AI in photography is just too useful to ignore. I mostly use it to remove objects that even Photoshop’s Content Aware Fill can’t handle. I almost never use it to add objects to photos.

But … here’s an exception. This is a gas station at the entrance to Niles, California, that the owner has redone to go with the retro environment of the city. I’ve photographed it before, and it’s a popular background for model shoots that appear on Instagram. This photo was taken in the afternoon on a cloudy day. I put a filter on it just to liven it up a bit.

I came back several hours later (couldn’t make it back for the blue hour) and photographed it lit up at night. I didn’t add the green color; that’s how it’s lit. This isn’t a bad image, but there’s a lot of empty, black sky.

To make it more interesting, I used Generative Fill in Photoshop to replace the blown highlights in the street lamp, replace the black sky with a starry sky, remove the silver car to the right, and add a black cat.

I’m doing creative photography here, not documentary or journalism, so I have no problem with using the technology this way. As long as a maker is upfront about how an image has been created or manipulated, I think AI is a boon to photographers, especially, as I said above, for removing unwanted objects from images.