How AI changed photography forever in 2022

Image generated by one of the best AI image generators
Image of a photographer in the desert produced with an AI image generator (Image credit: Joseph Foley using Stable Diffusion)

AI image generation is one of the most dramatic developments the creative fields have seen for some time, and 2022 was the year that it truly exploded. In a space of a few months, a new technology seemed to appear out of nowhere and evolve at lightning speed, allowing anyone to create an image of practically anything they want merely by typing a description. 

Generative AI has provoked a lot of controversy along the way, and exactly where it will lead us remains in doubt, but it seems inevitable that the impact of AI image generators is going to be felt on photography as well as on digital art and illustration. As we reach the end of a year that saw the technology go from a niche curiosity to an easily accessible tool, we round up the milestones that marked the way and that will make us remember 2022 as the year that AI changed photography. 

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Joseph Foley

Joe is a regular freelance journalist and editor at our sister publication Creative Bloq, where he writes news, features and buying guides on a range of subjects including AI image generation, logo design and new technology. A writer and translator, he worked as a project manager for at Buenos Aires-based design and branding agency Hermana Creatives, where he oversaw photography and video production projects in the hospitality sector. When he isn't learning exploring new developments in AI image creation, he's out snapping wildlife with a Canon EOS R5 or dancing tango.