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Calling AI Art A Photo Or A Painting Is Fraud!

By Mike Schaffner - From my blog
My photo sites Mike Schaffner Photography

Edited and published by Yvette Depaepe, the 24th of March 2023


AI “art” is a popular topic in the world of photography and painting. AI (artificial intelligence) is also getting a lot of attention in the news media. Photography and art sites are being flooded with AI “art” pretending to be photos or paintings. This is because it is a fast and easy track to likes and internet fame. In reality, it is a misrepresentation; a fraud. AI “art” is not a photo or a painting. It is a different method of creating an image.


Some simple definitions can help explain this.

·      Painting is the practice of applying paint, pigment, colour or other medium to a solid surface. [source: Wikipedia].

·      Photograph – an image created by light falling on a photosensitive surface, usually photographic film or an electronic image sensor. [source: Wikipedia] The image may be further processed (post-processed) via darkroom or digital editing techniques.

·      AI art – any artwork, particularly images and musical compositions, created through the use of artificial intelligence (AI) programs, such as text-to-image models and musical generators. [source: Wikipedia] AI images may also be post-processed via Photoshop, etc.


Clearly, these 3 methodologies are very different. Despite these differences they can yield similar looking results. Sometimes, it can be difficult to tell whether an image is a painting, a photograph or an AI image.

Looking Like A Photo Doesn’t Make It A Photo

Implicit with calling an image a photo or a painting is that you are affirming the method used to create that image. The methodology is what defines it as a photo or painting. The fact that something looks like a photo or painting is not the defining characteristic. To be clear, not being able to call an AI image a photo is not a judgement on the merits of the image. It doesn’t mean the image is good or bad. It simply means it is not a photo; nothing more.  An AI image can be a beautiful and captivating image which is great. But it isn’t a photo or painting.




Perhaps more importantly, when submitting photos to a website where I want to stand out from other people’s photos, or websites that have a curation or selection process, or to a photography competition, or when selling a photo, I expect a level playing field that all the “photos” are truly photos. This is also true when I want to buy a photo. If I’m spending money on a photo, it better be a true photo.


Why Has This Become An Issue Only Recently

For quite some time there have been paintings that look like photos and vice versa. Despite this, there hasn’t been a lot of photos that claim to be paintings or paintings being called photos. I think there are a number of reasons for this.

1.    Both photography and painting involve a investment in equipment, practice, skill development, and time to become good at it. As a result, both types of artists are proud of their work in their chosen field and therefore tend to “stay in their lane”.

2.    There are plenty of sites to post dedicated to either photography or painting. Some have sections for both. This gives them ample opportunity to display their work within their field.


AI images are relatively new development and have quickly become popular.
It is with this rise in popularity that we have seen AI Images invading other sites by impersonating photographs or paintings. The reasons I see for this are:

1.    There aren’t many sites dedicated to AI Images or photo/painting sites that have a separate category for AI images. So where can people that create AI images share them? They have limited valid options.

2.    The investment to create AI images is small. It takes little equipment (which most people already have) or time to learn. The siren song of fast and easy likes and internet popularity is very strong. It’s there for the taking. All you have to do is call your AI image a photo or painting and post it everywhere.


An Egregious Example

Artnet News recently published a story about Instagram “artist”, Jos Avery. In October, 2022 Avery began posting primarily black-and-white portraits with sharp facial features and blurred backgrounds. He initially insisted these were taken with a Nikon D810 camera and even included fictional backstories for some of the subjects. Many of the images are quite good.

Avery’s followers have now quickly grown to over 34,000. This popularity eventually made him feel guilty. He now admits that the images were made with the AI image generator, Midjourney. He does fine-tune them with Photoshop. Previously, Avery denied that they were AI images.

Some may be inclined to be lenient in accepting Avery’s images as photos due the their quality. AI images are not photos or paintings regardless of how much they may look like them. It’s not an issue of quality; it’s an issue of misrepresentation. And misrepresentation is fraud. It’s as simple as that!


“AI images are not photos or paintings regardless of how much they may look like them. It’s not an issue of quality; it’s an issue of misrepresentation. And misrepresentation is fraud. It’s as simple as that!”


While I’m glad that Avery came clean, there are still a lot of people out there that haven’t. Unfortunately, that simple needless dishonesty will always taint Avery’s reputation and work.

Instagram And Other Sites

Instagram is a good example of how many image sharing sites operate. Some of the specifics of Instagram are:

·      Instagram describes itself as a “photo and video sharing app”. It does not explicitly address the issue of AI images.

·      The Instagram Community Guidelines state:

·      Share only photos and videos that you’ve taken or have the right to share.

·      As always, you own the content you post on Instagram. Remember to post authentic content, and don’t post anything you’ve copied or collected from the Internet that you don’t have the right to post.

·      The Instagram Terms of Use state:

·      You can’t do anything unlawful, misleading, or fraudulent or for an illegal or unauthorized purpose.

There are a lot of gray areas in here as the rules haven’t kept pace with the technology. For example, ownership and copyright issues in regard to images being used by AI art generators are currently being debated. It will take some time to sort all this out.


1x, has taken an explicit stand on AI images on their site.
On the photo submission page, they state: “1x is a photography website. Usage of any kind of AI software (like Dall-E or Midjourney) to generate photographs is strictly forbidden and such images will be deleted without warning. Repeated violations may result in account suspension.”


What Does The Future Hold?

Instagram and 1x may represent the extremes of how sites will handle AI images.
Although a “photo site”, Instagram isn’t really about photography. It’s a social media site with the aim of generating traffic to generate ad revenue. As a result, Instagram isn’t concerned with image standards and quality but rather images that drive traffic. Frankly, I doubt if Instagram will make any changes in regard to AI images.

At the other end of the spectrum are sites like 1x that make money by selling curated photographs. Since their customers care about the difference between photos and AI images, they have to take steps to protect the integrity of their product.


It’s hard to tell how all of this will shake out. My hope is that both the people generating AI images and websites will recognize AI as a methodology to create images that is separate, distinct, and different from painting and photography.  It’s a big world out there – can’t we all just get along?



Thank you for the well-written and informative article. More information is exactly what we need to understand this new form of visual imaging.
Great article and thanks for taking a stand on this issue Mike! I agree that AI generated images belong to a completely different category.
Very good article! Thank you very much Mike, thank you very much Yvette.
Grazie Alessandro
Excellent article, putting things in their right places. Replicating Human creativity with AI is definitely not Art, and does belong neither to Photography nor any Fine Art.
ευχαριστώ Thanasaki
I agree. Art is part of human nature and as such cannot be replicated in spirit by AI
Thanks Jonathon
Thank you very much for this article. A clarification was necessary, and it is perfectly developed here. And thank you to 1X for his choice of photography.
Merci Jean-Luc
Yes, such "art" should be stigmatized.
Thanks Monolit
Very good article, made the right decision by declaring it wanted to fight AI, it was probably the only possible decision for its survival. Let us hope that this is not just a declaration of intent but that it will be followed by the facts. The publication of this article shows that seems on the right track.
Merci av peteghium
Moreno PRO
Like I always ask and no body bother to answer me, what is this :
I'd love to tell you what it is but I cannot say with any certainty
Excellent article. Well explained all the topics involved. Many thanks for presenting this in 1x , a site for photography not for AI images.
Thank you Francisco
I just hope Instagram also respects this decision:
Thanks Ming. This is a difficult problem to contain but let's hope they all try.
I have read the article and most of the comments below! I feel very pleased that has so many talented people to write the supporting words to’s decision. Thank you so much!
Thank you very much Wangham
Terrific article Mike. I've loved all your blogs and hope others will see this and be inspired to subscribe. You are a gift to the 1x community.
Thanks Robin. Looking forward to you article.
Hallo Mike i appreciate your great contribution, IMO this is very serious subject, I am just worried about AI existence and about so called photographers which not only using it but also publishing such fake photographs. Thank you very much for presenting this issue here.
Danke Miro
Big congrats, Mike for this wonderful article. I think it was necessary. Thanks for sharing it with all of us 🙏😊
Gracias Mabel
Great article Mike! I am happy you are bringing this topic to the forefront!
Thanks Ali
An excellent article, Mike. So glad to see it published in the magazine. Thank you for all the time and effort you put in.
Thanks Elizabeth
Very good article Mike, to the point. May I add something to it? Ai images are a composite of existing photos and graphics. Those are usually copyrighted. In other words, Ai images "steal" particles from copyrighted material. A little "stealing" from a lot of material is still stealing. Get rid of it ...
Thanks Luc. The whole topic of copyright infringement by AI is a big one that will take some time to sort out.
Excellent write up , it’s most relevant topic of discussion during the recent times , thanks Mike for your valuable inputs
Thank you Anita
Excellent article Mike. Really appreciate your thoughts on this controversial issue, Best regards, Patrick
Thank you Patrick
Great article, Mike! So glad to see it is published on 1X magazine, thank you for sharing your thorough analysis and crystal clear explanation on AI image. Thank you!
Thanks Jian
A fair analysis and clear explanation . Thank you .
Thank you Pang
Excellent article Mike, and I agree 100% about misrepresentation. Trying to compare AI works to photographs is like comparing apples and oranges. AI works don't belong on a site dedicated to photography. It's just not a level playing field to have them be judged side by side. It's very wrong for anyone to claim their AI work is a photograph, and I think they end up getting much more kudos than they deserve.
Thanks Ursala
Excellent article Mike! I am glad that it was published in the 1X magazine to make people more aware of the issues surrounding AI and photography,
Thanks Lucie
Great and trendy article 🤙🤙🤙
Merci Serge
Fantastic information on AI. I am glad to admit I do not even own Photoshop!
Thanks Ray
Very good and necessary article. Totally agree with the position that 1x has taken regarding AI. If here it was allowed to put images generated by AI I would go 1x. This is a site for photographers and the AI ​​is a different thing.
Gracias, Enrique
Clear, didactic and to the point article. Thank you for this. I believe any one that likes AI should understand the position of 1x. I am glad our work is recognized and protected by sites like this one. Thanks!
Thanks Marie
Genial ! , muy bien explicado , gracias por el articulo , saludos
Gracias Juan
I’m a member of 1x but havent posted anything for a long time but I do enjoy looking at the photos and reading the articles that are presented to us. Even though Im very much an amateur protographer I really appreciated this article to distinguish real artistic works from artificial work. There is so much of AI work in all kinds of media and advertising now that people think its real. I am glad that this has been brought up and that 1X is taking a stand. Thank-you.
Glad to read you here, Lindsay! And also very glad with this article from Mike to present in the 1x magazine and 1x taking a stand. Cheers, sis !
Thanks Lindsay
Thank you, Mike, for bringing this up! Is Instagram really a photo site? I have been posting my paintings and iPad art forever, just like thousands of artists out there... There is also a huge community posting AI art as what it is, with tags like Midjourney, AIart and so on. And it is ok. As long as the authors are honest about the media used in producing their work. Instagram is for everybody posting everything for a huge audience who make their own choices as to what to believe or not. And of course, I fully agree that fine art photography platforms, such as 1x, should not accept images made with AI intervention and, when in doubt, ask the photographer for proof. And btw, I have subscribed to your blog. :-)
Merci beau coup, Ludmila
So awesome to see your blog published here, Mike. Thanks for all the time you spent to this brilliant resumé!
Danke, Mike
Great article, very pleasant. We can't stop technology but we can try lo leave it out of here!
Grazie Thomas
Fantastic article this is a huge issue for us in the photography world especially us creative photographers. Thanks Mike !!!!
Thank you Colin
Iconic Photographers - Bob Carlos Clarke
by Editor Peter Davidson
Edited and published by Yvette Depaepe, the 22nd of March


                                                                                                 Bob Carlos Clarke photographed by his daughter.


My next iconic photographer is Bob Carlos Clarke. 

Clarke was a renowned British photographer known for his provocative and captivating images that explored themes of sexuality, fetishism, and glamour. I remember being astonished at his work when first seen. And now, looking back, it's clear he was a brave creative if controversial photographer. Ignoring the sexualization debate, his images were often very prescient of today's digital manipulations and trends. Some say the dawn of easy digital methods undermined his confidence for work and dedication to his darkroom methods and contributed to his depression and sad ultimate death. 


                                                                                                                           Sticky Fingers


His work has been exhibited in galleries and museums around the world, and he was widely regarded as one of the most influential photographers of his time.
Born in Cork, Ireland in 1950, Clarke studied photography at the London College of Printing before embarking on a career as a commercial photographer. He quickly made a name for himself, working for high-profile clients such as Vogue, GQ, and The Sunday Times Magazine. He also became known for his celebrity portraits, capturing the likes of Keith Richards, Damien Hirst, and Rachel Weisz.

Clarke's most iconic images were those that explored themes of sexuality and fetishism. He often used models dressed in latex and leather to create images that were both alluring and unsettling. Of course, his photographs were sometimes controversial, and he was often accused of objectifying women and promoting pornography. However, Clarke defended his work as a celebration of female beauty and empowerment.


                                                                                                           Adult Females Attack Without Warning

Despite his success, Clarke struggled with depression and alcoholism throughout his life. In 2006, he tragically took his own life at the age of 55. His death was a shock to the photography community and sparked a renewed interest in his work. 

Clarke's legacy is a mixed one. On the one hand, he is remembered as a groundbreaking artist who pushed boundaries and challenged conventions. His images continue to inspire and influence photographers today. On the other hand, his work has been criticized for objectifying women and perpetuating harmful stereotypes. Some argue that his images were exploitative and did more harm than good.

In the end, Bob Carlos Clarke's life and work are a reminder of the complex relationship between art and ethics. His images provoke strong reactions, both positive and negative, and his legacy continues to be debated by art critics and feminists alike. However, one thing is certain: his influence on photography is undeniable, and his contribution to the art form will be remembered for generations to come.


                                                                                                                          Keith Richards

                                                                                                                 Cover image for The Damned

                                                                                                                            Rachel Weisz

                                                                                                                          Incendary Blonde
Wonderful article! Great story and artistic works.
Thanks for another great article. Much appreciated!
Great article! Thank you for this interesting contribution!
Well written article on Bob Carlos Clarke and his famous works! Thank you, Colin!
Written by Editor Peter Davidson, dear Wanghan Li ... !!! Cheers, Yvette
Great article of an amazing photographer that I have missed on on thank you for broadening my horizons :)
great article and photos
Igor Kopcev - In search of the perfect Bokeh

by Yvette Depaepe
Published the 20st of March 2023

Igor Kopcev excels in unique, magical and smooth bokeh in his florals.  But Igor has also his very own style when it comes to street photography or still life photography.  He is continuously in search of new directions and techniques. Let's listen to what he reveals to us through this interview.

'In peace and quiet'


I was born and spent the first 30 years of my life in the small town of Molodechno. Nevertheless, I always was gravitated to big cities.  It seemed to me that big cities are the places where real life is. One day, I got the opportunity to go to the wonderful city of St. Petersburg and that's where I live now. I have a charming wife and a wonderful daughter. I design furniture for various purposes.


I have been familiar with cameras since I was 10 years old, but I really became interested in photography at the age of 12.  My very first camera was a Lubitel 166B.  It was the era of analogue photography. My father only showed me where the trigger button was and how to rewind the frame.  No one told me about the subtleties of photographing and that was the magic that fascinated me. Soon my parents allowed me to use their Zenit E camera with a Helios 44-2 lens.  It became a faithful companion for many years. I photographed mostly school friends and our hiking trips. I really enjoyed sitting in front of a photo magnifier at night with a red lamp and finally discover the results of my shooting.  I often gave my photos to my friends.


But school ended and the years at the university flew by just as imperceptibly.  Friends fled to various corners of the planet, and my desire to photograph did not disappear.  On the contrary, it only was growing. I became interested in street photography especially at night and started experimenting with long exposures but the film rolls did not save exposure time or aperture so there was a need to switch to a digital camera.


I switched to digital in 2004 and wanted to photograph more and more because there was not the "film" restriction of 36 frames any more. My third camera was the Canon G3. I loved to take pictures from a low perspective, near the ground.  I continued to photograph city life during my many walks. Sometimes it took me more than a month to have a really interesting shot and sometimes the weather surprised me and I didn't hesitate to pick up my camera and go shooting.  Once I went cycling in 30 degree frost to photograph the soaring Neva River.  Another time I went cycling in a torrential downpour just to shoot the rain.


My fourth camera was a Canon 350D with its native whale lens. It was more difficult for them to photograph because I lost the opportunity to use the lower point of shooting. Due to this, I began to photograph less.  During this period, I found a soul mate and for seven long years I practically did not photograph anything. My traditional rhythm of life was disrupted. On the other hand, I was happy to sacrifice my hobby for the sake of my soulmate.  Once, after a vacation in Greece, I forgot my camera after checking my luggage at the airport and didn't even notice it until I heard an announcement on the speaker phone about a forgotten camera found.  Since than, I never did  forget my cameras any more.


In 2013, I got a Panasonic dmc -lx7. That was my fifth camera. It was an attempt to return to the world of photography. It was in my pocket for a long time, but I never came back to photography. I only used it to photograph my growing daughter and interior objects for my daily work. Only years later, looking through my previous works, I gave them a new life.


'Once in Moscow'


I had only one mentor, albeit in the form of a book - Rudolf Arnheim "ART and Visual Perception". After studying his works, I understood what I had done till that day and started to  disassembling photos I liked in order to learn whatever technique to take my photos in the future.


In 2018, I decided to return to my hobby, I already purchased a more serious Canon 80D device and several lenses with a focal length of 50mm, 70-200, then Sigma 1.8 art canon 18-35.  But during all that time, it turned out that the world of photography has stepped far ahead and everyone who had a phone became a photographer. I didn't want to join these ranks and started looking for my own style and direction. I photographed everything that I found interesting: streets and parts of architecture, my family and friends ... but everything seems to be wrong.


Once I went to the tulip festival, which is held annually in our city. There were plenty of colours and shapes to be seen. And that triggered again my passion for photographing, it was blooming again. I looked for an unusual way to show flowers in addition to the form of circles (air) in the background!


'Spring vaudeville'


The search for a nice bokeh began. I studied this aspect and realized that the lens is the key to these fascinating circles. An amateur photographer showed clearly the effect of different lenses on the resulting bokeh effect. Long evenings of studying images taken with one lens or another led me to Meyer-Optik Gorlitz Primoplan V 58 mm f/ 1.9, but unfortunately I couldn't afford it at that time. It was very expensive for me. I looked for analogues ones and the first was Meyer-Optik Gorlitz Orestor 135mm f/ 2.8. The bokeh turned out well, not too pronounced and smooth.


'Melody of fantasies'


I pursued my search, and came on a Meyer-Optik Görlitz Oreston 50mm f/ 1.8, which brought me closer to the conditions of macro photography, but the bokeh did not satisfy me. After digging into the depths of the Internet, I found out that the number of diaphragm petals strongly affects its evenness and finally switched to Helios-44 58 mm f/2.0 with its 13-lobed diaphragm.


'Leaving the spirit'


It was with this picture that my journey through the abstract world of macro photography with a characteristic bokeh began. The drawing turned out to be very interesting but did not completely satisfy my needs. I wanted a more perfect one.

I also found out that a more complete bokeh is only available on the full frame… this is how my transition to the Canon 6D Mark II took place.  I still photograph with it nowadays. And still searching for the perfect bokeh, my choice fell on the Meyer-Optik Görlitz Trioplan 100 mm f/ 2.8, but once more, the price, even for an older version, was too expensive, not to mention its modern modification. And finally, I found his younger brother Meyer-Optik Görlitz Trioplan 50 mm f/ 2.9 V which was purchased in Germany and delivered to my city almost in its original form.  I am very grateful to the person who provided it to me.
Yes, there were some problems to fix it on my camera because the bayonet did not match the modern Canon, but I found a solution and modified it manually, forever spoiling its pristine appearance.  It was magic ... for the first time I got what I wanted: those perfect circles on the bokeh.










I experimented with surfaces and sources for drawing bokeh. In 2020, the pandemic has come. I bought a Canon EF 100mm f/2/8L Macro IS macro lens and photographed nature where I continued experimenting with colours.


'Summer fantasy'


Another hobby of mine is listening to music ... everywhere, on the road, at work, while studying, while relaxing.  Sometimes I fall asleep while listening to music.  Music is an integral part of my life.  So, often the titles of my images use musical terms.

I used to be an observer, using light sources and my hands to highlight what I'm shooting.  I also take pictures with a light brush (another direction in my work).


'The ballad of the dandelion...'








I don't have my own studio. Sometimes, our living room turns into a studio for only a few hours and glass lanterns appear. Preparations consist in closing all windows and doors, cleaning dust and draft which are the main hindrance when I take pictures. And another important condition is complete darkness, and since the night does not last long in summer, my main creativity falls in  the period from October to March although there are a lot of flowers in spring who become models in my still life photography in a completely different guise and against a very light almost white background.


'Leitmotiv of spring...'


I like experimenting with light and with objects.  Everything take place during shooting and not in post-processing :). I tried various surfaces for a long time. It was mostly glasses of different thickness, surface types and colours. My ideas mostly come while shooting. First I chose the position of a still life or macro with bokeh which I want to photograph and very often I start with one composition finishing with other objects in a completely different composition.

I'm looking for inspiration in the vast expanses of the entire Internet, but only realise what I found months later.  So, I came across the Lafugue Logos gallery. Those works influenced my creativity. I also admire the works of photographer Shihya Kowatari.

I am always open to communication. One day, Lydia Jacobs asked for advice. I gave as much advice as I could about shooting objects using Trioplan.  I continue creating works with magic bubbles.


'Delicate melody of summer'


I have a lot of personal favourite photos and it is difficult to me to chose one.
But I can tell something about an unusual photo. The set-up is built on glass and illuminated by a light source and under the glass - as if forming a continuation - another composition is built, which in turn is laid out on the glass where water droplets forming bokeh are located.

'Multidirectional flows'


My photos are primarily showing something unusual in ordinary objects. Through my photographs, I convey mood, fantasy, sometimes feelings, and sometimes just beauty. A lot of my works are expressing my moods at the time of shooting. It is extremely rare that I manage to tell a story in my pictures besides the title. Recently, new experiments have led me to use  ultraviolet light. It helps to reveal the beauty of pure colour.


'Miniature of October'



'In the valley of illusions'



'In pink tones...'


I plan to continue searching for some new directions creating series of existing works. I also want to go out again and continue to shoot city life.


'Time goes its own way..'



'...Walking on red lines...'


I like the atmosphere on the 1x community, even if I am not posting my new works now. But I will definitely return in fall or maybe earlier. I hope that my new works will be appealing to the viewers because without them I would not have understood in which direction I should move.


Thank you so much for allowing me to tell my story.
... see you soon!




Dear Igor. Many congratulations on the amazing interview. Your story is very interesting, beautiful and inspiring. I love your work, the flowers, the still life, and the streets, all presented in a poetic and artistic way. Congratulations and much success always.✨✨🍀😊
I'm glad that you looked into my story SHERIN... thank you so much for your support throughout the whole time, because without the audience and the support of the commentators, all this could not have happened :) I will definitely come back and continue to post my work on this platform... I hope peace will come soon! many greetings from the other side of the earth!
Игорь, спасибо)))
Рад что Вам понравилось! История продолжается... на этом я не ставлю точку в своих экспериментах... Всех благ Вам!
Great interview and nice collection! Congratulations dear Igor, thanks for sharing your excellent work and great technique. 👍🌷
I'm glad my story was published! I continue my work and someday I will share it with the audience 1x! I appreciate your support, Lydia! and the support of all members! Huge hello from the other side of the earth!
Приветствую, Игорь! Рад за Вас. Интервью прочитал и посмотрел с большим интересом (совсем не затянуто) Очень много прекрасных работ, но самое большое впечатление произвела " Безмятежность" Спасибо Вам за такой полный рассказ о себе, которым Вы с нами поделились. Наилучшие пожелания Вам в вашем творчестве! Новых открытий! Новых направлений. Удачи во всех начинаниях!
Приветствую, Владимир! Я рад был представить выдержку моих работ из галереи :) Рад что понравились! Рассказ о том чем фотографирую и как к этому шел :) т.к. это наиболее частый вопрос который мне иногда задают зрители :) Спасибо за пожелания! Надеюсь скоро наступит мир на нашей планете.... Всех благ Вам!
Impresionante colección!
Million thanks dear SUSI! All the best to you! Take care yourself!
Dear Igor..thank you for sharing your extraordinary art and the process and technique you developed to achieve it. It is an inspiration.
Thanks so much, Jane! I hope peace will be restored on earth and I will be able to continue my work... All the best to you!
Amazing photos - love what your choice of colors and surfaces.
Thanks so much, Pierre! I hope peace will be restored on earth and I will be able to continue my gallery...
I enjoyed seeing your creative vision as well as your narrative.
Thanks so much, William! I am very glad that you liked my story! All the best to you!
amazing gallery of macro photos, I love al so the PEP Ventosa picture, great interview , grtz Ingrid
Thanks so much, Ingrid! I hope peace will be restored on earth and I will be able to continue my work...
Very unique and beautiful images, with excellent tones and bokeh. Congratulations Igor and thanks Yvette for sharing this wonderful article
I am very glad that you liked my story, Anita! Even though it is more technical... All the best to you!
Excellent, stunning and fascinating collection with the artistic vision! Excellent interview and appreciate it. Learning. Thanks you, Igor and thank you, Yvette as the leadership to make it happen!
I am very happy for such words Wanghan! I'm glad you liked it! I hope this is not my last work... there will still be a sequel :)))
Fantastic, an unbeatable job and technique.
Thanks so much, Alberto! I appreciate it!
Thanks so much, Eduardo! All the best to you!
¡Muchas gracias!
Dear Igor your work is a treat to the eyes and has beautiful abstraction and off course your signature use of Bokeh , loved all these images . So much to learn from them and your technique.
I am more glad than ever that my works find an audience .. I hope peace will be restored on earth and I will be able to continue my work... All the best to you!
Dear Igor, every your work is amazing and super! I follow you for several years and enjoying your creativity and talent. I can look at your photos for hours and trying to understand the technique you use. Thank you for the joy you bring to us! The best wishes to you in your art!
Oh ! I am very touched by your words, Luba! I am glad that you liked my story, I hope that this is not the final point of my creativity... All the best to you! take care of yourself!
Thank you for sharing your story and your artistic vision, Igor! Also the amazing gallery of photos! I love your work!
I am very glad Ludmila that you liked my story and my work.. I hope I will continue publishing this year... all the best to you, I appreciate your attention!
Jonathan Knowles : Award-winning advertising photographer

Interview led by Editor Colin Dixon
Edited and published by Yvette Depaepe, the 17th of March 2023


Jonathan Knowles is an award-winning advertising photographer and film-maker.
He specialises in liquids, drinks and food photography. He has some of the most iconic advertising photographs to his name, and has won many awards in his field.
I would like to thank Jonathan for this interview, and for the amazing photographs we see here on 1x.


'Kubrick Coffee droplets'



'Catbury's Glass and a Half'


Jonathan how did you get into photography?

My initial inspiration was Harold Edgerton’s photograph of the Milk Drop Coronet when I was 8 years old. I was amazed by this image on the wall in the school’s science laboratory and how it captured an ‘unseen’ moment in time. When I got my first camera at 16 years old, I used two frames on my first roll of film to try and replicate the splash by dropping stones into a glass of milk in the garden. I thought that a thousandth of a second exposure was going to be fine to capture this, but of course I wasn’t thinking about the shutter delay or the reaction time in pressing the button. A year later when I was 17, I worked with a photographer in London for a month in the summer – and that was me on my way.


Next step was to become a professional photographer - can you tell me about how you did that?

When I was 22, I worked for a short time at an ad agency. Here, I managed to talk a few people into doing some photography for them, which led me to shoot some work on a brochure for a playground manufacturing company. This project also meant I could work both in the studio and on location around the UK.

The business started in 1988. My first big advertising campaign was for Interflora in 1994. Another big project was the rebranding of Sainsbury’s Supermarket in the UK. I then had the opportunity to work on a liquids assignment, where I created an entire portfolio of images. My liquid portfolio then led me to shoot a Ministry of Sound album cover where we threw a record deck into a tank of water.


'Clubber's guide' (Album cover for the Ministry of Sound's Clubbers' Guide)


The O2 Bubble images are iconic - how did this come about?

For the Ministry of Sound album, we shot some images of bubbles for the inner sleeve. This led to being asked by O2 to shoot the range of bubbles which became symbolic of the brand. The blue colour came our selection from the range of blue gels we tested with the lighting, together with the film stock we chose. This colour is still used by O2 today.


'O2 bubble'


What is the main thing in your work flow that gives your liquid images such amazing quality?

Flash speed is the most important element. We have a specialised flash for liquids working with flash speeds of a 1/111000th of a second. The only problem with these is that the lights are quite low powered, but if we can get them close enough to the subject, then they work perfectly for us.


'Chocolate Splash'



'Fettercairn 46 Year Old' (Whisky)



'Exploding Strawberry'


Do you have a favourite project you have done?

That is a difficult question, as they all become your favourite child when you’re working on them. Probably one of the most entertaining was the Black Sabbath 13 album cover - burning a big wicker 13 was a lot of fun. I guess I get the most pleasure from the variation of work we do - I love doing all the various types of photography, and I get as much pleasure from a portrait/beauty shot as I do from a great close-up image of liquids, for example.


'Black Sabbath 13' (last album cover)



'Heineken Droplets'






'DiorSHOW 2049'


Moving images and film advertisements - when did this come into your work stream?

In 2012, I saw the new type of digital billboards coming in and realised that only doing still images would not be enough going forward. We did some film tests of bubbles and a glass of beer with condensation running down the outside, so we had moving images on our website. It really kicked off in 2016/17 when we did our first moving image projects which didn’t have any associated stills.


Does your background in Still Photography help when you moved into Moving images?

Yes, eighteen years of working with film transparencies, and everything I had learnt about lighting for capture in camera, really helps with filming. You really need to get the lighting right with a movie as you don’t want to re-edit or process every frame of a sequence that is filmed at a thousand frames per second.


You have many awards and accolades for your work, are there any that you would still love to get?

I would love to win a Cannes Lion, but this only really happens if the campaign as a whole is also award winning. The whole creative team comes together and creates something truly inspirational.


'AIDA' (poster for the English National Opera's production of Aida)



'Diet Coke Hung'



'Guinness Tornado'



'Liquid Gold'






'Sipsmith FreeGlider'






'Replicant' (cover featuring Dolce and Gabbana and Bvlgari)



A huge thanks to Jonathan for sharing his work with us on 1x.


Very good image.
Wow! Great Work, Thank you for sharing your thoughts and images, Jonathan!
High class of photography, interesting interview, many thanks Colin, congratulations Jonathan.
Great shot!
Excellent works! Very creatively! Lovely
Original, imaginative, beautiful work! Thank you, Jonathan and Colin for this delightful interview and gallery!
Iconic Photographers - Don McCullin

By Editor Peter Davidson
Edited and published by Yvette Depaepe, the 16th of March 2023


"Photography for me is not looking, it's feeling. If you can't feel what you're looking at, then you're never going to get others to feel anything when they look at your pictures." ~Don McCullin~


                                                                                                  The photographer on assignment in Vietnam.

Don McCullin is a British photographer whose work as a photojournalist has had a profound impact on the field of war photography. And on me. I was starstruck by his exploits and his photography in the Vietnam War at the time, and I seriously contemplated, usually after one too many beers, to taking my one and only Nikon F camera and it's only lens on a plane out there to get into the action. Nonsense, of course. But in those days, it WAS just feasible. Who knows what would have happened to my life had I done so. One of those forks in the path of life. 

His images of conflict, famine, and poverty have been published in some of the world's most prestigious publications and have helped to shape public understanding of the horrors of war.

Born in London in 1935, McCullin began his career as a photographer in the late 1950s. He quickly gained a reputation for his gritty and uncompromising images of the working class, but it was his work as a war photographer that would make him a household name.

McCullin's first assignment as a war photographer came in 1964, when he was sent to cover the conflict in Cyprus. He would go on to cover many other conflicts over the next decade, including the Vietnam War, the Biafran War, and the Troubles in Northern Ireland. His images captured the horrors of war in a way that was both raw and powerful, and they helped to shape public understanding of the impact of conflict on civilians.

But McCullin's work as a war photographer took a toll on him, both physically and emotionally. He was shot and wounded on several occasions, and he witnessed countless atrocities and acts of violence. The trauma of his experiences led him to develop a deep sense of empathy for his subjects, and he has spoken openly about how war photography changed him as a person.

In a 2019 interview with The Guardian, McCullin said, "I am not the same person I was when I started. I have seen too much, and it has affected me profoundly." He went on to describe how his experiences had left him with a deep sense of empathy for those who have suffered as a result of war and conflict".



Despite the toll that his work has taken on him, McCullin continues to be an active photographer and advocate for human rights. His photographs are a testament to the power of photography to capture the human experience, and they continue to inspire and educate people around the world.

In recognition of his contributions to the field of photography, McCullin has received numerous awards and honours, including a CBE in 1993 and a knighthood in 2017. His legacy as a photographer and human rights advocate is significant, and his work serves as a reminder of the importance of bearing witness to the suffering of others.

But he has since found a kind of solace in landscape photography. He says: "There is guilt in every direction: I don't practise religion, guilt because I was able to walk away, while this man was dying of starvation or being murdered by another man with a gun. And I am tired of guilt, of saying to myself: "I didn't kill that man on the photograph, I didn't stave that child." That's why I want to photograph landscapes and flowers. I am sentencing myself to peace". 

And that's all anyone can do really. Find some form of peace where you can. 




Yes, such "art" should be stigmatized.
I hope you've left this comment in the wrong article?
Oh my goodness... The comment was about AI. Sorry.
Don McCullin? What I can say? He is a myth of the reportage. I remember many of his photos, he is a witness of our story of these years
Indeed he is, thanks Roberto.
Lovely article, very soulful images
I will always remember "Photography for me is not looking, it's feeling. If you can't feel what you're looking at, then you're never going to get others to feel anything when they look at your pictures." Thank you so much Peter for the article and the wonderful collection. I went to your gallery and enjoyed your works! Learning. Appreciate the effort to make it happen, Yvette!
Dear Wanghan Li, all credits should go to editor Peter Davidson who introduces us to some inconic photographers via the magazine. Thanks for your appreciation, dear friend.
Thanks Wanghan Li, appreciated!