Authenticity in Photography: Samsung’s Moon Shots Controversy and the Ethics of Synthetic Media

Side-by-side comparison of the original capture and the synthesized version
Side-by-side comparison of the original capture and the synthesized version: Generative AI technology adds texture and details on moon shots, blurring the line between real and synthesized images.

Generative AI has made waves around the world with its ability to create images, videos, and music that are indistinguishable from human-made content. But what happens when this technology is applied to photography, and the images we capture on our devices are no longer entirely real?

While Samsung claims that no overlays or texture effects are applied, a recent Reddit post suggests otherwise. The post provides evidence that Samsung’s moon shots are „fake“ and that the camera actually uses AI/ML to recover/add the texture of the moon to the images.

The use of AI in photography is not new, as many devices already use machine learning to improve image quality. But the use of generative AI to create entirely new images raises ethical questions about the authenticity of the content we capture and share – especially when the photographer is unaware that their images are being augmented with synthesized content.

What do you think about the use of generative AI in photography? Is it okay for a phone to use this technology to synthesize a photo, or is it crossing a line?

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CERN Photographs featured in Gallery curated by Yahoo

John Ellis at CERN
John Ellis at CERN

Two of my photos taken at CERN are featured in the CERN Gallery curated by the Yahoo Editorial:

Physics projects don’t get any bigger than this. The active European Organization for Nuclear Research, aka CERN, formed in 1954 and is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, employs thousands of world-class scientists on the forefront of breakthrough research. Its claim to fame is unmatched as the origin of the World Wide Web and creator of underground 17-mile-long particle accelerator called the Large Hadron Collider. Here, see photos of the many aspects of an international institution that may discover a way to move faster than the speed of light and how our universe was pieced together.

[flickr_gallery user_id=“47399036@N07″ id=“72157630498907364″]

Gothic Majesty of Siena

Duomo di Siena
Duomo di Siena
Streets of Siena's medieval center
Streets of Siena’s medieval center
Basilica di San Domenico
Basilica di San Domenico

Truth be told, the real gems of Tuscany are the historic town and cities. One of my favorite is the Gothic majesty of Siena. Legend tells us that Siena was founded by the son of Remus, and the symbol of the wold feeding the twins Romulus and Remus is as ubiquitous in Siena as it is in Rome.

The streets of Siena’s medieval center are humongous and gorgeous. During the day the stone ground sizzles under the sun and the wonderfully crafted buildings bake from exposure from an incredible clear sky. To be on the safe side and because I love film grain, I decided to load my camera with an ISO 200 Fuji film to capture the town (click on the photos to enlarge them and to see the grain).

Our first stop was Duomo di Siena, a cathedral originally designed and completed between 1215 and 1263 and Siena’s main landmark. The dome rises from a hexagonal base with supporting columns. The magnificent facade of white, green and red polychrome marble was designed by Giovanni Pisano. The lantern atop was added by Gian Lorenzo Bernini.

Later we visited the Basilica di San Domenico, which was constructed between 1226 and 1265, but was enlarged in the 14th century resulting in the stunning Gothic appearance it has now. In the afternoon we continued to stroll around Siena and had plenty of Gelati at Palazzo Publicco…