Artificial Intelligence & Photography

by Chuck Staruch February. 25, 2021 205 views
Non Edited Shots with my Canon EOS200D

Non Edited Shots with my Canon EOS200D

We have all heard the term AI (Artificial Intelligence) it seems AI has infiltrated almost every aspect of our lives.

Coming from the "Baby Boomer" generation, I can remember watching the movie "2001 Space Odyssey" with the artificial intelligence computer "AL" pretty much running the whole ship.

And here we are today, with Artificial Intelligence pretty much controlling the world.

I won't go into a diatribe about AI except to talk about how AI has influenced my photography.

My big mistake was deciding to do a Google search (top ten photo editors) one day.

Well that opened a real Pandora's Box!!

Had to try out each and every one of them because they had a free trial period, why the heck not?

Editors like, Photoshop, Lightroom, Nik Collection, Affinity Photo, Exposure and the list goes on.

The one common thread with these photo editors for me was the steep learning curve, and trying to learn how they worked consumed a lot of my time.

Don't get me wrong, I had liked quite a few of the more popular photo editors (actually all of them) but it started to make me crazy with all the choices and before you know it I was losing it

I was becoming quite frustrated with this whole post processing thing.

So I kept looking ..

My goal was to hopefully find a photo editor that was easy to learn, easy to use, and the ability to be creative.

It was last year around October that I discovered a company called Skylum.

They had a photo editor called Luminar 4, it was the first time I heard the term AI used with photography post processing.

A Forgotten Bridge (Edited with Luminar 4)

A Forgotten Bridge (Edited with Luminar 4)

What I really liked about L4 was the ease of the whole photo editing process.

Artificial Intelligence was incorporated into the editing program with the sole purpose of helping expedite the post processing, to make make it easy for those who did not want to spend hours editing images.

L4 to me was what I was looking for, it was fairly easy to learn, and I was very happy with the results I was getting with my post processing.

Then came the announcement from Skylum about Luminar AI.

Holy Cow, did I get excited about that, I was all in and waited with much anticipation of the release of Luminar AI in December of 2020.

Strange Skies (Edited with Luminar 4 with Artificial Intelligence Sky Placement)

Strange Skies (Edited with Luminar 4 with Artificial Intelligence Sky Placement)

The above picture I used AI to place the sun in the clouds

In the meantime during this time, for some unknown reason Luminar 4 started to crash on me. I had just purchased my new HP Desktop and let's just say my enthusiasm started to wane for L4.

After doing some research and reading posts on FB groups I found out there were computer specifications with L4 and LAI.

I had downloaded several memory eating programs on my PC which had an effect on the performance of L4 on my PC.

So I decided to upgrade my PC and would not download LAI until I had more power under the hood.

Whetstone Mountains (Edited with Luminar4)

Whetstone Mountains (Edited with Luminar4)

The kicker was that Covid had and still is effecting everything that has to do with shipping and my computer guy told me it would be months until my order would arrive.

Finally yesterday I received a text that my order had arrived, off I drove straight into town to get my PC upgraded.

A quick upgrade, then headed back home to download LAI

The images below are my first attempts at using LAI without any tutorials.

Solar Panel (Edited with Luminar AI)  Water tanks removed with eraser tool

Solar Panel (Edited with Luminar AI) Water tanks removed with eraser tool

The above image was changed to a black and white. In the original image there are water storage tanks in the lower right corner.

Artificial Intelligence removed them with a brush tool that was quick and easy.

Edited with Luminar AI (Used a Template with edits)

Edited with Luminar AI (Used a Template with edits)

Edited with Luminar AI (Sky Enhancement with edits)

Edited with Luminar AI (Sky Enhancement with edits)

Originally Edited with Smart Photo Editor (Re-Edited Using Luminar AI)

Originally Edited with Smart Photo Editor (Re-Edited Using Luminar AI)

Edited with Smart Photo Editor

Edited with Smart Photo Editor

I decided to experiment using a Smart Photo Editor processed image and re-edit it with LAI just to see what I could create.

Luminar Artificial Intelligence Photo Editor is exactly what I was looking for, LAI meets my specific needs for quick, yet amazing edits with unlimited creation potential.

My PC is handling L4 and LAI with no issues, I am happy to say.

Yes, I have other photo editors which will give me absolutely amazing images as well. It's just taking me longer to feel comfortable getting behind the wheel of those other more (let's say challenging) photo editors.

Back in my junior year of high school learning the basics of photography 101, I have to say it was a lot of fun developing film in a dark room. So much has changed since those days.

I would never have imagined that AL from 2001 Space Odyssey would be helping me with my photography today.

2001 Space Odyssey Trailer

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There are 7 comments , add yours!
Antonio Gil 3 months, 1 week ago

I also use Luminar AI from time to time. OK, but not the best. I prefer Topaz

3 months, 1 week ago Edited
Chuck Staruch Replied to Antonio Gil 3 months, 1 week ago

Topaz is one editor I have heard about, but  have not tried  it. Your edits of gatherings  are some  of my favorites.  Love the look you get using Topaz.

3 months, 1 week ago Edited
Camellia Staab 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Chuck, just like you I have numerous editors. I just counted them, 10 all together. I have Luminar 4 and initially when it came out I was in love with it, because it was the only editor at that time that could do sky replacement with ease. Then with passage of time I became more used to using Photoshop could not do sky replacement, I would use Luminar as a plugin. For whatever reason when Luminar4 upgraded itself it stopped 'talking' to Photoshop. Several emails back and forth with Skylum's help desk concluded that I would have to wait for the next update and they would fix this little issue ( the issue was a little hyphen). Well I got tired of waiting and Photoshop came up with sky replacements and so I never followed up. I know how you like the Smart Photo Editor.....how is this LAI better? Wondering if it is worth me looking into it. (You know one can never have enough toys in their toy box)  😉

3 months, 2 weeks ago Edited
Chuck Staruch Replied to Camellia Staab 3 months, 2 weeks ago

So glad to hear I am not alone with the photo editorssmile  I completely understand when it comes to getting a problem resolved, and not getting a quick response is not good for business that's for sure. Skylum was quite busy with the big launch of LAI and there was a lot of disgruntled former L4 users feeling they were abandoned. 
It was just a matter of time before the sky replacement would become incorporated in just about all the other editors. PS is one of the most popular editors out there, and if your happy with PS that is great.
My issue became photo editor overload and I just was walking in circles trying to figure out which one to learn and invest with.
Every one has their reason for using one photo editor over another. I really really like Affinity Photo, and Nik Collection but with those editors, I just have to take my time with learning each of those. In the meantime I am very comfortable with L4 and LAI and Smart Photo Editor. 
Luminar AI is giving me some awesome results and I am focusing on getting more comfortable with it.
I would say check LAI out,  like you say one can never have enough toys!smile
Would love to see what you could do with your photos!!

3 months, 2 weeks ago Edited
Camellia Staab Replied to Chuck Staruch 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Thanks for your response,  I'll look into it

3 months, 2 weeks ago Edited
Amy Caldwell 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Your photos look great! I might have to check into that program--I don't love to edit my photos.  I'm so far behind.....

3 months, 2 weeks ago Edited
Chuck Staruch Replied to Amy Caldwell 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Thank you Amy. I do not particularly  like to spend a lot of time sitting  at a computer editing photos either. Definitely check it out+1

3 months, 2 weeks ago Edited
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