The art of photography has been changed in many ways by technology over recent years, from the proliferation of filtering and photo-editing apps to social media’s constant inundation of digitally enhanced photographs that make us question what it means to be a photographer. Time Magazine has even taken it so far as to declare that photography is dead, claiming its “puberty” was around the time when technology moved
“from analog to digital, although it wasn’t until the arrival of the Internet-enabled smartphone that we really noticed a different behavior.”
Artificial intelligence (AI), however, is set to completely upend all we know about photography. Artificial intelligence is changing the way we work, the way we interact, the way we travel, defend ourselves, and manufacture goods. And now, it is changing the way we capture moments in time. With AI comes automation, and with automation, we lose what it is to truly capture a moment in time with the art of photography.
In comparison to long days spent in the darkroom processing photos, AI technology makes the process of developing photos automated - sterile, and unartistic. To many, this means photography is no longer an art, to others, photography is simply a means to an end. The latter, of course, refers to those companies whose advertising model is premised on social media.
“To many, editing a photo is simply something they want to do to improve their social media following,” says Sergey Pavlishin, the founder of Movavi,
“For influencers and businesses in particular, they very much feel they need to present themselves authentically while getting the best image possible.”
Having launched as a startup run by a small group of enthusiasts in 2004, Movavi has grown to an international business with a presence in more than 200 countries and with over 400 employees. It is a multimedia software company that develops easy-to-use software that inspires people to edit, enhance, and share their content, targeted at the growing demands of micro-influencers who use multimedia editing software to edit film and video for social media.
While social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Instagram, and SnapChat are providing several editing features to make uploaded photos look better, there is a huge demand for external photo editing software, to set one’s profile apart from others. Influencers will readily admit that rather than use apps such as Instagram for editing, they prefer to use other programs, like VSCO or Lightroom, to perfect their photos.
“Storytelling is crucial to a brand's success, and some of the best storytellers out there are Instagram influencers,” explained Sergey.
“If this trend continues, the demand for video and photo editing apps and software will only grow in the coming years.”
Movavi is just one of many multimedia companies that has adopted AI as part of its digital toolset. To edit any photo file to perfection, Movavi Photo Editor employes artificial intelligence to optimise images and allows users to edit any part of a photograph to improve low quality or add color, via your desktop.
“People want easy-to-use, intelligent software, therefore, it’s important to make sure that the software is designed to be intuitive for the user. Using AI just makes sense if you want to achieve that,” Sergey said.
Photography will remain relevant as long as social media presides over the internet but analog film might suffer a loss of interest. However, it will not be easily replaced by its successor, as there are still film and art enthusiasts who will continue to use the seemingly outdated technology.
There is also the potential for film to be revitalized in future generations as a novelty, much like phone booths and vinyl players which are obsolete but not forgotten.