AI-based editing tools keep getting better and there’s no doubt that they can make our lives easier. But can AI do a better job than a pro photographer or a paid retoucher? Dan Watson decided to test it out. He hired retouchers on Fiverr, had a professional photographer retouch his image, and did it himself using only AI tools. In his latest video, you can see the results and see for yourself who did the best job.
Dan teamed up with Nate Luebbe (Nate in the Wild), who is also a professional photographer. He also hired two retouchers on Fiverr, one charging $15 and the other charging $10. Finally, he used Luminar 4.2 and applied only AI tools, in less than 60 seconds.
As for the tasks, Dan instructed Nate and the retouchers to straighten the horizon, fix exposure to bring back the detail from the shadows, and brighten the waterfall a bit. When it comes to the strangers Dan hired on Fiverr, their results differ quite a bit. In short: you get what you pay for.
Nate sent back two very different edits. In the first one, he replaced the sky and played a bit with the photo. In the second one, he did what he was instructed, and he did a splendid job. And lastly, the AI. Dan used only AI tools and modified their intensity to see what he could do in less than a minute. The results are a bit over the top if you ask me, but the good thing is that you can tone it down.
In my opinion and from my experience so far, AI can do a great job on some images, and be more or less unusable on others. It all depends what you want to achieve. But for some basic edits or quick fixes I find it truly useful. Still, I don’t think AI will ever be able to beat professional photographers and retouchers. The reason is simple: AI doesn’t have your vision and doesn’t know the exact story that you want to tell with your photo. And just like the photo itself, how you edit it is also an integral part of the story you’re telling.
I would like to hear your thoughts on this, feel free to share them in the comments below.