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Friday, July 21st, 2023

My Podcast Interview with Silvergrain Classics magazine about my Wet Plate Work and AI

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Ep. 13: Hofstätter’s Intensely Personal Portraits vs. AI

by Erik Schlicksbier, Marwan El-Mozayen

Wet plate collodion portrait photographer Markus Hofstätter is our guest in this episode. He creates particularly individual, intimate portraits by collaborating closely with the persons he portrays. This human aspect is especially important to him despite all the virtuosity necessary to create wet plate collodion images. We were also interested in Markus’ view of current developments in the field of AI. Join us in this podcast for an exciting conversation about the present and future of photography.

Markus online:

Your hosts:

Marwan El-Mozayen from Silvergrain Classics magazine (

Erik Schlicksbier, photographer ( and host of the German language Studio Kreativkommune podcast (

Posted by Markus | Filed in ai, collodion, podcast, portraits, wetplate | Comment now »


Wednesday, March 29th, 2023

Thoughts to my video about ai

Ai needs to be addressed by all governments to make a change. And they are already to late. The result will be, that people need to adjust. Like painters did when photography was invented. There will be new jobs created because of ai. And for sure some of these jobs will earn less money than the job that was needed for the same task without ai. I have the feeling that this new technology can not be stopped anymore. To many people have invested to much money. Microsoft is already using chatGPT parts in Outlook, Teams and much more, like it’s own search Bing(Google stock crashed on that day when they did the first demo) For example, mails are created automatically because of the communication you had before – its learning to become you. Most companies use ai already for their business. Politicians who should have done something, will not do anything because the world is ruled by money and when there is a technology that can easily make you more money, not many with the power to stop it will stop it. I also think there are lots of areas where ai will help us. To fight diseases for example. So it’s more about regulation than to stop ai.

As said, ChatGPT consumed one Gigawatt in January and I can imagine that all images based AI will consume much more. There you have another reason why this can be bad for us. And still the governments all over the world will tell the people to save energy with electric cars and alternative heating solutions and so on. Nobody talks about power consumption of ai or other internet services.

And chatGPT is just starting. They needed two month to gain 100million users. Instagram needed 30 months, Google translate 78months and Facebook even longer. While Meta consumed already 9.4 Terrawatt in 2021, with all ai growing faster, the power consumption will grow as well. I would love to find more articles about that.

But there are also companies that think ahead. I am testing Adobe Firefly for a magazine right now. This ai was trained by licensed images only. That means artists were paid in some way and that is a good thing (It’s not as good as I thought it will be, I wrote another article about it and will link to it here, as soon as it is online). There is a different way to do things, but I don’t see anybody regulating ai these days for the reasons mentioned above. It’s all about money and I am not a fan of it. 

I think there could be a chance to regulate image ai for commercial use these days. It is the fear of people who use ai images commercially. Regulation will start if another ai detects copyrighted images were used to create your image or when lawyers get their first case where they can sue somebody who sold a generated image that looks similar to an existing one from a client. Both cases are again about money. This could be also a chance to regulate Midjourney, but I don’t see anything that can regulate ChatGPT.

With the wet plate process I see myself in a different position, because people get an experience that can not be replicated that easy with ai. I also don’t see my self being a huge fan of ai generated images, but it can be useful in some cases. I don’t like to just talk bad about ai, I am more a fan of finding solutions. As mentioned in a previous post, ai based images should get digital copyright baked into the file, so these created images can be tagged easily on all platform as “computer generated image”.
If you want to learn more about that, then check out these links about digital watermarks:
Wikipedia article about digital watermarks
Image tag, a company who offers digital watermarks as a service
An Article on science about digital watermarks
Digital Watermarking Techniques and Security Issues from Jordi Nin and Sergio Ricciardi
As far as I understand, you even can screenshot/photograph such an marked image of the screen and the digital copyright still remains. Let’s hear your thoughts about it. I added a gallery underneath with portraits. Let me know which one you think are generated and what gave it away? Maybe you see similarities to existing images…
There is also an easter egg “symbol” in the video that shows how ai caught us “over night”. here is a little hint: “don’t feed them after midnight”

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  • Posted by Markus | Filed in ai, portraits | Comment now »