Should I sell all my photographical equipment while it still costs something?

Greetings, fellow photographers and photo enthusiasts.

I've been testing lately those artificial intelligence image generators that were made freely available to everyone, in particular Stable Diffusion 2.

I extensively explored the subject of female portraits and found out that some of the generated portraits coming from the AI have exquisite quality and cope pretty well with the framing and the composition not to mention the colors and some special effects I added like sunlight flares.

For instance, if you check out the reflections on the glasses on the second portrait it becomes pretty obvious that the AI is using a large database of already existing images so in terms of copyright here come two interesting specifics.

Eyes and teeth are known as means to recognize a specific person so if you manage to give the AI a phrase that would generate portraits with eyes hidden and mouths closed that means you won't face any potential issues with people recognizing themselves in those artificially generated images.

Ergo the sunglasses!

So here I am asking myself this big question: should I get rid of my photographic equipment and move to other areas and the bigger question here as well is: is digital art in danger?

Only the future will tell.

Some stock photo agencies have already changed their minds with regards to AI generated material. Some accept it and others are still wondering what their policies should be.

For the time being I'll probably keep my cameras and lenses but I better focus more on documentaries perhaps and not only on travel and people photography.

There are still flaws that could be seen (like the model ear in the last picture) but soon I guess those will be so minimal that a handful of people will be able to notice them...


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Take analog photography as an example, many people have returned to it, both as a hobby and as a business.
Almost every innovation on the market experiences a start-up boom, but the question is how long it will last.
Personally, I would not be so radical about the equipment and sell it regardless of what the current trend is.

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Thank you for expressing your opinion!
I bet some things are quite "irreversible", sort of speak.
As an instance, there are still a lot of printed newspapers, but their circulations are much less than before.
!PIZZA

We live in (too) interesting times ;)

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I'm not denying that we are approaching to the artificial way of living, but honestly I'm not sure how all of that will influence on a human life as we know it and handling it so far.

However my moto will forever be "do not follow the crowd."
:)

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Hopefully we manage to harness the positive side of it ;)

"do not follow the crowd."

I respect that a lot, I am a person who generally avoids crowds :)

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Oh, it seems I haven't invited you to the "Photographic Society", you're very welcome to join and post ;)

@hive-142821

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It's never too late. :)
Thank you!

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Welcome! I hope you find this place useful and warm :)

!PIZZA

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(Edited)

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If you still love doing it, don't sell your equipment. In the end, you would only regret it, and either buy new stuff or miss doing something you really enjoy.

This post has been manually curated by the VYB curation project

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Wise words!
Thank you for your support and motivation! :)
!PIZZA

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Interesting thoughts. Perhaps hang on to your camera equipment until you settle on it not being what you want to do at all anymore. I've played around with some AI image generators and find them fun, but at the same time disappointing. This is not so much due to what is generated as it is lessening my enjoyment of creating because I'm less involved with the process. Also, AI doesn't "think" like a human being, so there's that unquantifiable aspect as well, imo.

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AI doesn't "think" like a human being, so there's that unquantifiable aspect as well, imo.

That is an excellent point. I bet AI has been trained by human beings but probably by many, not only one and this makes the process absolutely different too :)

Thank you, have a !PIZZA

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Yes, trained by many. Years back, it was something I was a bit involved with where I worked, although in a business structure rather than creative one. It's evolved exponentially since then, due to all the data it consumes daily.

I find it can never create what I've already created in my mind and even if it could, it still removes me from the actual process itself. I only recently noticed this when I found myself making longer animations and choosing to do so frame by frame in Photoshop, I asked myself why am I doing it this way and realized that the more it's automated, the more mechanistic it becomes.

That's not to say people should not use AI to create with. This is just my personal preference. I'm the same way when it comes to power tools vs. hand tools. I prefer using hand tools.

You're welcome and thanks!

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I myself am the same type :) I'd use hand tools too, if I only have all the time.
That, in my opinion is their only advantage - they save time.

Thank you!

Once again, comparing the printed newspapers with the new, published online, I'd say in the past it was much more difficult to publish a fake news. Or at least more expensive.
AI with its ease of access will probably do the same, there will be more fakes, in every aspect. I hope I am wrong, though :)

!PIZZA

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I myself am the same type :) I'd use hand tools too, if I only have all the time.
That, in my opinion is their only advantage - they save time.

Time is always a factor. I'm trying to think of an advantage in addition to saving time and I can't come up with one, lol.

Once again, comparing the printed newspapers with the new, published online, I'd say in the past it was much more difficult to publish a fake news. Or at least more expensive.

I hadn't thought of that at all. You're right. You have a good point about AI ease of access. I hope you're wrong also. I always like to be wrong, gives me a good feeling when that happens. :)

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I also hope I am wrong and will be wrong :D
The future will tell!

!PIZZA

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It definitely will, in the meantime I can only focus on now, lol.

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A few days ago you mentioned something about getting older. Well, I won't admit to myself that I'm getting old either, but things like what you write about today make me feel old. Maybe it's because I can't take 'the artificial'. Virtual reality, avatars, proxies, AI images... it's too much for me.
A few years ago, I was faced with the question of whether to buy a higher-end camera. If I had, I would have given away all my savings (which no longer exist anyway). I didn't do it. But I have no intention of selling what I have either. There will always be people who will be able to tell the real from the junk, the real from the fake, or the real from the low quality. At least until the people of our generations die out completely...
!PIZZA
!LUV

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All valid points, thanks for sharing this with me!

True about the real people. I try to surround myself with real persons and real stuff in general.

!PIZZA

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I think that traditional photography and AI compositions can co-exist. When the novelty and excitement wears off with AI - there will always be people who want the real thing once again. This means that your equipment will probably be worth a lot more in years time.

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Right! Exactly as printed and online newspapers coexist.

your equipment will probably be worth a lot more in years time.

I just have to live long enough for it to become vintage :D Good point as well!

!PIZZA

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Nooooo..... don't sell!
For me - AI is AI, artificial. No way it can match up to the REAL thing! Yes, I have seen very impressive, AI work, but it is still artificial! One day, stock photo agencies, clients, etc. may think it's more "perfect" and want to replace their requirements with these, but it is still NOT the real thing... it is still not LIFE. My two cents worth there! 😉

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:)
OK, I won't then :)

No way it can match up to the REAL thing!

It is disturbingly getting better and better and much closer to the real things. I guess, it's just a matter of time until we are no longer able to distinguish between the AI and the real. That day would be an end to many creative things...

Thanks for your feedback :)

!PIZZA

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For sure this AI generated is going really far but it is just the begining, i really think we will see comercials videos made from AI really soon...

But those will be used for big companies... small bussines and close friends will always want a photographer instead of AI

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Deep fakes will definitely be a huge problem soon. Probably they are a problem already. Imagine someone pretending to be the US or the Russian president. There could be consequences on mass scale.

I hope you're right but civilizations have always proved to use all inventions in their worst way too. (For instance, the nuclear bombs...)

!PIZZA

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It's the stories you tell, remember?

A case of...

This beautiful portrait of a beautiful girl is beautiful because she is...beautiful and it's all...beautiful.

Vs

There's really something going on here...

Endless possibilities in the last case and each author can find themselves there. AI be invited to the party, no problem. Artists with something to tell will still tell...something.

Also, I hear AI can't

!BEER

like we do.

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True... true...
AI is no fun unless we make it fun. Moreover, it can work 24/7 while we need to party and then take breaks :D

!PIZZA

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