Flamingo on a sandy beach with an award text overlay

Miles Astray is a photographer who recently won the People’s Vote and a Jury Award in the artificial intelligence category of 1839 Awards. The photo is of a flamingo whose head is apparently missing.

The twist: the photo is as real as the simple belly scratch the bird is busy with.

With AI-generated content remodelling the digital landscape rapidly while sparking an ever-fiercer debate about its implications for the future of content and the creators behind it – from creatives like artists, journalists, and graphic designers to employees in all sorts of industries – I entered this actual photo into the AI category of 1839 Awards to prove that human-made content has not lost its relevance, that Mother Nature and her human interpreters can still beat the machine, and that creativity and emotion are more than just a string of digits.

After seeing recent instances of AI-generated imagery outshining actual photos in competitions, it occurred to me that I could twist this story inside down and upside out the way only a human could and would, by submitting a real photo into an AI competition. My work F L A M I N G O N E was the perfect candidate because it’s a surreal and almost unimaginable shot, and yet completely natural. It is the first real photo to win an AI award.

Source: Miles Astray