surrounding the Sony Photography Awards saw a “photographer” winning with a CGI image, further blurring the lines between traditional photography and AI-generated content. This development raises philosophical questions about art, our consumption habits, and the future of photography.

Will we see a resurgence in hand-painted originals and the use of real film, such as Polaroid, as a response to AI-generated images? Or will AI continue to dominate, pushing photography to the brink of obsolescence? The answers to these questions are uncertain, but it is evident that the photography community must grapple with the implications of AI-generated images.

The references are obvious and scary, right?

The need to protect originality and authenticity in photography

Or is there no need? Maybe we are outdated in 20 years. As a street photographer and artist I understand the importance of preserving the authenticity and originality of our art form. But maybe we always crashed with the commercial side of photography? Well not all of us of course – some of us are really earning with it. The whole “looking at art like its a product” and “produce more art content” stuff is way too freaky and fake anyway. But thats another sad story. Back to A.I. The rise of AI-generated images challenges the essence of photography and raises critical questions about the future of our profession. We must confront these challenges head-on, exploring ways to safeguard our craft and ensure that genuine artistry continues to flourish in the face of AI-driven disruption.

Ultimately, the photography community must band together to protect the integrity of our art form, embracing new technologies while remaining true to the core principles that define photography. As we navigate the ever-changing landscape of image creation, let us remember the value of capturing life’s moments through the lens of a camera and the power of human creativity to bring those moments to life.

Thank you for reading.

From Basel with Love.



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