Future Of Photography

Posted on 12/20/2018 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

A recent story by Petapixel got me thinking about where still photography, as a profession, is headed in this world of generosity and free.

Nvidia Corporation, a technology company based in Santa Clara, California, designs graphics processing units for the gaming and professional markets. They have recently released software that can create images of people that look completely real -- except the people never existed.

Every photographer needs to look at the examples on Petapixel, or on the 12 page pdf that explains how the technology works. (If you don’t have a PhD in Technology Solutions you probably won’t be able to understand a word of the explanation, but the images are impressive.)

Not only can they create fake people that look totally realistic, they can easily create fake room interiors, fake cars and fake animals. There are probably no limits to the fake visuals they will eventually be able to create while making viewers believe they are looking at something that really happened, or really exists.

In future, the only real pictures will be the ones you take of your kids, but if you try to show those to someone else the viewer won’t know if they are really your kids, or your dream of what your kids should be.

If you’re a photographer and think this is down the road and something you don’t need to be concerned about now, think again. Be aware that in 2014 at least 75% of IKEA’s catalog photographs were completely computer generated.

If you currently earning a portion of your living as a photographer, or are thinking about a career as a photographer, you should immediately re-train as a Computer Graphic Designer. You can get more information about this profession here and here.

Since everyone will still want photos for very low cost, or free, it is not clear who is going to pay these graphic designers for the work they produce. Maybe future image creators will be employees in corporate graphic design departments and they won’t be viewed as an additional cost. Maybe these graphic designers will be expected to work for free. But, it seems clear that many photography jobs are likely to be replaced by in-house staff that will be able to create the images needed at much lower cost than any real, human photographer can create them.

Copyright © 2018 Jim Pickerell. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz

Jim Pickerell is founder of www.selling-stock.com, an online newsletter that publishes daily. He is also available for personal telephone consultations on pricing and other matters related to stock photography. He occasionally acts as an expert witness on matters related to stock photography. For his current curriculum vitae go to: http://www.jimpickerell.com/Curriculum-Vitae.aspx.  


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