There’s much talk about how AI Technology influences our daily life, but what can be said about its role in photographers’ work? Join us to discuss it.
Those in the photo editing industry can undoubtedly remember the technology ladder from the first Photoshop versions to the many photo editing solutions we count on today. Some of those options are freeware, and others – the industry-leading choices – are paid or subscription-based, but the truth is photo editing software is moving towards AI solutions with a mesmerizing speed.
In this article, we will explore the value of AI incursion in the photo editing solution, why it changed photographers' workflow worldwide, and what we can expect in the close-by future. Let’s get started.
Why AI Technology?
Photographers often face the hurdles of “environment nuisances” while producing their job. We mean wiring, people standing next to your target objective, dirt, unwanted reflections, and so on. While it’s true that this kind of situation mostly attains to architectural and street photographers, no photographer these days is stranger to spend entire evenings removing unwanted elements in Adobe Photoshop or similar.
Because of the scenario explained above, that inconvenience time is often charged to the client if we talk about the situation of a Real Estate Photographer. Translated into money, we can define it between 15-20% extra of the original price, if not more. In the case of a hobbyist photographer, it implies losing valuable time in photo editing, often feeling frustrated due to a lack of skills.
Manufacturers saw room in improving AI Technology and coded solutions inside the photo editing software to automate tasks or make them easier to process. This results in increased production, with speed-up results of 40% in most cases, although that depends entirely on the tool selected, the photo to edit, and the craft of the user for such purposes.
Usages of AI Technology for Photo Editing
Despite Adobe being the number #1 solution for photo editing software in its Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Photoshop Lightroom (the latter one intended exclusively for photographers), Skylum Luminar has been a pioneer in introducing AI Technology for photo editing.
Luminar, in its often confusing range of solutions, offers tools that simplify photographers' work by treating each task required section by section.
Let’s take, for example, this photo.
Using Luminar’s tools, we can quickly change the entire mood of this image from a calming sunset to a dramatic photo at the beach.
And as you can see, only a few sliders were tweaked to achieve this effect. Now, picture yourself doing this very same process the old-fashioned way. It would require:
- Selection and Masking.
- Finding a Sky texture in high-res (Luminar already provides a library of them).
- Offsetting the position of the sky (possible because it’s a 360-degree image) to meet the scene adequately.
- Adjust the lighting for the original scene
- Adjust temperature for the original scene
Just selection and masking is a step that involves a minimum of 40 minutes if the user is proficient enough to work fast with quality results. Instead, Luminar AI solves all these steps in seconds – the total time depending on how powerful your PC is to perform the calc phase.
Results speak for themselves when put in a before/after situation. Such astonishing performance is why AI is the route to explore, with Adobe introducing plenty of AI-based tools in their past two updates.
What to do with the “saved time” in editing sessions?
While it may seem arrogant to assume photographers have time to spare, AI technology is helping them optimize their work performance and speeding up editing sessions. This translates into free time, so how should they spend it?
A good and wise resource would be to plan the delivered result of their work. This could either be print format, web, digital brochures, or social media. Each platform requires its own quality, size, and bleed setup settings.
Adobe optimized the output process in both Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom with “Save for Web” templates, export to social media (available for Lightroom CC subscription versions), and plenty of print options depending on the final file.
Another way to go is to consider exporting the high-res file (or an optimized version) and work your way with Slide Templates to create compelling portfolios of your work without even requiring knowledge as a graphic designer.
500px is another fantastic solution to grow the potential of your business (or expand your audience as a hobbyist photographer) since this platform is the LinkedIn world of photographers.
The Future of AI Technology in Photo Editing
From AI-powered software to AI-powered cameras, this entire realm of AI technology applied to photography is absolutely fascinating. One thing we can quickly expect from these tech improvements is a totally auto-mode for complex selections. Adobe has already incursion on this topic with the Select Subject Tool, but still, there’s room for improvement on hair selection or non-human subjects to select.
Introducing tools for complex editing processes such as crafting water reflections, or compositing scenes is also a much-desired solution by professionals; however, you can find detractors that believe in the value of “knowing your way” through these edits as a manual process.
In all honesty, what AI should explore next is how to make these processes more efficient, meaning less resource-consuming. This could be a game changer in reducing the need for a high-end/gaming computer and opting for cheaper gear solutions. Only time will tell how long we must wait for these ideas to become a reality.