The Balcony Scene + AI

I recently started playing with MidJourney, a popular new “AI” “art” creation tool. Primary motivation: expedience. If you’ve seen the Zen stuff I post to Instagram, the artwork is the tricky thing. Sometimes I can make use of one of my photos, but more often than not I have to try and find something online I can use legally or that I can manipulate so I’m not stealing.

Pain in the ass. So I thought MJ might be a nice quick/dirty illustrator tool. (And it is.)

As I was experimenting today, trying to learn more about how it works, I figured out how to give it a reference image as a starting point (vs being restricted to word prompts). So I fed it one of my favorite rose shots and gave it some watercolory instructions.

Rosaceae: The Balcony Scene

Rosaceae: The Balcony Scene

And it rendered these four results:

Rosaceae: The Balcony Scene MidJourney watercolor renderatercolor-2

I began this whole AI thing deeply suspicious of the idea that any of it is really art (although I recognize we’re entering a new era and the debates have barely started).

These, though … feel a little different. I didn’t produce them with my hand, so I’d never claim them as my art. But they were generated from my photography. It’s was sort of collaborative, then?

And I don’t even want to get into the intellectual property issues. What if someone else generated these from my photography?

Brace yourselves. It’s going to be a wild ride.

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