Key photography parameters to master your AI prompts

The tools that grant us the ability to create art using artificial intelligence have undoubtedly swept into our lives like a whirlwind. When we think of AI, we might conjure up images that depict impossible scenarios: unicorns in the desert, houses made of vegetables, worlds of candy…  Basically, anything we can imagine (and even more).

As human beings, we are always trying to represent the world faithfully, yet we love exploring ways to blur the line between reality and fiction. As expected, with the advent of AI, this hasn’t changed. We’ve seen on many occasions images that are incredibly lifelike and even deceive those of us with the keenest eyes, like the famous photo of the current pope in his white down coat. Such situations make me wonder, how much has photography influenced the creation of images through AI, and in which ways?

If we were to give a quick answer right now, we would say tremendously. But as we don’t want to stay on the surface, let’s break down what I consider to be the most relevant technical photographic points in the AI generation field.

Light as the basic principle

Essentially, photography is painting with light, and while this might not be exactly what we’re doing when we create using artificial intelligence, this principle can be applied too. If we talk about exposure, we are referring to the first lesson in photography that we must learn and take into account when we’re generating, it matters.

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Beautiful fairy man, nuclear pollution, body because of pollution to grow strange bones, barren natural environment, dull scheme, dreamlike color, intricate orange and green lights, –ar 16:9

When it comes to connecting with the viewer and conveying a message, it’s advisable to think about how much light we want and how we want it. It’s not the same to have hard lights that create strong contrast and a sense of intensity as it is to use soft lights, which will create a more relaxed atmosphere.

Light has different color temperatures, both warm and cool. This color temperature influences the atmosphere and mood of the image. For instance, warm light can create a sense of comfort and nostalgia, whereas cool light can convey a feeling of coldness or emotional distance.

Keywords in the creation of prompts, such as high key or low key, can be incredibly useful when trying to achieve the desired result.

The lens that you look through matters

You’ve probably seen the typical prompt that says “35mm lens, f/1.8,” etc. These technical parameters, which are focal length and aperture, can help us define the distortion of the plane and the focus of the final image, making them extremely useful for creating continuity in our images.

Blurred shadows of plant in the picture through the frosted glass, ink painting, central composition, futuristic minimalism, soft dreamy depiction style, realistic rendering style, low saturation, Japanese minimalism, 50mm lens, f 2.8, light green, blur-core, white-core, –ar 16:9

Lenses with short focal lengths (also known as wide-angle lenses) allow you to capture more in the frame and create a sense of depth. Lenses with long focal lengths (telephoto) compress perspective and are ideal for isolating subjects and backgrounds. The type of lens you use also contributes to the overall style of your images. You can achieve specific creative effects using special lenses like fisheye, tilt-shift, or macro lenses.

The aperture of a lens (represented by its f-number) influences the depth of field, that is to say, the area of the image that is going to be sharp. Lenses with wider apertures (with lower f-numbers, such as f/1.8) can allow a blurred background (bokeh effect) that highlights the main subject.

Cinematic aerial scene, shot with Pro drone camera, 24mm, f 22, –ar 16:9

As a tip, you can try mixing this with the camera’s position (front view, side view, aerial, low angle, etc.). The limits of combining these factors are set by your imagination!

Composing with aspect ratio

The aspect ratio is the ratio of the width to the height of the image, and just like with photography, it will also help us enhance the content of the image or to position it correctly within a context in the world of AI.

Although it’s an important technical aspect, this should not be taken as a strict rule but rather another tool to help us materialize what we want to convey. Therefore, if we’re looking to balance the image and, for example, to achieve a landscape, a horizontal aspect ratio is our ideal choice (3:2 or 16:9 for a more cinematic touch).

Pink water floods the courtyard of a white geometric building with fluidly curved walls and geometric angles, varying levels and soft curved entrances, glistening pink water flooding between the white stucco walls beneath a pink sunset sky 8K resolution, detailed, sharpness, beautiful lighting, gorgeous, surreal, minimalism –ar 16:9 / –ar 9:16

Combine them to create your own story

We want to give you two non-technical pieces of advice that will still help you achieve incredible results:

  • Step out of your comfort zone: Don’t hesitate to experiment with new techniques, unusual angles, and combinations of settings. The best ideas often arise from the audacity to try new things.
  • Practice regularly: Consistent practice will help you improve your skills and develop a personal style. The more you create, the more you’ll develop your eye for composition and narrative.
Broken chair sticking out of the sand on the beach, minimal composition, foggy ambience, design chair near a lake, northern france, bokeh –ar 16:9

To sum up, the combination of all these parameters applied to artificial intelligence can help you visually tell impactful stories. By understanding how lighting, composition, and other technical aspects can work together to convey emotions and narratives, you’ll be on your way to creating works that captivate the viewer and leave a lasting impression. Remember, every image you generate is an opportunity to express yourself and share your unique vision with the world.

Now is the time to put all these aspects into practice. Try creating your own images using the Freepik generator or explore already generated images and their prompts in our gallery!