Business note. First gear purchase of 2023. Utilitarian. But helpful.


My photographer friend, Paul, is always scouting around on the internet looking for photographic bargains. A few weeks ago we were having coffee and discussing the future of photography. I told him that I'd love to just start shooting more and more for myself and that I'd probably get rid of everything but the Leicas and, even in that space, I'd only want to keep the ones that all use the same type of battery. Those would be the SL, the SL2 and the Q2. I did mention that I'd love a few more batteries but that I find them to be dreadfully expensive...

So, over the weekend I got a call from him and he told me he'd located and purchased two slightly used Leica BPSCL4 batteries. He bought them from someone who dived into the Leica SL system and then lunged right back out again. All the guy had left to sell were two almost brand new batteries for his now departed camera.

Price check on aisle five! The current new price for these batteries in the USA is right around $285 each. Two would run $570. 

The two batteries Paul got were priced at $320 for the pair. I asked him if he was interested in selling both or if he was interested in keeping one of them to use with his own SL. He told me he already had a couple backups and offered them to me; if I wanted them. Which, of course, I did. 

The original seller was someone Paul had done business with before and trusted. Trust but verify says I. I put them onto Nitecore chargers that both charge and read out the condition of the batteries. Both are as advertised. Pretty much as brand new. 

Feeling good about getting more batteries! Feeling even better about saving $250 into the bargain. 

Why more batteries? Because I hate having to charge batteries in a hotel room every night while traveling. Especially batteries that take three or four hours to fully charge up from zilch. I figure I need three batteries per camera on a long, extended shooting day. That's 3X battery baby-sitting each night. More fun just to have enough batteries to go for days without the hassle. 

Also, when it comes to video projects the SL2 performs best when it's got fresh batteries. I like to keep feeding it fresh batteries if I'm using it on a 4K adventure. Nice if you can swing it but more battery intensive than it should be...

Sadly, if you look at the overall configuration of the battery dress and the electrical specs you could be forgiven for thinking this is a repackaged Panasonic S battery with a weather seal and a fancy interlock. And you can pick up Panasonic batteries all day long for about $65. But if you are spending money on Leica gear it's a bit churlish to whine about the price of accessories. 

Happy day. New batteries. Unlocking more potential uninterrupted shooting time for me. Sorry, no links.

My point of view about photography is bound to be different from yours if....

...you don't send out invoices along with your photographs...

When I started this blog I think I made it incredibly clear that it was intended to be about my life as a commercial photographer. A person who spends 100% of their work time engaged in making, selling or marketing photographs for commercial/business use. The one exception, which has died off almost completely, was the work I also did for editorial outlets which were almost exclusively magazines. 

If I bought a piece of gear it was generally because I thought the new acquisition would help me make better images which would, down the road, help me get better clients and even better projects. If I posted an image as an example of some blog topic (about the business) it was not because I thought the image was "great art" but because it demonstrated something about the trend or technique covered in a particular blog post. 

This weekend Michael Johnston posted a great comment (made into a post) from a reader credited as JH. I recommend it for everyone on both sides of the "I do this for fun/hobby" and "I do this for a living" divide because it explains so much to me about the feedback I sometimes get here that baffles or torments me. Here's the link

But back to today's screed.
A constant theme from photographers who aren't engaged in the business of making photos for clients is that "Kirk changes camera systems more often than XXX changes his underwear...." The idea that JH puts forward; that some of us are not process driven but are instead project driven comes into play. Readers who have the benefit of working a subject to death seem happy to use the same gear ad infinitum because the gear is actually part of their long term process and changing gear would change the process and that's disruptive.

On the other hand I see shorter, faster engagements as projects. I tie cameras and camera systems to projects. If similar projects come up I use the same gear. If projects diverge and something new presents itself on the horizon I try to find the gear that works best for the new project. While for a hobbyist an expensive camera purchase is a sunk cost that has no financial return and is doomed only to depreciate, a small business can depreciate or deduct a new camera purchase from the company's profits in the schedule C, make money with the camera in the moment, and then trade the camera off or sell it when the need (or desire) for it fades. It's not a black and white, all or nothing equation. 

Were I to get a string of assignments photographing serious portraits for a prosperous company, over time, I might be able to justify the buying of a medium format camera and appropriate lenses because they might give me just exactly the look I want. Or they might provide the placebo effect of knowing I was bringing the most serious gear to the project. But after the glow of the project dimmed and my horror at repeating myself re-emerged I might get tangled up with another project that called for a documentary black and white style of photographing that required different gear. But always the gear is tied to projects. 

I read with some amazement when someone writes that they've been using the same camera and lens since 2007 or 1995. I can't imagine that for myself. I'm equally at odds with the idea that someone who is incredibly serious about photography might have only the one camera and no back up camera. But that's the bleed over from my perspective as a working photographer. If today's shooting camera gets caught in a wood chipper (and the strap doesn't pull me in as well...) I still need to finish today's job and be ready for tomorrow's job. And that means having more than one camera --- there somewhat as a safety blanket; just in case, but also as a rational redundancy, like the fact that passenger jets all have at least two engines....

There are some comments at which I just laugh out loud and then move on from. My least favorite is when I describe a financial arrangement and a well meaning person with absolutely no photo business sense suggests: "Just charge them double!!!" or "If the demand XXX you should demand XXXX!!!" as though the client has no say in the matter and no recourse other than to choose me and keep me in business. In nearly every business (with the exception of monopolies) all projects and encounters are based on compromise and negotiation. The idea that I can charge $10,000 for a headshot instead of $800 because the client inconvenienced me is just unimaginable.

I have too thin a skin but I always get ruffled when someone looks at a photo I've posted as an example on the blog and then proceeds to critique said photo as if I had contended that it was the finest manifestation of fine art photography and deserved to be in a museum. Nearly always the photos are only intended to accompany a talking point. Or the images are added to a post as a bit of a visual resting spot to an otherwise droll and poorly thought through essay. But I never intend for an image that is compressed and rendered at 3200 pixels to be thought of as an example of high art. Same for subject matter. 

One thing I have to mention is that many photographers who comment here seem to have long term projects they are working on. I wish. I have a vague understanding that I should concentrate more and more on the portraits I like and should figure out something to do with them but I must be the least disciplined worker of all when it comes to making anything into a long term project. I bounce in and out of a number of genres because photography weaves through my everyday life and isn't set aside as a "special treat" or something I carve out of the time I have to spend working at a "real" job or the time I "must" spend on endless family vacations, family gatherings, family obligations (yes, married couples should spend at least one vacation a year away from each other --- solitude can be wonderful). No. I bring a camera with me everywhere and I'm unfiltered about photographing just about everything. From a beautiful face to a smiling lawyer to a well lit (natural light) cup of coffee. If I concentrated on only one kind of photography I'm pretty sure I could make a more successful go of it than I have. But I'm equally sure I'd be bored to tears. 

Many people also have a huge reverence for all the photo work that was done in the past. Like large format landscape stuff from the last century. Like street photography from the 1970's, 1980's and onward. While I too find Robert Frank's work and William Klein's work and Richard Avedon's work the foundation for nearly everything I like to look at now it's not my job to halt all my own forward progress is a misguided worship of the work they did 50 or 70 years ago. It's like being a political scientist and only studying the Eisenhower administration --- over and over again. Or claiming that the 13 inch black and white TV from GE, circa 1965, is the highest achievement of electrical engineering aimed at television.

We can give an appreciative nod to those giants who came before us but it's absolute folly to let our admiration for their pioneering paralyze us in the present. 

While this flies in the face of popular discussion there is more to a life in photography than just the finished work. The prints. The digital files. To my mind the whole engagement with photography has to be fun, challenging, raucous and social. The work of the work is the process I bond with instead of the process of doing the work. By that I mean the overarching universe of living photographically is much more valuable to me than clamping my bulldog teeth on to one subject/project and working it to death, over and over again like an indestructible bone. 

For whatever reason I'm perceiving that photography as I've practiced it, as a business, for so long is slowly vanishing. So are the needs of the clients for what I do. So are the engagements and the flow of money. One would think that this is where panic should set in. Or bitterness at the changing nature and the changing fortunes of photography as a business for the baby boomer generation. I'm sorry. I don't feel like whining. If we did our careers correctly it's too late at 67 years old to depend on the next headshot to pay the bills. Planning should have started happening with these days in mind decades ago. Now I guess it's really time to worry less about the next work project and start having more fun shooting stochastically. Chaotically. Or with just a sense of exuberance. But that's what we should be doing because as much as we might enjoy having structure I've always found that it was the stepping away from structure that made all of this so much fun.

not fine art.

not fine art.

not fine art.

not fine art.



You can probably tell I'm really shy and introverted but I'm trying really hard to work out my quiet and retiring nature by throwing myself into photo situations that require a tiny bit of give and take.

I had some time. I gave myself an official break from assembling the accounting information for my CPA and I went downtown with a little camera and lens just to see if I could still move through crowds, make new friends and get over my shyness. (I am kidding, I'm no more shy or retiring that anyone else.... maybe less so...). 

After hauling around bigger cameras earlier in the week I gave myself permission to use one of the wondrous and adorable Leica CL cameras along with an equally winsome Sigma i-Series 56mm f1.4 lens. I didn't walk endlessly. I just planted myself on a few hopping blocks of East Sixth St. and watched the people go by. There were lots of bands that were not part of the official SXSW roster but who had come to SXSW to do impromptu showcases out in the streets or to give the public a taste and then pass out promo cards for later performances at big and little clubs sprinkled all over the downtown area; spilling over to the east side. The bands down here on Friday afternoon were predominantly composed of African American musicians and performers. The energy was high. And finally the street was filled with people filming for social media...with real cameras. 

I made myself right at home. As a 67 year old guy with white hair I guess I must have stood out from the crowd, all of whom were younger and more appropriately dressed for the event. I must have looked like I just walked out of a geriatric REI catalog. But I really didn't care. If I saw someone whose look I liked I just smiled and walked up and talked to them about making their photo. Everyone was game. Well, I did ask one person who was doing a food concession and didn't want to be photographed, but everyone else was up for it. 

I shot four or five hundred frames with the camera set to DNG+Large Jpeg and when the battery in the camera expired I was torn between calling it quits or pulling another battery out of my pocket and going onward. In the end I decided I'd better call it quits. I had a dinner invitation to a famous photographer's house and I remember that both he and his wife are incredible cooks. I dropped by Trader Joes for a bottle of wine and headed over for an amazing St. Patrick's Day dinner. A nice way to end a day of wandering around aimlessly in crowds and trying to figure it all out. 

I did feel less shy and retiring as I walked back to the car......

I'm showing some frames in color and in black and white just so I can look at the differences and decide how I really like them. Don't tell me which way to go. I'll change my mind tomorrow.



The disconnection between an online portfolio and the amazing detail and resolution of contemporary cameras and lenses.

If you are a photographer who came to photography in the film days or the early days of digital cameras your intention on most jobs was to deliver high resolution, high dynamic range files. Since my career started around 1980 I came into this profession expected to deliver images from 4x5 inch cameras and medium format (real medium format = 6x6 cm and larger....) cameras that could easily be used across a "double-truck spread" in the four color print process. The minimum target for use in most brochures and magazine spreads was 11 by 17 inches. Since film didn't have a set DPI we just aimed for as much quality as we could. The color separators were the ones who converted our analog film to measurable CMYK files. 

But the clients and the color separators were always happier with the biggest pieces of film you could deliver. And to get the jobs that required this; and paid the best, you had to show portfolios that were creative, beautiful and also technically as good as they could be. Clients reviewed portfolios by calling in actual enlarger printed "books" or portfolios. Another way of presenting work was to have black matted 4x5 or 8x10 inch color transparencies to show... because....everyone had a light table and a loupe back then. Splash twenty or so rich and detailed 8x10 inch transparencies down on a light table, watch an art director dive into the detail and technical achievements and you were well on your way to booking your next job. 

It feels like it was around 2006 or 2007 that the creative community collectively decided that calling in portfolios and shipping heavy collections of transparencies or big selections of prints around the country via Federal Express was too expensive and had become unnecessary. As budgets tightened and art directors started getting spread thinner and thinner fewer of them took actual phone calls from creative freelancers and more and more of them started looking at websites when they were considering hiring photographers. 

All of a sudden big, beautiful physical presentations went out the window ---- like typesetters. At that juncture clients started relying on what they saw via email promotions, and websites that were always a compromise between speed of loading and quality. The photographers at the top suffered most because the presentation formats killed the ability to show off the richness of a beautifully made, large format image by rendering it a fraction of its actual size and also at a diminished bit depth. The web became locked into Jpeg files, rendered to about 1600 pixels, distilled down to 8 bit and then represented, compressed, onto a 6 bit (if you were lucky) monitor. It's a huge difference when compared to viewing a pristine print or transparency presentation firsthand. In person. Right there in front of you. 

Now things are even worse when it comes to presentation. A lot of younger art directors and designers are getting by using laptops for work. The images they see are even further diminished. A lot of creative professionals are scrolling through Instagram or even Flickr to find photographic talent. And while broadband has improved the load times and sizes of webpage images the viewing restrictions and monitor capabilities are still depreciation funnels for good photography. What clients see on various screens, viewed in mixed light conditions, is nothing like what prior portfolios used to be. And on the social media sites your work, which may have started life as something beautifully lit and gorged full of delicate and wonderful detail will now sit next to other peoples' work, some of which is edited down to be more adaptable and easier to digest on phone screens. Incredibly detailed work next to work customized for quick consumption on a small screen. 

Which begs the question in 2023... why in the heck are we endlessly pursuing "better" cameras and lenses? Unless you are routinely printing large or delivering files to people who will use them to print large it's mostly a waste of money and then there's all that time lost "researching" new gear. To be honest, while I bought and use a Leica SL2 if I'd had more time and experience with the 24 megapixels SL I would have stopped right there. Perfect camera and perfect image size for so much of what we do all the time. For one or two jobs a year that require more quality and resolution than 24 megapixels it makes a tremendous amount more sense to just rent the needed gear. 

Same with the Leica Q2. I would love the weather tight Q2 body and nicer button configuration but wrapped around a 24 megapixel sensor instead of the current 47+ megapixel sensor. True...you can crop more. But do you really need to? And how much quality is diminished by cropping if your final target destination is something 1600 pixels max on Instagram? Really? More? You need more?

For those few clients who really do want to see how much quality they can expect we put up galleries at full res on Smugmug.com. They are still 8 bit files but at least we can show them with all the detail that's contained within. And I still send out printed mailers from time to time. But we are now at the point where the final targets on most jobs actually are the websites and social media sites that are related to the client business. So, where do we go from here?  Is it time to sell everything before everyone else realizes how bizarre the market has become? Can we do it all with our phones? More importantly = will anyone actually want to pay us to make photographs with our phones? The jury is still out. I guess we'll wait and see....
Overkill? Wasted resources? How many phones could we have bought instead....?

this was a huge file. Not anymore....

OT: Survived the early morning appt. with my dermatologist. No issues. Even made it to swim practice on time. Actually, early. Good start to a cloudy, gray day. Now the dentist appointment looms large. ("looms" = for JC).


And here we are again at tax time. The bane of working photographers. Well, one of the banes. Can there be multiple banes?


Urban Landscapes. Camera: Leica SL2. Lens: Sigma 45mm f2.8 

When I look through my image files I find that I really like what I'm calling, for want of a better category name, urban landscapes. These can be anything except landscapes of just natural terrain and no evidence of buildings, people, structures, etc. This was taken because I was attracted to the look of the sky and the Austonian building was the perfect foil to the vague structure of clouds. I also seemed to have found an angle at which none of the other downtown buildings intruded into the frame. 

The exif information tells me I was using a Sigma 45mm f2.8. It's a cheap and underrated lens. I don't like to stop down much so this was shot at f4.5. When I look at the full frame file; even though it was shot in Jpeg, I love the very high sharpness and the wonderful colors and tones. 

I should be filling the "pages" here with beguiling street photography from SXSW this week but to be truthful the show seems very anemic this year. Not particularly well attended; at least at street level, and even at that most of the attendees look like they all came from the same mall. Gone are the music "gangsters" all dressed in black and trying to look dangerous. Most of the people here this year look like young, mid-level managers who convinced their bosses that some value might be derived from attendance.  After all, no want wants to miss out on the next Twitter.com (sarcasm intended). 

Day after day I've been making a valiant effort to drive into the heart of downtown and find compelling images but the universe seems only to be presenting me with a never ending stream of middle class kids and their slightly wealthier peers. The full access price to attend of $1895 might have something to do with the homogenous demographic...

The sky and the buildings never seem to fail me. And I like looking at them. I'll go down once again today and give it another stab. 

Consider picking up the 45mm f2.8. It's not an earth shattering lens but it's got a quality that says, "I'm well made, well designed and can make your photographs look a bit more interesting. As an added plus I am small and easy to carry around." 

The beefy Leica SL2 makes none of these promises. 

Refrigerator news: Guy came yesterday and replaced the master control board in my four month old GE French door refrigerator. 24 hours later it's still cooling appropriately, not frosting over and not making odd noises. I guess I'll consider it fixed. I put the last of the milk in there today. I'm slowly recovering my emotional equilibrium about appliances today. If the fridge makes it through the weekend I'll stop thinking about it for a while.

Tax news: My partner, B, is usually the person who pulls together all the endless tranches of information to distill down and send to our CPA to do our duty to pay taxes to keep our nation strong. But this year she is out of town taking care of a family member. The burden of paperwork and far reaching task of acquiring information from banks, brokerage companies, credit card accounts and black, offshore hordes of gold bullion have fallen to me. Oops! Forget that part about the offshore gold bullion. I meant chicken bullion; really. 

I guess it was about time I realized how much work is involved in getting everything together. My target day for completion is Monday. Our long time CPA ensures me that this will be ample time to get the return out in time. Funny, when I look at the raw numbers I always come to the haggard realization that I spent more than I thought I had and, conversely, I made less money that I imagined. I guess it all comes out in the wash. 

At any rate I set up a six foot long table to spread everything out on and my CPA kindly sent over an associate to help me organize a bit. Now, if I can only remember some of the passwords I haven't used in a year...

Happy Swim News: I have been working out with weight machines at the local gym under the watchful eye of a good trainer. She pushes me more that I would push myself but it seems to be paying off. I was able to hold the corner of the car up with one hand yesterday as I changed the tire with the other hand... Okay, that's not true. But I have noticed that my swimming is improving by leaps and bounds. 

Many of the sets of machines I'm using I've selected because they build specific swim muscles: triceps, lats, shoulders and back. I'm also using a leg press machine as often and with as much challenge as possible. My pushes and streamlines off the walls are more powerful and so I get more distance from each turn. We call that "free speed." I also swam the most beautiful series of 25 yard butterfly sets I've swum in years. It's enough to push me to WANT to go and lift weights instead of just doing so because I think it the right thing to do. 

Now I'm pretty much convinced that everyone over 50, and certainly every every one over 60 should be hitting the gym three or four times a week as an added part of their long term fitness regimen. 

Prevention Month at VSL: It's the time of the year when I get checked out by my crack medical team. Tomorrow we've got a 7 a.m. (curses! what was I thinking when I scheduled this?) appointment with my dermatologist, Dan, who will inspect every square inch of my skin, look for stuff that might kill me, and nuke all the stuff that's just....unattractive. Many hate the sting of liquid nitrogen but I live for the tingle of it. I hope my enhanced vigilance with sunscreen and pre-morning light swims pays off and nothing is too frightening. 

In keeping with the prevention theme tomorrow afternoon is also my every six month encounter with my dentist and her hygienist. Yes! I have been flossing very regularly since the last visit and I've learned to appreciate my Braun Oral B toothbrush. It's even got bluetooth. Why? I've never figured that out. But it's great to get one's teeth cleaned and inspected. The mouth bacteria seems to be a precursor to lots of nastier conditions throughout the body. Inflammation and all that sort of stuff. A clean mouth is a happy mount and more people will want to kiss a fresh and healthy mouth. Yum. I hope, after paying hundreds of dollars I get a free toothbrush to keep in my swim bag...

At the end of the month I'll spend two days with my regular G.P. measuring body fat, heart rhythms, blood chemistry, oxygen uptake, blood pressure, vision, hearing, balance, and even check for cognitive decline. It's always fun to be poked, prodded, and chastened about the deficiencies of my lifestyle. I can hear it now ---- "are you eating your twelve servings a day of kale?"  

It's interesting. I never paid much attention to preventative stuff in my youth but statistically getting on top of anything that's going out of whack quickly and with people who know your history is a huge plus for longevity. And by extension happiness. 

My favorite example is that a routine skin check back in 2021 discovered a squamous cell cancer on my face. Left to my own devices I might not have noticed it for a while and when it comes to cosmetic surgery on your face the small the radius a surgeon can work it the better. That early detection helped me retain my movie star good looks....

That's all I have for today. Still waiting on Mike Johnston to answer all the questions he requested last weekend. Can't wait!!!


Held Hostage by the Refrigerator Repair Person. Trapped in my office venting.

 Who would have guessed that an appliance could create so much chaos and frustration in modern life? We're heading into our third (or is it our 4th?) week with a brand new (three months old), $2,000+ GE refrigerator that the warranty repair person doesn't seem to know how to fix. His 4th visit was supposed to be this morning between 8 and noon but of course I got a call at 12:15 pm letting me know he was running late. A Samsung ice maker somewhere was impeding his progress... 

I wasted yet another four hour block of time that could have been spent swimming, swilling coffee with friends or cajoling clients into loosening some purse strings for my own future happiness. But...no...I waited for the repair guy. Again. 

The general approach to repairing things now seems to be just taking a guess at what might be wrong ordering a part from the manufacturer, waiting for the part to come in and then making a new appointment to install the part. And then waiting a few days to see if it worked. If it didn't then we make a new call to GE and they re-approve the next warranty repair and then we navigate the online scheduling system with the third party warranty repair company and then we get another four hour window to twiddle our thumbs through. The guy shows up again, conjectures that the last repair didn't work... (no shit) and decides on the next random part order. And we start the process all over again.

I'm pretty much at my boiling point. Today we're replacing the master control board. Maybe it will work. But if it doesn't work I'm going after GE like a howler monkey crossed with a killer whale. The unit will exit my house one way or another. I'll get a check or GE will get a tangle with my attorney. The offending and wholly demonic refrigerator that now sits glowering and not cooling in my kitchen will be replaced by the most reliable fridge on the market. At any cost. 

The sad thing is that the service phone operator at GE is great, gave me her direct line, and commiserated wisely. The crappy thing is that the warranty service company doesn't have a telephone number and you have to communicate through bad Windows 1995 website design to reach anyone for anything.

This has to be the worst retail disaster I've ever experienced. I'm so angry I put all my cameras in a locked case to keep me from being inspired to use them to beat the refrigerator to death. 

Just thought I'd let you know how this particular day in paradise is working out for me.... 

The Killer Robots Have Arrived. They are called "Generative AI." They are here to destroy photography.


A new style of photography is suddenly popping up all over the web. It features very exotic (mostly female) human constructs in equally exotic and near perfect backgrounds. The images are mostly convincing as photographs but they are constructed by computer programs using artificial intelligence. I also see many portraits on Instagram of (mostly female) models that look almost perfect but in many cases there is something just enough "off" to cue one to dig deeper to see just how the images were made. Eyes and skin too perfect, the proportions just a bit off, etc. ( A program reminder that most modern entertainment technology evolves first in the pornography spaces...).

Programs such as DALL-E, Mid-Journey and Stable Diffusion work by translating textural descriptions (shit people write....) into illustrations which directly mimic photographs. People are essentially describing what they would like to see, entering it into one of the popular programs and then looking at the many iterations the programs quickly generate, choosing one of the images and then tweaking it in post production. 

How did the programs become "smart enough" about photography to get to the point where they can do this? Easy, they stole your photographs off the internet, along with the photographs created by hundreds of millions of other photographs, then analyzed them endlessly and used the analysis to and create content fabricated from bits and pieces; constructs based on similarities and bits of direct appropriation. Classic machine learning, I think. But the companies that are making this sort of AI software were totally dependent on gaps in current property and copyright laws to be able to steal our work and use it to program these "weapons" which will, almost surely, devastate the commercial markets for photography going forward. You can try to explain it all away or protest that I am being an alarmist but I think, as photographers, we're facing an existential inflection point that will make the market disruption caused by "penny stock" photography back in the 1990s look like a very minor blip. 

Should you care? Not if you don't care about original human art, the theft of private property, the appropriation of human work, and the ability of advertisers and corporations to create alternate realities with which to more intrusively manipulate your reactions to their products and their process of "appropriating" copyrighted materials to strip you of wealth, security and stability while showcasing damagingly unreal body and facial construct images to your children and grandchildren with devastating psychological results. If you don't care you can just go along for the ride. 

Being able to create images that look like real photographs just from written descriptions creates new weapons for bad operators to create convincing deep fakes, near endless political misinformation, destructive propaganda and even worse things. And make no mistake, the same technology is coming for video. Soon bad actors/terrorists/governments will be able to "create" news events that never happened, speeches from trusted leaders which were never spoken, never actually delivered, and all will be used in the service of stripping away your money and your rights.  

But the first victims will be creative artists. Creative visual artists. 

Popular photo websites backed by international corporations will jump in soon to "make it all okay." They'll extoll how much fun you too could be having by using the programs to "create new art." But the sad coda to that campaign of getting people to love their own creative destruction will be the demise of the jobs of those people writing about how great generative AI is right now. Once they convince enough of the population that we shouldn't care about the bad effects of unrestricted generative AI they'll be as disposable as the rest and a new generation of highly refined ChatGBT and other AI applications will take their places. Their jobs. Their pulpits. And why not? If you were a leader in a mega-corporation wouldn't you love to replace a gaggle of writers and editors with robot writers that never get tired? Never push back when you ask them to work in the absence of morals and ethics? When their primary mission is to extend the power and reach of their owners by manipulating content. 

At the point where we lose control of the creative process and abdicate our rights to own and control our personal creative content it sure won't matter if Sony cameras AF the quickest or Fuji has the nicest color science because our robot overlords will no longer need us to use actual cameras and lenses to make more material; more data points for study. And that hobby/profession/fun pastime will disappear. And then we can skulk back to our homes and watch more TV. Or continue to cruise the web. The programming for which will also be generated by artificial intelligence with the sole purpose of controlling human thought, individual action and ultimately channeling cultural momentum. A dream scenario for authoritarians.

Fun times ahead. Of course this is just my take, pre-coffee. Let the apologists for misguided technology push back in the comments. I'd be interested to see how deeply the robots and their masters have implanted their rationalizations into the general population...

Gotta stop watching Transformer movies...