This is one topic that has been on my mind ever since the inception of post-editing suites like Topaz Labs, Luminar and Photolemur have began to incorporate this type of technology into their proprietary photo editing suites. Is this causing photographers to rely less on the tried and true techniques of handholding, panning, knowing exposure and shutter speeds, knowing that they can fix it in post with these AI programs?
Personally for me, it was drilled into my psyche to get it right in camera and perhaps this is because I learned photography back in the days of film where you had to get it right in camera or you didn’t get the shot. Like everyone else, I made the transition to digital and embraced the idea of being able to delete a shot and shoot again.
This is mostly because I want to get it right in camera and digital allows a second chance, or for that matter, as many chances as you need to get it right in camera.
I am not implying that post processing is bad. All photographers do it, including myself. Post-processing in my humble opinion should be for things like removing dust spots, sharpening, adding a vignette, removing color cast, and preparing for print. Exceptions being if you do composites where the picture is altered to reflect your creative vision.
I see and hear all to often inexperienced photographers shooting and commenting on how if they don’t get it right in camera, they can fix it in post. While that may be true, this mentality seems contrary to the craft of photography. Prior to AI programs, I feel the emphasis was on things that make photography well photography. Things like, composition, correct exposure or overexposing and underexposing for mood and sharpness.
So, back to my original question of whether AI software is diminishing getting it right in camera. Today’s cameras can take amazing pictures right out of the box as they are becoming more intelligent with each model release. Knowing the basics of simple things like the exposure triangle help form that baseline for good foundations. In my humble opinion, the foundations need to come first and then, and only then, will the AI software become a compliment to already sound techniques and not a replacement.
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