Let’s be honest: AI has been somewhat in the news in recent months. Articles ranging from AI being the future of imaging to AI being the death of photography have been populating our timelines. In particular, AI imaging has been a stage center, sparking moral and ethical debates about its use and its effect on the future of photography.
Photography is not entirely about the image; much of it is about how we get that image and edit it afterward. To that end, in the photographic space, not as much has been said about AI chat as opposed to AI imaging. Today, we hope to address this article. We will examine some uses of the AI Chat in your photographic workflow.
Planning A Shoot With AI Chat
Planning can be a long and tedious process. We have some amazing tools such as Google Earth, Streetview, and The Photographer’s Ephemeris; however, finding potentially photogenic locations can be hard.
Enter, stage left, our new photographic assistant, AI Chat. Typing a request into your chosen AI Chatbot can reveal a plethora of locations that you can then use Google Earth to investigate further. For example, I wanted to find locations around Frankfurt for an upcoming trip. I used ChatGPT and entered the following question:
“Suggest some beautiful photography locations within 20 miles of Frankfurt”
ChatGPT not only gave me a useful list but told me what to expect at that particular location, for example:
“Römerberg: Located in the heart of Frankfurt's Old Town, Römerberg is a historic square surrounded by beautifully restored half-timbered buildings that make for great architectural and street photography.”
ChatGPT gave me 12 decent suggestions for locations I can now delve a little deeper into. But what kind of weather and light might I expect for a shoot at Römerberg? Again, I turn to the AI Chat.
Whilst the weather was unsurprisingly a little generic, the suggestions for the time of day to shoot were very helpful. By asking a little deeper questions, AI Chat came up with more detail; whilst still a little generic, it does give some useful insights.
“Ultimately, the best time for architectural photography in Römerberg will depend on your personal preference and the atmosphere you wish to convey in your photographs. Consider early morning during the golden hour for a more serene and intimate feel. If you want vibrant city life and dramatic lighting, late afternoon and evening blue hour are great options. Whichever time you choose, be mindful of the weather conditions and the lighting direction to make the most of the architectural beauty Römerberg has to offer.”
By asking deeper questions about weather, light, and location, you can certainly use AI Chat to break the back of your photographic location planning.
Learning Photography With AI Chat
Learning photography, especially from zero knowledge, can be hard. There is a steep learning curve and lots of studying and practice. Of course, there are many amazing resources to learn photography, from this website through YouTube to full, paid courses. However, sometimes you might have a very specific issue or technique you want to understand; this is where AI Chat comes into its own.
Let’s say you are a newcomer to photography, and your images keep coming out blue. It might be difficult to track the reason through regular searches as many articles will go quite deep into white balance. However, typing “Why do my photographs seem to always have a blue cast” into AI chat gave me a comprehensive and useful answer. The headline was the following:
“A blue cast in your photographs typically indicates an issue with white balance. White balance is a crucial setting in photography that ensures the colors in your images appear natural and accurate. When the white balance is off, the entire image can take on a dominant color cast, such as blue”
The AI Chat then suggested multiple reasons and solutions for the problem in order of most likely cause.
But of course, being new to photography, you might not know how to change your white balance. So then again, you can ask AI Chat detailing your specific camera, such as, in this case, “How do I change the white balance on my Nikon D3100?” The results are pretty impressive.
As a stock photographer/videographer, 75% of my workflow is about captioning and keywording. There are paid services and tools that can do this for you, but you will be cutting your profits on each sale.
Recently, I have taken to experimenting with ChatGPT to keyword my images. I will comprehensively describe the image or clip, then ask the AI Chat to suggest 50 SEO-based keywords for a specific stock agency.
The output has been pretty impressive. There is a mixture of keywords that I would have thought of, plus some that I might not have but are still very relevant. You can then refine those keywords, subtracting and adding your own. Time will tell if these keywords are improving sales, but in terms of the time taken to do the keywording, there is already a considerable saving.
Even if you are not a stock photographer, this technique can greatly improve your image cataloging in Lightroom, enabling you to find images much quicker.
Social Media And Marketing With AI Chat
Another area where AI Chat can be useful is in social media. If you are stuck with what to say when publishing your images to FB, Twitter, and the like, then you can use AI. In the same way as keywording, give the chatbot a description of the image, tell it which social media platform you wish to post to, and ask it to write the comment. You can get AI to add suitable hashtags and emojis, then simply refine the comment and post the picture.
Beyond social media, you can use AI chat to suggest topics for you, perhaps for your photography newsletter, to outline a speech to your local camera club, or even to give you ideas to sell your images.
We can all get into the photographic doldrums. Sometimes, they can be hard to get out of. So, what about using AI Chat to inspire you to take new photos? There are many ways that you can do this. You can ask it to find some interesting photogenic locations nearby. You could try to learn a new photographic technique and ask the AI to suggest a way to shoot it. You can even get AI to list new photographic projects with which to inspire you.
These are just a few suggestions on how AI Chat can become your new photographic assistant. Whilst not perfect, some answers can be generic, Chat AI bots can be immensely powerful tools in helping us with our photographic workflows, inspiration, and education.
With AI Chat making it to apps on our smartphones, we will be able to take that assistant wherever we go, tapping its advice whenever we need it.