AI And Creativity

You know how you don't really want to be old man yells at cloud guy? And yet.

Yesterday I posted how I was fooled into thinking something was a great photograph when in reality it had been AI generated.

Just today the current top spot on Flickr's Explore is an AI generated image. If you read the comments you'll notice lots of "outstanding shot" and "really great work" mentions.

The Chess Game

Is it really great work though?

The "photographer" in this case hasn't really done anything. Well, I take that back. Typing "a cat and dog playing chess" into a text box in Midjourney on their phone while sitting on their sofa isn't exactly nothing but it's not really something to be applauded is it?

I dunno, maybe it is?

Perhaps this is where we're heading with all this. Which makes me think about what human creativity will look like 10-15 years from now in an AI future. Is this possible future one in which we don't create the thing ourselves? Possibly. But where's the fun in that?

Photography is my own creative outlet. I love going out and about with my camera for a few hours, finding some cool things to shoot, before coming home and tinkering in Lightroom for a bit. Sometimes something comes from that and I upload the work I'm proud of. The whole process from start to finish is enjoyable.

Someone else may argue why go to all that trouble when you could just use your phone to generate a better image in 10 seconds? I mean sure, if that's what being creative means to you. That's not what it means to me.

I'd argue it's not what it means for artists, musicians, writers, or actors either. Entire industries are built on humans creating something. Something, unfortunately, that AI could do a lot quicker, and for a lot less money.

But what kind of future is that? It's one I don't like one bit.

Flickr Year In Review

I'm still an avid Flickr user, school of 2004 yo. Their "year in review" just came out. A little light on detail compared with, say, There are really two (somewhat underwhelming) sections.

Your shot that received the most love.

And a few quick activity stats.

My goal for 2023: upload a photo every day, which I'm happy to say was mostly successful. I followed more photographers last year than ever before and made more of an effort to engage, drop a fave, and leave a comment.

Flickr may not be the photography juggernaut of years gone by, but I saw a higher level of engagement with my own photos, and my feed is busier than ever. There's still a living breathing vibrant community there. Long may it continue.

Flickr's Best Shot Of 2020

Flickr is running their annual best shot of the year competition. So many many good photographs have already been submitted. Browsing the group reminds me I still have much to learn.

This is my submission.

Night Songs

The combination of the iPhone wide angle lens and the light from under the stairwell caught my eye. I continue to be thoroughly impressed with how well the iPhone handles indoor night shots.

The Spark Of Life


I don't shoot as many photos as I used to. I still kinda sorta maintain a Flickr upload rate of once a day, but some days nothing. I mean for one, 2020 hasn't exactly provided an abundance of travel opportunity, and secondly my photography muse took a holiday. Something akin to photographer's writer's block I suppose.

A couple things happened recently that I hope will ignite the flame once again.

Firstly my old trusty DSLR workhouse of yore the Canon T2i started to literally fall apart at a shutter count of 28,947. Not necessarily the fault of the camera of course. Over the many years of ownership, she's survived being dropped, lost, found, dropped again, scraped, and dropped. The old girl deserves a happy retirement.

Secondly, I'm now the proud owner of a Canon 7D MkII. The best camera I've ever owned in my life. I already feel the enthusiasm to take her everywhere and shoot everything. I think this might be the start of something. Time will tell.