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Policy on use of AI in Photography

This applies to all applications, open calls and contests.

Throughout history, photography and technology have symbiotically evolved. From the nuanced techniques of darkroom dodging and burning, the digital revolution brought about by Photoshop, and now, the dawn of Artificial Intelligence. Photographers, in every era, have continually explored and stretched the boundaries of creativity, moulding the medium to manifest their visions.

Certain genres of photography, such as photojournalism and documentary, demand a stringent adherence to the truth and an unaltered representation of reality. Meanwhile, other genres, like surrealism, revel in their departure from the factual, inviting interpretation and imagination.

As Artificial Intelligence (AI) becomes a significant component of our photographic toolkit, Photo|Frome offers the following perspective and guidelines:

  • AI-Enabled Capture Techniques: The utilisation of AI in capturing images, such as tracking birds in flight, is viewed by Photo|Frome as a progressive extension of widely accepted features like autofocus. These enhancements, designed to aid the photographer in real-time capturing, fall in line with the natural evolution of photography technology.
  • Post-Processing with AI: Using AI for post-processing tasks, like sharpening, grain reduction, and resizing, is akin to the digital tools that have been a part of the photographer’s arsenal since the inception of digital file formats. We recognise that the extent of such enhancements is subjective and can occasionally border on unnatural. However, this remains an aspect of individual aesthetic discretion.
  • Generative AI and Advanced Alterations: The territory of Generative AI, which includes the addition, deletion, or expansion of image elements, as well as the creation of images from textual prompts or databases, is a distinct domain. For any work falling within this category, Photo|Frome asks all artists to provide clear disclosures regarding the techniques and tools employed.

In particular, images fully generated by AI should not be considered photographs. Any omission or lack of transparency in this regard will lead to the exclusion of the work from consideration for public display or participation in competitions. Should Photo|Frome have to remove work from exhibitions or materials due to it being in breach of the guidelines, the artist will be required to meet any costs incurred.

Ultimately, the acceptance and inclusion of any submitted work remain at the sole discretion of Photo|Frome’s editorial team and curatorial panel, whether photography or other creative work. Our commitment is to honour the integrity of photography while recognising and celebrating its evolution.

In that regard, Photo|Frome does not endorse the way some AI tools have been trained with datasets of photography without the permission of the rights owner. The artistic, commercial and moral rights of all photographers, artists and creators should be respected.

Transparency, innovation, and authenticity remain our guiding principles.

Image AI by Adobe Firefly. Prompt: Photorealistic head of male robot, semi-transparent brain case from the side on left of image looking at a female woman age 35+ wearing glasses and with red hair on right hand side of image looking back, woman slightly larger than robot, no smiles, serious looks. Traditional library in background, blurred.