Floral Friday – Creating flower landscapes with AI

After yesterday’s post, I thought I might see how Photoshop’s AI would cope with flowers. The results are mixed and I feel like it isn’t as good as yesterday’s results.

I was showing Dave, my husband, the results and we were talking about how Photoshop gets their source material. Apparently, they use photos that are loaded up to Adobe Stock with the permission of the user. I’ve never used Adobe Stock, to either load photos up to or use, so I don’t know the details. However, I guess it means it isn’t stealing other people’s images like other AI platforms. It is a sticky area really.

We also discussed how good or not so good a job it can do. I was arguing that if it does an image well then it must have a lot of good source material. Obviously, if it doesn’t do it so well then it mustn’t have a lot. I really don’t know how it all works.

Here is the link to the last lot of flowers I did with AI, Floral Friday – Flowers created with AI.

This week I did some completely new ones as well. I wanted to see how it would go when looking at lots of flowers. So I asked it to create the following images. I have also put the prompts or instructions before each gallery.

Create an image of woodlands with arum lilies growing on the ground.

Create an image of woodlands covered in snow with crocus popping through.

Create an image of an archway in spring that is covered with purple wisteria flowers.

Create an image of different colored tulips coming up in grass in a park.

I think out of the four galleries the second one is by far the best. The worst one is the wisteria. I tried doing it a few times and it just couldn’t get the flowers right. They look horrible.

The tulips are okay, though I think the backgrounds look better than the flowers. The first one with the lilies I think is much the same. So it can be a bit hit and miss. I don’t think it does a great job with the flowers. Perhaps they don’t get a lot source material for flowers. At least when you ask for a specific flower you get that flower.

I also asked PS to recreate the images I did for that last post. I picked the best one from each.

I think all of these look better than the last lot I did in that other post. Still not fantastic, but not bad.

Whether we like it or not AI is here. The choice is ours as to whether we use it or not.

I remember about 25 years ago everyone was talking about how horrible digital photography was. How it was going to ruin photography. We needed to make sure that if we had a photo taken with a digital camera then you had to make sure you said it was taken that way. Photoshop was going to ruin it all too, it would give people an unfair advantage. People thought the images were horrible and looked manipulated.

Does all this sound familiar?

Digital photography didn’t ruin photography. It meant that a lot more people had access to cameras as it was cheaper to be into photography. I remember having to pay $5o a week for two rolls of film, that was for the film and for developing. It was expensive, remember that was back in 1997/98. That would be around $100 a week now. It was also only for 72 images. Thankfully memory cards have made that aspect a lot cheaper.

Not to mention black and white photography. If you didn’t process those images yourself then you had to send them somewhere else and it was really expensive. I had a dark room for black and white, but I didn’t like it.

Now we have AI and you don’t even need a camera anymore. So it will make photography even more accessible. So while AI is not quite the same as using a camera, it will probably get there. Like people who hate digital photography, you don’t have to use it. You can decide how much you will or won’t try it.

I’m having fun with it, and I’m curious to see how much it can do. I want to start trying things on my photos, but I don’t know how far I will go with it all. Right now I’m open to seeing what it can do. I don’t know what I will think in 5, 10 or whatever years from now, but I don’t want to be left behind if it is the future.

I guess the thing I worry about is that it might mean that if my images are unique in any way AI will make it much easier for people to copy what I do. That saddens me.

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  1. Love it or hate it, digital photography is here to stay. We don’t know the ramifications yet, but some of it is interesting. I was reading somewhere that some publishers will not review work if a person has used AI in any way. I thought that was unfair, everyone should be able to “experiment” with all art forms. That will have to change too. Right now, it’s about self preservation for original writing and art. I mean, if we can sit down and have writing and art created for us, where does the actual human side of doing this work come in? They are already teaching teachers in Elementary, Junior and High School how to use AI. What does that tell you/us?

    1. It will change, I’m sure it will. I agree with you so much. We can’t stop progress, I think that is a slogan somewhere. I mean just because they have it, doesn’t mean you have to use it, which is the part that people don’t seem to get. Though many of us are probably already using it without realising. I think we all knew it was coming. I guess it is going to be about how we handle it and control it. I think the AI that most of us use will never be that powerful, it is what our governments will do with it that should worry us sadly. Thank you.

  2. I think the image that would have been most likely to fool me into thinking it was taken with a camera is the very last tulp one. You make some good points about how people reacted to digital photography, and remember, there was a time when people thought photography might ruin painting as an art form – it didn’t! The difference is however that with AI images like this we don’t create them ourselves. If we take a photo and then manipulate it in Photoshop or similar, even extreme manipulation, it is still our unique creation. The same can’t be said for this sort of AI. I’m more interested myself to see what it might do in terms of photo editing. I already use Topaz to sharpen and denoise, and I’ve rescued shots I would previously have discarded. And I’ve seen others using AI to replace unwanted or ugly elements of a shot, changes that they might previously have done laboriously by hand. There will be some who deplore that (many people still dislike any but the lightest of edits) but others will embrace it I think 🙂

    1. I think there is confusion out there with the images that I have created and photographs. No way do I think what I’ve done is photography. They were created by a computer, if I had to call them anything I would call them digital images. I think all images created on a computer is digital. Look at computer games, the graphics in those is almost photo realistic, but they are on photos or real. They were created on a computer. I am just amazed at what you can get when you ask the computer to create an image and then it does. I can’t help but be amazed by it. However, like you, I know I am going to be more interested in how I can use it for my own photography. Though I know I will continue testing the whole creating images. I think it is good to know what it can do.Thanks Sarah, certainly an interesting topic.

  3. People said that photography would stop people painting landscapes and portraits but people still do and they have their own character that is different to photographs. I will never use AI because I always want people to see exactly what I saw with my eyes. I spend a long time trying to correct the colours but feel a bit guilty when I use photo software to remove specks of dirt from the carpet, when I photograph a piece of crochet on top of it, instead of removing the dirt and redoing the photograph.

    1. So true, and people said digital photography would kill photography, in reality it just made it more accessible. Remember when they said videos of movies would kill movie theatres, it didn’t. There are always experiences that people enjoy that carry these things on. I think people going out and taking photos will never stop. I can’t imagine now doing that. I love it too much. I don’t think you need to feel guilty for that, all you are doing is trying to create a lovely image, painters would do the same, drawers would do it too, everyone would do it, so I don’t think you should stop either. Thank you RJ.

  4. Hi, Leanne:
    Another interesting post on AI. You can access Adobe stock from Photoshop and it doesn’t cost anything to roam around its inventory. I believe Creative Cloud users get a number of free downloads (10?) before having to pay. I’ve not used any so I’m not sure about that. Like other stock agencies, you search by keywords. It seems like a sizable inventory, depending on the category selected. I’ve only used a stock agency once, when one of best clients asked for a specific image along with a large order of my own work. Adobe didn’t have that image, but Alamy did. Looking forward to your next post on AI.

    1. Hey Robin,
      Thank you, glad you think so. I have never needed to use other people’s images, thankfully, then again I’m not trying to make money from my photography now. I know we can use the cloud, but I refuse to use it, I like my photos here where I have control over them. I know I’m probaby being paranoid, but there you go. Thanks, I know there will be other posts. I’ve been looking at some online courses and things for AI, so who knows. I am enjoying it, and it is fun to see what it comes up with.

    1. Thank you John, and you don’t have to, so no problems there, though you could be using it and not be aware, apparently if you are using your phone for photography it is using AI.

  5. Yes, it saddens me too. There is a big downside to AI and we haven’t seen the worst yet. It’s very interesting what I’ve learned this week alone by some of the founders of AI tools.

    1. All new technology should come with a warning sign I think. YOu never know what is going to happen. I haven’t seen anything from AI founders, but I guess we will find out what happens. Though if I’m being honest I think at the rate we are destroying this planet AI should be the least of our concerns. I think we will be fighting for survival more than worrying about AI. Thank you.

    2. Destroying our planet is an emergency and people just don’t get it. Yet, if you go to places like Sweden and the cold countries around them, the planet is a top priority. The government is a driving factor and they will be the last place that burns up. The founder of AI did an interview on 60 minutes last week and to hear the fear and reality in his voice scares me even more. I agree there needs to be a warning sign but people would not read, that is why we have to rely on ourselves to understand and not get close to the rabbit hole. Have a great day.

    3. I couldn’t agree more, the planet needs help, though the planet will continue, but will we? I couldn’t agree more about governments, if they aren’t prepared to do anything what can the rest of us do. I know in Australia our gov is too busy help private overseas companies to mine everything they can out of the ground and not pay for it. It is disgusting. I will have to look for that interview. I suspect the real problem with AI is not going to be with creating images, I don’t have a problem playing with that, but I don’t think I would let it do much else for me. Though it is everywhere without us realising it all.

    4. What he said in the interview is that AI learns by getting it wrong and keeps doing until it gets it right and becomes able to keep programming it’s self and he was worried about where it all go. He was the creator of AI, not one the guys you are building tools for other companies to do task. He was very concerned about what will happen in the future but they can not be reprogrammed. It was a scary thought. Government is most countries don’t understand and certainly don’t want to spend the money to start correcting our distuctive ways. I do what I can by recycling everything I can and work to buy only packing that can be recycled but it’s not always possible. My hubby doesn’t buy in so it’s slow going to teach him the importance of. Have a great day.

    5. My husband who is a programmer seems to have a different idea, I mean who really knows what is going to happen. I think AI and government is very scary. We do everything we can to try and be more environmentally friendly, we have solar panels and a battery which is great. Thank you, and you have a great day too.

  6. I am enjoying seeing your experiments and reading your analysis of the process and the results. The thing that strikes me about the majority of the images is that there is a lack of artist’s eye in them. This is particularly obvious when it comes to composition choices. Perhaps AI will have utility as an editing or post-production tool or perhaps to generate ideas and creative inspiration but I don’t see evidence so far that it can replicate actual artistry.

    1. So good to hear from someone who is enjoying the experiments Laura, most seem to hate them. I think what you are talking about to could be down to me, maybe I aren’t giving the right instructions. I am sure if you did more you would get more, maybe I should try that. I can see myself using AI on my own images with editing, maybe it will make what I do faster, time will tell. I create these images for fun and it is interesting to see what it produces. I also think it is really amazing that the computer can do this, who would have thought it was possible 20 years ago. Thank you Laura.

  7. You’re right about digital in the way that you can store so many pictures on a card, and the digital images that digital cameras produce are stunning. But don’t forget that depsite film being an investment and developping being an investment, the cameras are generally cheaper, you get a new sensor for each photo. You get a feel that is very difficult to create in digital with film. Think Portra colours etc. This film grain. It’s not the same thing and neither is the process. Each shot becomes so much more deliberate. The fact that I have just opened up the film archives on my blog ijmphotography.net has absolutely nothing to do with this comment. Well, maybe a tiny bit….

    1. Film cameras are cheaper because not many people want to use film anymore. I ended up hating film and turned away from photography for a little while because I hated that I didn’t have control over the final image, I hated the chemicals that you had to use because disposal is not good for the environment. Plus it was so expensive and I imagine now it is even more expensive. I think the qualities of film types can be mimicked with good software. Though I don’t really care about that as I change so much in my images anyway. Nah, I look back on my negatives from film and they are so grainy, compared with what you get now. I also like that you don’t waste money on film because you have a setting wrong or something like that and then when you get the film back all the photos are ruined. I like that I can see what I’m doing when I’m doing it. I couldn’t imagine doing long exposure photography without that screen on the back. I don’t have an issue if you want to use film, but you will never see me doing it again. My film cameras sit on the shelf as a reminder of what I used to do. Thank you Ian.

    2. If ever you want to give them a good home…. For me film photography was the way I learnt photography. I just enjoy the process. Even not being able to see my pictures until developped etc. I always seem to ten towards minimal editing too. The offer is there…

    3. Hahaha they have a home here, they are in retirement now, lol. I learned photography with film too. I like digital too much, I don’t have to find the money to do it so much anymore which is really nice.

  8. You’ve made some good points Leanne,. With digital photography, we are still using a camera and going out to photograph something. With AI, you’re not leaving home and not using a camera to create pictures. I can’t see that being called photography. They need to call it something else like creative imagery.

    1. True, for these images Anne, but you can use AI on your own images, I’m trying to work all that out now and see if it is worth it. Then the question because can they still be called photographs if the base image was one. I can see myself doing a lot more posts about this. Thank you.

  9. You’re right. We don’t know yet where it will lead us. I always thought that photography was the artistic ability of a person to create an image. Now, we have to factor in AI input.

    1. We certainly don’t know where it will lead us. I guess it is just another way to create images that 10 or 20 years ago we didn’t think of. They will be AI images and not photos, so it will be interesting to see what happens. I remember when people who used photoshop on their images had to call them digital images, not anymore. So who knows. Thank you.

  10. No comment! Though the crocus in the snow aren’t bad. I’m not sure how using AI instead of a camera can be described as photography. I’m not saying it’s not a legitimate art form, and a creative one too, but it’s not you, your camera, and the image you’re hoping to capture.

    1. I don’t think you would describe it as photography, digital art, yes, photography no. Yeah, when you put in the commands to create an image you have no idea what you will get, some can be too weird. I would only ever do this sort of thing for fun to see what it can do. I would also always say they are AI images. I was just saying I do think it is amazing that it has got to the stage where all you have to do is give AI a few instructions and then it creates an image. Whether that image is any good is another matter. I agree about the crocus, they aren’t bad. Thank you Margaret. 😀

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