Defining Moments in a Digital World: My Journey into AI-Generated Street Photography
As a street photographer, I’ve always found solace in the hustle and bustle of city streets. There’s something magical about capturing those fleeting, defining moments. The thrill of waiting for all the stars to align and then clicking the shutter at just the perfect instant is indescribable.
Discovering generative A.I. was mind-blowing; a whole new art form was suddenly within my grasp. However, despite the results reaching a level-10 on the gorgeousness scale, they somehow felt hollow and lacked the emotion and storytelling that I treasured.
In the back of my mind, a thought kept buzzing. Could I? Should I? May I? You see, the idea of creating street photographs with A.I. feels sacrilegious. Street photography is about documenting reality, getting close, and interacting with other humans. Staging a street photo is an unforgivable sin, but faking it with A.I. takes deception to a whole new level.
But I couldn’t stop myself. The idea of merging these two worlds was too tantalizing to ignore. I wanted to see if I could use A.I. to create something that felt authentic and paid homage to the spirit of street photography without sacrificing its essence.
To my surprise, it felt as if I had created the memories of people who never existed. It made me question who these people were and what their stories might be. As I looked at these images, I became emotionally attached to these fictional characters, feeling an unexpected connection and empathy. This strange yet powerful experience led me to wonder if A.I., trained on the collective imagery of humanity, had managed to capture the essence of what it means to be human.
Glimpsed through the eye
Crafting a life that’s not been lived.
Invented laughter, synthetic tears,
The passage of time, a web of false years,
Yet, this life that never was,
A peculiar beauty, it has
About the author
Aron Brand is a veteran Chief Technology Officer with a deep appreciation for photography and a keen interest in A.I. As a photography enthusiast, he enjoys capturing the genuine moments and stories hidden within the busy streets of cities around the globe. Aron’s combination of technical know-how and artistic inclination helps him explore the potential of integrating innovative technology with the profound beauty of human emotion.
P.S. I asked Aron what type of prompt he used to create this specific look; honestly, it should have been quite obvious. Here is the “look” that Aron used: street photography, Ilford ISO 800 monochrome film, Leica nuctilux