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Time’s Solitary Dance

Update: I’ve created four more images and added them to a collection here


This is not a photograph:

I created in somewhat by accident while messing about in Midjourney last night. That’s the great thing about any kind of tool: it allows you to go beyond your own powers. In this example, I leaned into the ‘old man sitting in the corner’ vibe and started to channel social documentary photographers.

AI still isn’t particularly good at describing images in any detail without prompts. So I created some text using the structure suggested by Image Describer and fed that into ChatGPT. I then asked it to come up with a title and description as if the image was going to be part of an art exhibition. After some tinkering, it came up with the following:

Time’s Solitary Dance is a poignant, black and white tableau that transpires in the everyday world of a seemingly ordinary location – perhaps a café or the corner of a barber’s shop. It captures a solitary elderly man, sitting cross-legged on a tiled surface, emanating a sense of solitude and retrospection. This image, despite being created by an AI, beautifully mirrors the aesthetic sensibilities of a late 20th-century photograph. The man’s solitude in a public space stands as a commentary on the paradoxical loneliness that can pervade old age, as seen through the lens of a social documentary photographer. A testament to the intersection of technology and art, the photograph offers a poignant glimpse into the human condition, blurring the lines between the real and artificial.

I’ve seen people ask what the point is to all of this. That it’s not ‘creative’. I beg to differ.

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