Nikon’s anti-AI ad reminds us of the wonder of the real world

Jun 16, 2023

Alex Baker

Alex Baker is a portrait and lifestyle driven photographer based in Valencia, Spain. She works on a range of projects from commercial to fine art and has had work featured in publications such as The Daily Mail, Conde Nast Traveller and El Mundo, and has exhibited work across Europe

Nikon’s anti-AI ad reminds us of the wonder of the real world

Jun 16, 2023

Alex Baker

Alex Baker is a portrait and lifestyle driven photographer based in Valencia, Spain. She works on a range of projects from commercial to fine art and has had work featured in publications such as The Daily Mail, Conde Nast Traveller and El Mundo, and has exhibited work across Europe

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We’ve all been a little wrapped up lately in the amazing powers of AI. From ChatGPT to Dall-E and Adobe’s new generative fill, it really does seem like we can create anything at the click of a button.

But Nikon‘s new Natural Intelligence advertisement implores us not to give up on the real world. Instead, we should look up from our screens, take a walk outside, and view the natural wonders that already exist in our world, and capture them with our lenses, not image prompts.

Nikon's anti-AI ad reminds us of the wonder of the real world

To create the advertisement, Nikon Peru partnered with the ad agency Circus Grey Peru. The campaign is both print and outdoors, appearing on billboards and in magazines the world over. Photographers were sent out to shoot iconic and breathtaking images of the natural world using Nikon cameras, naturally. And the images truly are beautiful.

Real-life text-to-image prompts

The photographs are paired with text prompts that you might use to create an AI image. For example, Fly Geyser in Nevada has the prompt “multi-coloured surreal mini volcanoes erupting water like a fountain.”

Nikon's anti-AI ad reminds us of the wonder of the real world

In a similar vein, a dragon’s blood tree on the island of Socotra, Yemen, come complete with the prompt “a mutant umbrella tree shaped like a nuclear bomb explosion.” The point is that nature has already created everything beyond our imagination if we just open our eyes to it.

Nikon's anti-AI ad reminds us of the wonder of the real world

The threat of AI to photographers

Little Black Book explains that photographers the world over, but especially in South America now, feel as though they are losing jobs to AI image generators. “Editorial and advertising photographers are called increasingly less by brands, and they are slowly losing space, work, and profits.”

Nikon's anti-AI ad reminds us of the wonder of the real world

“Nikon has an important commitment to all the photographers in the world, who, with their talent and art, allowed us to enjoy the most beautiful and amazing images, which is why it was so important for us to take the initiative and support what has always given us a purpose as a brand, photography,” said Charlie Tolmos, Chief Creative Officer of Circus Grey Peru.

Nikon is giving a strong message, and it really does appear to show solidarity with photographers. On the other hand, if there are no photographers, who will buy new cameras?

Of course, it’s an advertisement for Nikon, so of course, they are trying to sell their cameras. However, the best advertisements give us more than just a sales pitch. I would say that this campaign is a successful one because it makes us pause for a moment and consider what we are doing.

[Via Little Black Book]

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Alex Baker

Alex Baker

Alex Baker is a portrait and lifestyle driven photographer based in Valencia, Spain. She works on a range of projects from commercial to fine art and has had work featured in publications such as The Daily Mail, Conde Nast Traveller and El Mundo, and has exhibited work across Europe

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One response to “Nikon’s anti-AI ad reminds us of the wonder of the real world”

  1. Carlos D Avatar
    Carlos D

    My opinion, as a non professional photographer, meaning I don’t make monet from it, but have been a photographer for 54 years!

    AI is for those that: don’t know how to take a proper photograph, don’t know how to use a camera, don’t have an artistic eye, are trying to fool everyone into thinking they are great and have photographed a great image. Again my opinion. So I do use PS, but like in a darkroom, I adjust exposure, colour, and dodge and burn. Period. Here come the comments from those that can’t!