AI imagery goes against everything I believe photography is about

A Vintage camera exploding illustration generative ai
(Image credit: Andrea Izzotti / Alamy)

I recently came across a succinct description of what us photographers do… “lens-based practice”. Although, “camera-based practice” is arguably just as accurate. 

With the rise of AI, it’s going to be even more necessary to distinguish photography – i.e. image making using a camera and lens – from the frightening prospect that is AI-based image generation. This is machine learning software that simply uses a short text description to make up a picture from elements that it has absorbed from millions of tagged sample images. 

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Paul Burrows

Paul has been writing about cameras, photography and photographers for 40 years. He joined Australian Camera as an editorial assistant in 1982, subsequently becoming the magazine’s technical editor, and has been editor since 1998. He is also the editor of sister publication ProPhoto, a position he has held since 1989. In 2011, Paul was made an Honorary Fellow of the Institute Of Australian Photography (AIPP) in recognition of his long-term contribution to the Australian photo industry. Outside of his magazine work, he is the editor of the Contemporary Photographers: Australia series of monographs which document the lives of Australia’s most important photographers.