Practical Uses for Generative AI in Photography

This section of my site is a collection of articles and tutorials on Generative AI in Adobe Creative Cloud. I've put a lot of effort into showing how Gen AI can be used in practical ways by photographers to augment their work, not replace their creativity. Enjoy!

Using Generative Remove in Adobe Lightroom
Some very exciting updates came to the Lightroom ecosystem this May (2024). Arguably, the most evolutionary of these updates was the introduction of Adobe Firefly into Lightroom, in the form of Generative Remove. Available as an Early Access feature in Lightroom Classic, Lightroom Desktop (CC), Lightroom Mobile and even Lightroom Web, Generative Remove uses Adobe Firefly to replace visual distractions in images at a very high level of realism, and with no input other than a brush-based selection. And it does a pretty good job! Read on to get my first impressions - and see the results - of Generative Remove.
May, 2024
Using Generative AI in a Focus-Stacked Composite
What to do when you handhold a series of exposures with the intent of focus -stacking them later in Photoshop? This could be an issue, but luckily, Adobe Firefly and other AI-powered Photoshop tools can help. Read on to learn more.
May, 2024
Using Generative AI to Perfect Image Cropping
I dabble in bird photography and have even invested in equipment to improve my results. Yet, capturing birds poses a challenge, given their swift movements. Even minor movements by the photographer (like breathing) can significantly affect the composition, especially when using a long lens. Consequently, there have been instances where my subjects ended up too close to the frame's edge or were inadvertently clipped. Clipping a wing or a tail is not ideal, and if your feathered subject is too close to the edge of the frame, it could prove difficult to crop or print the image. Sometimes you just need a little more headroom, or space for the subject in which to "move." Thanks to an improved Image Generation model (Firefly 3) in the Adobe Photoshop beta, combined with the new ability to enhance detail in generated content, those near misses could be a thing of the past, visually, if not practically. Read on to learn more.
April, 2024
Using Generative AI to Create Variations of Your Photos
I am a photographer who is also a frustrated illustrator; simply put, I can't draw my way out of a paper bag. I have great respect for those who can make amazing photographs and paint or draw beautiful artwork, like Victoria White. So, when the new Structure Reference feature went live in Adobe Firefly, I was bolstered by the content I saw others creating, even from simple pencil sketches or line art. What does it do? Well, it helps you create new imagery based on your own imagery as the baseline, generative matching, if you will. Read on to learn how using a simple slider, you control how closely Firefly matches your original image as it riffs off variations based on your text prompt.
March, 2024
The Human Element in Gen AI
If you follow me on Behance or Instagram, you know my professional background in and personal passion for photography. I love to write, as well.  There have also been many times when I wished I had the discipline or innate skill to draw or paint, to create something visual from nothing. While that talent has eluded me, the introduction of Generative AI technology has opened creative doors for me that I had always thought closed. Presented in this article are a few recent projects made in conjunction with Adobe Firefly, then further enhanced or altered to suit my needs. It's important to remember that Firefly and other Generative AI tools are just Unlike humans, who create when inspired, bored, or driven to make, Generative AI makes nothing without our active engagement. Firefly doesn't sit back when it's bored and starts making things up on its own, just for fun. It patiently waits for us to invoke it into action. Read on to learn more.
March, 2024
Generative AI (Adobe Firefly) Comes to Photoshop!
Confession: I have been trying to write a new article about Firefly (Adobe's Generative AI set of tools) for a few weeks now. However, every time I sat down to start this piece, the wizards at Adobe released something new! Case in point... have you heard the news? It's all over town...people talkin... Adobe announced May 23, 2023 that Generative AI is now part of the current public Photoshop beta. That's right... Adobe Firefly is now integrated right inside of Photoshop! Just as the recently-released AI masking was the biggest thing to happen to Adobe Lightroom in more than a decade, Generative Fill is the biggest thing to happen to Photoshop since the introduction of layers.​
May, 2023
AI & Adobe: Putting the New (and Cool) into Adobe Tools
I published this article for a recent presentation, using Adobe Express. With all the recent updates and news about AI magic at Adobe, I've updated it and thought I would share it here as well. We're seeing the rise of the Creative Co-pilot, in my opinion. And that's not a bad thing.
April, 2023
The Red Canoe - A Real World Photo and Gen AI project
I completed a successful proof of concept earlier this year; using Adobe Firefly to realistically expand a landscape photo. The original image was captured in August of 2008. The second image was reimagined in June of 2023 - nearly 15 YEARS LATER.   Read on to learn more about this project.
June, 2023
Lightroom Denoise AI: A Workflow Game-Changer
This month (April, 2023) Adobe dropped a new update for the Lightroom ecosystem. This capability will be a boon to photographers shooting with smaller sensor cameras like Micro 4/3 and APSC-sized sensors, including yours. There are many reviews on Youtube about the new AI DeNoise feature available in Lightroom Desktop (cloud) and Lightroom Classic, so, rather than just repeating what's already been said, I thought I'd share my own unscientific testing with my own images. Read on to see some real-world examples and read my thoughts on this latest advancement in Lightroom.
April, 2023
Upscaling Generative AI Images using Creative Cloud
One of the current downsides to AI-generated imagery is the image resolution that these tools produce. The desire to increase the resolution of these assets is not new; it's been around likely since the first Gen AI image was created. And there are plenty of videos on Youtube offering a variety of methods to upscale your AI images. So... why am I writing this? Simply put, my focus will be on using Adobe tools to perform these functions, from start to finish. Read on to learn more.
April, 2023
Turn Photos into Painterly Art with Generative Fill
Inspired by a video tutorial from PSDesires, I thought I would try out this technique of using a reduced-intensity selection from an alpha channel to turn my photographs into painterly artwork. I'm very pleased with the overall results and enjoyed applying this technique to more than 1 photo. Read on to learn more.
June, 2023
Before and After GenAI
I've been diving into Text-to-image AI, with a specific focus on Adobe Firefly and Generative Fill in the Photoshop beta. In general, I'm quite impressed; I don't know whether to be anxious or in awe of what these tools can do, but I grow increasingly more excited to test them out in my own work. Read on to see a series of before and after images/projects. Some include subtle changes, and some - well - are NOT so subtle. I've also included some nifty tips on getting better results, curated by Adobe's Gen AI experts.
June, 2023
Generative AI and Photography - a Real-World Project
I've been writing about my adventures and experiments in Generative AI lately, with an expected bias towards Adobe Firefly. Prior articles of mine have talked about practical uses for Firefly/Generative Fill and Generative Expand. But they've been more exploratory than true project application. The Art of the Possible, if you will. Well, this week, I have had the opportunity to do more than muse about the possibilities. This week, I needed Firefly to speed up my workflow and do things I likely
October, 2023
Using Generative AI to Illustrate a Short Story
In the past, I have illustrated my Christmas story with images from Adobe Stock and composites created in Photoshop; I've also converted it to an audio podcast, complete with music and sound effects. And I've shared my process for creating both versions through articles on Behance. This year, I've turned to Adobe Firefly to generate most of the storytelling imagery. As I've done in the past, I want to break down my process for you. Much like other recent creative projects and articles I've written on Generative AI (specifically, Adobe Firefly), I will share how this new technology fits into my creative workflow, assisting me in making my dream a reality, not replacing my creativity.
December, 2023
Using Generative AI to Remove Visual Distractions
Welcome to another practical photography/Gen AI project! If this is your first taste of these articles, my goal is share and show how Generative AI can be used as a tool in your photography without undermining your own creative efforts or skills; Generative AI in Photoshop is a great tool to assist in removing distractions, or enhancing the story of your photo, not a creative replacement for your original work. This project covers three major topics; a basic outline of my post-processing protocol, my how-to for using Generative Fill in Photoshop and a deep-dive into Content Credentials and their importance in this age of Gen AI. Read on to see how I tackle a problematic compositional decision.
February, 2024
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