PODCAST: A Photographic Conversation Episode 270: With Bill Shapiro ‘Photography and Artificial Intelligence Part Two’

In this monthly conversation series Grant Scott speaks with editor, writer and curator of photography Bill ShapiroIn an informal conversation each month Grant and Bill comment on the photographic environment as they see it. This month they reflect on photography and artificial intelligence in a rigorous discussion dealing with the impact AI is and will have on the future of photography.

Bill Shapiro
Bill Shapiro served as the Editor-in-Chief of LIFE, the legendary photo magazine; LIFE’s relaunch in 2004 was the largest in Time Inc. history. Later, he was the founding Editor-in-Chief of LIFE.com, which won the 2011 National Magazine Award for digital photography. Shapiro is the author of several books, among them Gus & Me, a children’s book he co-wrote with Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards and, What We Keep, which looks at the objects in our life that hold the most emotional significance. A fine-art photography curator for New York galleries and a consultant to photographers, Shapiro is also a Contributing Editor to the Leica Conversations series. He has written about photography for the New York Times MagazineVanity Fair, the AtlanticVogue, and Esquire, among others. Every Friday — more or less — he posts about under-the-radar photographers on his Instagram feed, where he’s @billshapiro.

Dr.Grant Scott
After fifteen years art directing photography books and magazines such as Elle and Tatler, Scott began to work as a photographer for a number of advertising and editorial clients in 2000. Alongside his photographic career Scott has art directed numerous advertising campaigns, worked as a creative director at Sotheby’s, art directed foto8magazine, founded his own photographic gallery, edited Professional Photographer magazine and launched his own title for photographers and filmmakers Hungry Eye. He founded the United Nations of Photography in 2012, and is now a Senior Lecturer and Subject Co-ordinator: Photography at Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, and a BBC Radio contributor. Scott is the author of Professional Photography: The New Global Landscape Explained (Routledge 2014), The Essential Student Guide to Professional Photography (Routledge 2015), New Ways of Seeing: The Democratic Language of Photography (Routledge 2019), and What Does Photography Mean To You? (Bluecoat Press 2020). His photography has been published in At Home With The Makers of Style (Thames & Hudson 2006) and Crash Happy: A Night at The Bangers (Cafe Royal Books 2012). His film Do Not Bend: The Photographic Life of Bill Jay was premiered in 2018.

Scott’s next book Condé Nast Have Left The Building: Six Decades of Vogue House will be published by Orphans Publishing in the Spring of 2024.

Mentioned in this episode:
Doug Menuez: https://menuez.com
Amy Lombard: http://www.amylombard.com
Phil Penman: www.philpenman.com
Adeolu Osibodu: www.adeoluosibodu.com

© Grant Scott 2023

1 comment

  1. The notion of losing “the moment’ of photo making seems a bit egotistic as this is most likely only a concern of the photographer, and not the viewer at large. Truth in photography has been a concern since the inception of the medium. AI only accelerates what exists, and that which exists is ultimately the desire of the industry. The response to AI on photography will be much like the response to drum machines in the 80’s. The artist that succeeds will be the artist that masters the new tools. In the case of AI, it will come down to who has the chops to create the perfect prompt. There will be plenty of work for original work in the genres of documentary, portrait, wedding and news photography.
    Regarding Bill’s analogy of that great slam dunk block that never existed; as now, there will be oodles of commentators in the comment stream that will spot the fake.

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