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Ai photography

...and a controversial award-winner.

Recently, we won a popular DigiDirect photography competition by

entering a drone shot of a pair of surfers at sunrise.


It’s a beautiful image, but it’s not real - at least not in the traditional sense.


That’s because this image was created using AI. 


After learning that we had won, we came clean to the company running the competition and we returned the cash prize. So why did we do it?


We did it to prove that we’re at a turning point with artificially intelligent technology by passing the ultimate test. Could an AI generated image not only slip by unnoticed but actually be awarded the top prize by a photography expert?


The answer is resoundingly yes. 


We will look back on this time as the time everything changed. The genie is out of the bottle and there’s no going back as automation moves into our everyday lives.


Recently we have seen tools like ChatGPT pass law, business and medical exams but no one has been discussing the impact that AI will have on the creative industries.


Back to our award-winning ‘photograph…’


We entered the photography competition using the name Jan van Eycke, the same name as the 15th century painter who is known for creating the most stolen artwork of all time. 


Or to be more accurate, was the most stolen artwork…until now.

Jan van Eyck

The surfers in our image never existed. Neither does that particular beach or stretch of ocean. It’s made up of an infinite amount of pixels taken from infinite photographs that have been uploaded online over the years by anyone and everyone.

Every AI artwork has the capacity to steal millions or even billions of elements from paintings, photos and videos to create something new and breathtaking. A twist on Monet? A portrait of an Ethiopian princess? Done. A convincing Picasso? Easy. Just check out our website or Instagram page to see what can be achieved with AI.


The talents of the master creative minds now live in our phones and it’s not an exaggeration to say that we’ve reached the point where machine is now the superior artist to man. 


History may look back on our little photography experiment as a turning point when we started to notice the new world we’re living in.


That’s why we’ve titled our controversial award winner:



This technology will also change how we think about photography itself: what makes a good picture? And how will this affect our ability to trust images online?

2023 is shaping up to be an interesting year...


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