Artificial Intelligence: New Horizons and Perspectives

Artificial Intelligence: New Horizons and Perspectives

Laura Tota · 7 months ago · Photography

In recent years, Artificial Intelligence (AI) has profoundly revolutionized numerous sectors, including the field of photography. The integration of AI into photography has opened up a world of possibilities, empowering photographers with powerful tools not only to enhance their creativity and produce extraordinary images, a contentious and debated topic, but also to simplify workflows. From automated editing processes to intelligent image recognition, AI is reshaping how photographs are created, edited, and shared. Image purists argue that through AI, every image, no matter how surreal and detached from reality, becomes achievable, unlike traditional photography that requires optical instruments to be realized. The potential of this new technology, in my opinion, lies in how it is perceived: as a means or as an end. One thing is certain – AI is transforming the photographic landscape and the future of visual storytelling, and everyone will have to learn to coexist with it.

Looking back, we have already experienced similar epochal transitions. With the advent of photography, for example, painting could liberate itself from its documentary function, passing the torch to this new practice. The same happened with the introduction of digital photography and post-production software: an initial threat that opened up new possibilities for photography (also generating new professions) and restored a sense of authenticity to analog photography that was at risk of being lost (even though post-production interventions were possible in the darkroom). Automating editing processes, recognizing patterns in editing styles, and replicating them across multiple images through AI ensure consistency in a series of photographs, significantly saving time for photographers. Furthermore, artificial intelligence has shown great potential in image restoration and upscaling. With the help of deep learning models, damaged old photographs can be preserved, providing precious memories for future generations.

Additionally, many artists utilize AI during the creation process of their own images. AI can analyze the style of an individual photographer (based on their photos) and suggest new approaches or compositions that align with their creative preferences, encouraging them to experiment and evolve their artistic vision. In my opinion, by reserving a purely instrumental function for AI, productive scenarios can be opened up for photographers to simplify their workflow and enhance their images, without losing the uniqueness of their research. What is criticized about images generated through AI (thus through a prompt) is a sort of aesthetic flattening, a formal uniformity that makes them all too easily identifiable, although this technology is rapidly learning to simulate reality (I remember when AI was in its infancy, it was absolutely incapable of recreating hands, a task it can now do quite well).

We should educate ourselves to read images, enabling each of us to distinguish an AI-generated image from a captured one. This step becomes crucial, especially in constructing reality, in the search for the necessary information to decode a world increasingly intertwined with images. What needs to be established is the use and practice of looking through AI-linked eyes, a theme that should even be introduced in schools, given that we are increasingly living in a society built on images.

In support of this, accompanying the text, you will find works created through Artificial Intelligence by Andrea Baioni, an Italian photographer specializing in fashion and backstage photography, who has been experimenting with Midjourney and Stable Diffusion, two of the main software used to generate images. Your gaze will wander as you try to understand if the images are real or not, if the models have truly immersed themselves in water wearing Valentino clothes, or even if they have really walked the runway or if it was all created through code.

ph. courtesy Andrea Baioni

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The freedom without veils in Birdee’s shots

The freedom without veils in Birdee’s shots

Giulia Guido · 4 weeks ago · Photography

Blackbird fly, blackbird fly / Into the light of the dark black night, sang the Beatles more than fifty years ago, and it is this song, and its message of freedom, that inspired Jamie Johnson in the choice of what is now her stage name, Birdee. Birdee has been shooting since 2014, when she started with self-portraits. Today, her photographs taken mainly in analogical form are able to analyze the themes of femininity, strength and grace.  The young girls who are the protagonists of her shots are beautiful, carefree, suspended but not for this reason they are not determined and tenacious. Moreover, the fact that we almost never show their bodies in full and often hide their faces helps us to identify with them. They are nobody, so they can be anyone, even ourselves. 

Scrolling through Birdee’s website or her Instagram profile, you will notice that in addition to female figures there is also another element that always comes back in her shots, real water. It almost seems as if the graceful bodies of the girls who shoot are transformed in contact with the waves of the sea or a swimming pool. The little bubbles that caress the skin give light and life to the images. 

Discover a selection of Birdee’s photographs below. 

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The Weight of Memory through Ana Topoleanu’s Shots

The Weight of Memory through Ana Topoleanu’s Shots

Collater.al Contributors · 4 weeks ago · Photography

Ana Topoleanu is a Romanian-Mexican photographer who blends elements from her origins into captivating visual narratives. Her journey into photography began as a means to express her thoughts and capture the essence of the world around her, a passion ignited after completing her studies at the University of Sociology in Bucharest. Since then, photography has become more than just a craft for Topoleanu: it is her universal language and preferred form of expression. Inspired by the diverse cultures of Romania and Mexico, Topoleanu’s work invites viewers on a journey of discovery, urging them to pause, reflect, and appreciate the beauty that exists in both the ordinary and extraordinary. Her photography delves into themes such as the role of women in society, the complexities of motherhood, and the power of human relationships and memories. Today, we discuss “My Pillow”, a project that reflects on memory; let’s see how.

Ana Topoleanu’s My Pillow

One of her most touching projects, “My Pillow,” is a testament to the emotional depth and complexity of her work. The project began during the last years of her grandmother’s life, who accompanied her during her formative years. Topoleanu fondly remembers her grandmother, affectionately called mamaia, as a source of love, guidance, and inspiration. As her grandmother’s health declined, Topoleanu embarked on a photographic journey to preserve the memories of their time together and honor her legacy.

Topoleanu felt that this approach lacked the depth she wanted to convey. Through continuous refinement and introspection, the project evolved into “My Pillow,” a title deeply rooted in memory, representing a poignant moment before her grandmother’s passing. While working on My Pillow, Topoleanu focused on capturing the ephemeral nature of time and the inevitable passage of generations. Each photograph served as an attempt to freeze moments slipping away, reflecting the gradual fading of precious memories and the profound impact of loss.

For Topoleanu, “My Pillow” is more than just a photographic series: it is a labor of love, a tribute to her grandmother, and a reflection of her personal journey through grief and healing. Through her lens, she invites viewers to explore the universal themes of love, loss, and the enduring power of memory.

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Marta Passalacqua and the sad side of summer

Marta Passalacqua and the sad side of summer

Collater.al Contributors · 4 weeks ago · Photography

Summertime Sadness is called Marta Passalacqua‘s photographic project that reveals the sad side of summer. Born almost unconsciously, Passalacqua’s shots place colorful elements in dialogue with desolate settings. Summer has not yet begun, or has just ended. The photographer provides no spatio-temporal indications except for a few clues. A deserted beach with closed umbrellas, then cloths lying in the sun. Or even unlit showers. Human presence never appears but is instead replaced by “objects that smell of saltiness,” placed in a suspended and infinite time that seems to never end. «Summertime Sadness” is the poignant melancholy that catches us, often unprepared, in the middle of a sunny afternoon. It has the flavor of moments already experienced and others still waiting for us, unknown,» reads the curatorial text of Liquida Photofestival in Turin, where Marta Passalacqua will exhibit from May 2 to 5, 2024.

marta passalacqua | Collater.al
marta passalacqua | Collater.al
marta passalacqua | Collater.al
marta passalacqua | Collater.al
marta passalacqua | Collater.al
marta passalacqua | Collater.al

Courtesy Marta Passalacqua

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Perspective, Suzanne Saroff distorted photography

Perspective, Suzanne Saroff distorted photography

Giulia Pacciardi · 4 weeks ago · Photography

In her latest series Perspective, the photographer Suzanne Saroff, creates distorted images of colourful food using glass objects and vases filled with water.
Images play with light and shadow, appearing fractured, divided into several parts, shrinking and incredibly distorted.

With tools and techniques such as refraction, directional light and vivid colours, her photographs offer to everyday objects alternative visual paths.
In fact, through shadows and fragmentation, they seem to become something more than what they really are.

Follow her on Instagram to stay up to date on her beautiful photographic project.

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