At Large  June 5, 2024  Carlota Gamboa

Adobe Asked to Remove AI Images "In Style Of" Ansel Adams

Courtesy Christie's

ANSEL ADAMS, The Tetons and the Snake River, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, 1942 gelatin silver print, mounted on board, printed 1963-1973.

The estate of Ansel Adams has made their frustrations clear towards computer software giant Adobe. The American landscape photographer, known for his high contrast black and white images of mountain ranges and sweeping views of national parks, has been re-rendered on Adobe’s Stock platform by use of AI, and Adams' estate has just about had enough. 

Adobe's guidelines specify, “don’t include ‘in the style of’ in your prompts or use visual or written prompts based on real people, fictional characters, or the work of other artists,” but somehow, this hasn’t stopped the website from selling an image entitled “Nature’s Symphony: Ansel Adams-Style Photography – AI-Generated” for $79.99.

Wikimedia Commons, Christie's

Monolith, the Face of Half Dome, Yosemite National Park, California, by Ansel Adams, 1927, Gelatin silver print. License

On Friday May 31st, the Ansel Adams Trust took to social media, telling Adobe “You are officially on our last nerve with this behavior.” The threads post received more than 2,800 likes, and Adobe responded the following day promising that their team had successfully removed the content. 

However, this wasn’t the last of what Adams' estate had to say. They clarified that they’d been trying to take down similar images from the Stock site since last August. 

“Assuming you want to be taken seriously” the estate proclaimed online, “re: your purported commitment to ethical, responsible AI, while demonstrating respect for the creative community, we invite you to become proactive about complaints like ours, & to stop putting the onus on individual artists/artists’ estates to continuously police our IP on your platform, on your terms. It’s past time to stop wasting resources that don’t belong to you.”

About the Author

Carlota Gamboa

Carlota Gamboa is an art writer based in Los Angeles.

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