ChatGPT Offers the 10 Best Tips for Photographers & Reviews Altman Camera

By now you’ve read about ChatGPT’s powerful AI engine and probably have already formulated some tentative opinions about it. Whether you’re pro or con, OpenAI’s ChatGPT and other chatbots like it are here to stay, so the best strategy, perhaps, is to understand it—and learn how to use it for good instead of evil. Most important is for all of us to monitor it and see where it may lead.

But in the long term, where does that leave human experts who can recite factual information “almost as good as AI?”

Chatbots Becoming Mainstream
Microsoft reportedly invested billions in OpenAI and recently announced they are incorporating some of ChatGPT’s features in the Microsoft search engine Bing. Join the waitlist to try the new AI-energized Bing. Google has announced that they plan to test an AI-assisted rival called Bard very soon. Google's Bard is based on LaMDA, the firm's Language Model for Dialogue Applications system.

Potential Misuse
Educators are riled up about the possibility of students using ChatGPT to cheat. An engineering student attending Princeton University has published an app that allegedly can determine whether a manuscript was written by a chatbot or by a human; things are already that serious. In this NPR story, note the dignified way they write about the concern for “… potential for unethical uses in academia.”  That’s the word “cheating” wearing fancy clothes.

Closer to HomeCould ChatGPT and other nearly-sapient chatbots like it replace technology writers and editors? What about a guy who writes for Shutterbug—is he in jeopardy?

To probe this threat a bit deeper, I asked ChatGPT to explain the 10 best tips for photographers who want to take better pictures. In fact, I asked twice and received two different—but not conflicting—responses. While the tips are offered without any depth of explanation, the results amazed me—and scared me a little—and they were generated in just seconds. See for yourself.

The first query returned this reply, pasted below verbatim.

1. Learn the basics of exposure (ISO, shutter speed, aperture).V

2. Experiment with different angles and perspectives.

3. Use natural light to your advantage.

4. Know your equipment and its limitations.

5. Keep it simple by focusing on one subject.

6. Edit your photos selectively to enhance the final image.

7. Keep your camera with you always.

8. Tell a story with your photos through composition.

9. Learn from the work of other photographers.

10. Keep practicing and don't be afraid to make mistakes.

ChatGPT invites users to resubmit their request, so I did. Here’s the response to second try.

1. Invest in a good camera.

2. Learn the basics of photography, such as ISO, shutter speed, and aperture.

3. Experiment with different compositions and angles.

4. Use natural light to your advantage.

5. Focus on your subject and eliminate distractions.

6. Take your time and don't rush your shots.

7. Get to know your gear and its capabilities.

8. Learn to edit your photos effectively.

9. Study the work of other photographers for inspiration.

10. Take a lot of photos and keep practicing.

Overall, ChatGPT did a pretty good job. It’s not perfect; frankly; a tip like “Use natural light to your advantage” isn’t wrong, but neither is it helpful because it doesn’t explain how to do so.

On the other hand, ChatGPT’s advice for photographers is clearly valid and was created in the blink of an eye. It’s easy to understand why educators are concerned that students may be tempted to use AI to cheat. Even if ChatGPT isn’t used to crib an entire term paper, it could be used to draft a comprehensive, authoritative outline, and that would still be cheating.

Oops! ChatGPT Goofed
I asked ChatGPT to write a review of Altman Camera, located in Chicago, Illinois. I’ll explain why I chose this store in a moment. Below is ChatGPT’s response.

“As an AI language model, I do not have personal experience with the Altman Camera store in Chicago, Illinois. However, I can provide you with general information that might be useful in writing a review:

“Altman Camera is a well-established camera store in Chicago, Illinois that provides customers with a wide range of photography equipment and accessories. They are known for their knowledgeable and friendly staff, who are always willing to help customers find the right gear for their needs. They also offer camera repair services and rental options, making them a one-stop-shop for all things photography.

“Customers appreciate the store's extensive selection of products, which includes high-end cameras, lenses, lighting equipment, and more. They also appreciate the competitive pricing and the store's commitment to providing excellent customer service.

“In conclusion, Altman Camera is a highly-regarded camera store in Chicago that offers customers a great selection of photography equipment, competitive pricing, and exceptional customer service. If you're in the market for new photography gear, or need help with your existing equipment, Altman Camera is definitely worth checking out.”

Is This a Reliable Review?
It’s true that Altman’s was a photographer’s dreamland. Founded by Ralph Altman, Altman’s stocked virtually everything—every camera body, every lens, and every accessory from every manufacturer, on hand and for sale at a discounted price. Plus literally hundreds and hundreds of used cameras and lenses. They stocked an unparalleled assortment of darkroom equipment and supplies; also, movie cameras, gadget bags and skads of tripods. And they had an amazing bunch of people working there.

They were heralded as the largest camera store in the world. Yes, they were. But…

Altman Camera closed its doors in May of 1975.

ChatGPT Update: One Big, Expensive Screwup
Not to be negative, but read this story Google shares lose $100 billion after company’s AI chatbot makes an error during demo from CNN. One hundred billion? I wonder how Google Bart’s descendants will report this story 50 years from now. He who programs AI writes history.

All of the above content attributed to ChatGPT was cut and pasted verbatim from the OpenAI website without any editing other than making the format match our layout. For all we know, ChatGPT could have plagiarized this information directly from unsuspecting writers. If that’s the case, let it be known that it was not our intention to use such content without permission.

—Jon Sienkiewicz