What is this post about?
AI is everywhere these days, and there's no shortage of debates about how it will affect the future of photography. But no worries, this blog post isn't going to contribute to the doomsday predictions! I will also not proclaim myself as an AI artist (whatever that exactly is).
Instead, I want to share my personal experience with generative AI and its capabilities in producing "film photographs". So, let's dive into the topic and see if Midjourney (a generative AI) can replicate my Instagram feed. Oh, and please don't take this post too seriously. I actually have no intentions of stopping taking photos and generating everything with AI, haha.
Setting up Midjourney
To be able to generate images, I created an account on midjourney.com. Unfortunately, they don't offer a free plan currently, so I opted for their basic subscription, which costs $10/month.
The way Midjourney works is that you type in your prompt in a discord chat and the bot will answer with four generated images after a while.
You can ask the bot to generate a picture of whatever you want. But remember to be nice and kind! I mean, not only regarding the prompt, but generally in life and especially when interacting with other humans! Thanks!
With my account set up and $10 less to spend on actual film, I'm ready to generate my first AI masterpiece.
Replicating my Instagram Account
Let's get started by replicating a few of my IG posts with Midjourney. I will show you the original post, the prompt I used, and the results.
Prompt: "An empty Bakerloo line London Underground train with a newspaper laying on one seat, captured with Cinestill 800T"
Prompt: "a light flooded London Overground train with one person sitting on the last seat drinking a coffee as a realistic photograph taken on Kodak gold film"
Prompt: "a close up magnolia tree against the blue sky with a few white clouds in an analogue retro look"
Prompt: "A woman in stylish brown clothes, a leather backpack and retro headphones standing in front of a shop selling antique stuff looking towards the window in the look of a photo taken on Kodak Gold"
Prompt: "In this picturesque scene, the arch majestically rises from the turquoise waters of the English Channel, forming a stunning gateway to the sea. The rugged, white limestone cliffs that surround it have been beautifully sculpted by millennia of erosion, adding to the dramatic landscape. A pebble beach lies at the base of the arch, inviting visitors to explore its natural beauty up close. The sky above is a canvas painted with varying shades of blue, with occasional wispy clouds drifting by. The entire scene exudes a sense of serenity and awe, showcasing the raw power and beauty of nature's work. Medium Format Film, Kodak Ektar 100, vintage vibe, realistic, not so sharp"
Prompt: "A pink pastel coloured pier during the day with Victorian style lamps and railings in front of a stormy sky with a rainbow in the look of a photo taken on Kodak Gold"
My New Instagram Feed
I think the results generated by Midjourney are quite impressive, and I'm really curious to see how those results will probably dramatically improve in the near future. Of course, you can easily see that those aren't real photographs, but depending on the scene and the prompt, the results can get pretty realistic.
Now, as we have clarified how the results look (currently!), the biggest question is how it will influence photography and our society. But, I will not address the elephant in the room in this post.
Sean Tucker recently made a superb video about this topic. So, as we are wrapping up this post, feel free to click on the link below and watch the video.
Cheers! - Jan
You made it to the end of the post! Congrats. To express my gratitude, here are a bunch of super cute (but not really existing) Corgis!