A company whose name I won’t give because I don’t want to promote them has recently announced that their revolutionary technology will help instantly change the sky in landscape photographs. I saw their promotional video. Not only their algorithm changes the sky, it also adjusts the light in the ground part of the photo, so that everything looks natural, above and below. Hooray!
There was another company that made an algorithm not long ago that can create completely fake human faces, so realistic you’d never tell them from real ones.
Falsification of the photography continues. Where will this lead us?
I have mixed feelings. Technology is great, but there is a huge difference between being able to quickly eliminate blemishes on your model’s face and making up a whole fake face, or enhancing light and colour in your landscape and completely changing the sky and light and, consequently, the mood of your image. What would be the point of even trying to go out there and make a good photograph with all these technologies at hand?
But I’m an optimist. I think no matter how advanced technology becomes, we will always want to see real faces and landscapes. Real photography. And true professionals, who are also artists at heart, will never use tricks, because by doing so they would be undermining the value of their own craft.
Isn’t it ironic that truth may find its last refuge in the works of artists, the very kind of people who have traditionally been called for creating their own reality?
No doubt, technology and fake images it can create will find commercial use where saving effort and cutting costs are important. But real photography will live on because the truth of the image and the genuine feeling evoked by it will always matter.