Analog photography was a fantastic medium. I was an analog photographer long before digital arrived. When I began my shift to digital I was thrilled on some levels and distraught on others. Digital opened doors to creativity that the darkroom simply did not allow. As with any improvement, there can be a downside. While I see nothing wrong with pushing the limits that digital photography allows, I do not agree with deception.
I took this photo at Sodus Point in the fall of 2019. The photo itself is mediocre at best. It comes off as nothing more than a travel snapshot. It is a beautiful location that with the right setup and preparation makes for a spectacular subject to photograph. The day it was taken was windy and cold and the level of preparation was to jump out and snap a quick photo. A memento of being there was my only intention.
The catch is that what you see here is not real. It was until I clicked one button. As a fantasy shot, it would be cool but the shot above is impossible. It is impossible because I am standing facing north. I will stall for a moment to give you the chance to think about the statement and then look at the photo to figure out the why.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is here and all around us. AI is fast becoming part of our world and we may not even be aware of it when we see it. That photo above is a product of AI. Have you figured it out yet? The next clue is that the sun always sets in the west. That bright spot on the horizon is the sun. I am facing north.
AI being used in nefarious ways is reality. The above is by admission and it is not even a good effort. I deliberately made an obvious error. Did you catch it? My point being is that someone else will go to more trouble to trick you and get it right. If it is art does it matter? Of course not. I am all for this type of artistic expression as long as we call it what it truly is, and is not.
This is a huge topic of discussion easily found with a simple search and is not the point of this writing. The point is to always think about what you see and understand the source. The intention and the message should also come into question. What you see may not be what you get but may not be real.
If you are still reading did you figure out the photo? The sky has been replaced over the original sky. One-click. That easy. It is pure fantasy.