Exploring the Intricate Dance Between Photography and A.I.
09 Oct, 2023

Exploring the Intricate Dance Between Photography and A.I.

In the world of photography, the allure of black and white images remains timeless. The monochromatic palette has a unique way of conveying emotions and telling stories that color sometimes struggles to capture. For years I've been passionate about photography, and lately also artificial intelligence – and not least, the intersection of these two.

So, I'd like to share with you a black and white photograph I took at the danish museum, Louisinana. Unfortunately, the image is shot wiht my iPhone, and not with my mirrorless Canon.
I tried to capture the model within this beautiful stucture, and the interplay of light and shadow that often defines the essence of black and white photography.

But what makes this blog post particularly exciting is that I'm not just showing you a photograph. I'm going to let you witness the evolving capabilities of artificial intelligence, specifically Midjourney's DESCRIBE function, in analyzing and interpreting this image.

The Photograph

Before we dive into the world of A.I. and photography, let me just show you the photograph itself. The monochrome tones create a sense of nostalgia and mystery, drawing the viewer into the narrative of a strange and different place. The play of light and dark, the intricate textures, and the composition all contribute to the emotional depth of the image.

©Niels Steinmeier 2023 ©Niels Steinmeier 2023

As a photographer, I've spent years honing my skills to capture moments like these, to convey a message, or evoke an emotion with the click of a shutter. It's a craft that's deeply personal, and often, it feels like the photograph becomes a part of you.

A.I. in Photography: Midjourney's DESCRIBE Function

Artificial intelligence, especially in the realm of computer vision, has made significant strides in recent years. Tools like Midjourney's DESCRIBE function have opened up new possibilities for photographers and artists. This function uses advanced algorithms to analyze an image and generate a textual description of its content.

So, let's put Midjourney's DESCRIBE function to the test with the black and white photograph we've just seen.

The A.I. Interpretation

After running the image through DESCRIBE, here's what Midjourney came up with:
NOTE: Midjourney returns 4 variants of the interpreted prompt

  1. black and white photo of two women standing under an illuminated wall of dots, in the style of futuristic organic, repetition of form, net art, fujifilm pro 400h, paper sculptures, intense light and dark, layered patterns --ar 3:4

  2. a person stands in front of a large patterned sheet of cloth, in the style of conceptual light sculptures, zeiss planar t* 80mm f/2.8, , monochrome portraits, photo taken with nikon d750, organic architecture, ricoh gr iii --ar 3:4

  3. a woman standing next to a room with a lot of colorful circles, in the style of gothic black and white, experimental structures, backlight, , photo taken with nikon d750, ambient sculptures, intricate weaving --ar 3:4

  4. photoshootpeople, nissan city of light, in the style of , monochromatic contemplation, petzval 85mm f/2.2, intricate weaving, cyclorama, presentation of human form, daniela uhlig --ar 3:4

Midjourneys's description is undeniably impressive. It accurately captures the key elements of the photograph— The woman / person (in one, midjourney sees two), the play of light and shadow, and the overall mood of desolation. However, it's essential to note that the Midjourney's description is still an interpretation based on patterns it has learned from a vast dataset of images. It can't truly comprehend the emotional depth and personal intent behind the photograph.

The Results are in

As you can see here [click to enlarge]

The Evolving Potential of A.I.

While A.I. has undoubtedly come a long way in analyzing and interpreting visual content, it still has limitations. It can't fully replicate the intuitive and creative aspects of human photography. A.I. lacks the ability to feel emotions, memories, or a personal connection to a moment or subject. It can analyze and describe, but it can't truly understand in the way we can.

However, it's crucial to acknowledge that A.I. is evolving – and very fast. With each passing year, A.I. becomes more sophisticated, learning from larger and more diverse datasets. They inch closer and closer to replicating human-like understanding and creativity.

As a photographer, I see A.I. not as mush a threat as a powerful tool to complement our craft. It can help automate repetitive tasks, enhance post-processing, and even inspire new creative directions.


The dance between photography and A.I. is thrilling, as a journey that keeps progressing with every passing day. While we can marvel at the A.I.'s ability to describe and understand the content of an image, we must remember that the essence of photography goes far beyond pixels and algorithms. It's about the stories we tell, the emotions we capture, and the frozen moments in time.

So, as we continue to embrace the incredible capabilities of A.I. in photography, let's also cherish the human touch – the heart and soul – that makes each photograph a unique and irreplaceable work of art. As for the future, who knows what exciting possibilities await us in the ever-evolving realm of photography and A.I.? Only time will tell.

Thank you for joining me on this journey