AI vs manual photo editing: which is better?


Recently, the usage of AI has boomed in the photo editing industry. Artificial intelligence in photo editing uses algorithms to simulate human creativity. 

Artificial intelligence (AI) editing systems based on neural networks can retouch photographs in seconds, much faster than a human editor could. 

But still, can AI fix portrait lighting, remove backgrounds, and improve photos? Can AI-powered picture editing tools replace human editors? These are some big questions. 

There are several benefits to using a human editor as well. Manual editing may take longer, but it allows for much more precise changes and customization than AI can do. 

This article will examine AI vs manual photo editing.

Understanding the Differences Between AI and Manual Editing


Understanding the Differences Between AI and Manual Editing

Recently, more and more AI powered photo editing apps have been made available to the general public. With these editors, we can make the changes we need to our photos quickly and easily. 

With these tools, it’s easy and quick to change colors, eliminate unwanted parts, and improve images in other ways. There’s no denying it’s a time-saver for photographers. 

Yet, there’s no denying that manual photo editing is a time-consuming but effective process. In a nutshell, a wide variety of software is out there for improving low-quality images. 

Manual editing takes a lot of time, but it has many benefits, such as better image quality and more room for personal expression. No matter what you modify, you can always get better outcomes from your images, so there’s no reason to be dissatisfied with them.

Pros of Using AI for Picture Retouching

Pros of Using AI for Picture Retouching

AI Pros 1- Several Changes Can Be Made Quickly

Several Changes Can Be Made Quickly

Large photographs may need to be edited quickly for a product launch or other event. The best tools use artificial intelligence because they can work on many photos at once. This app performs tasks like removing the background or fixing the skin. Only a tiny number would need to be revised manually.

AI pros 2- Quick and effortless

Quick and effortless

Some manual editing techniques are tiresome and time-consuming, even for single pictures. As a result, making ghost mannequins by using Photoshop is an easy step because several models or mannequins are required to create for a single product. But, with AI technologies, the entire process may be automated in a matter of seconds.

AI Pros 3- You May Easily Fit It Into Your Spending Plan

You May Easily Fit It Into Your Spending Plan

Editing with AI is much more cost-effective than traditional editing methods. Moreover, it can streamline many processes simultaneously. This is especially helpful for startups and photographers on a low budget who need more time to edit their photos by hand.

AI Pros 4- Ideal For Quick Changes

Ideal For Quick Changes

Artificial intelligence (AI) tools are very good at making simple changes like cropping, adjusting colors, and boosting contrast. On the other hand, recent improvements in AI have made it possible to use it for more complicated tasks, like changing the exposure of portraits and making ghostly figures stand in for people in photos, among other things.

Cons of AI photo editing

Cons of AI photo editing

AI Cons 1- It’s Too Casual

Machine learning algorithms are the foundation of artificial intelligence photo editing. Even though these algorithms are very advanced, in the end, only some can replace human judgment. A human editor can exercise significantly more discretion and focus on the finer points.

AI Cons 2- Its Capabilities Are Limited To Specific Projects

Its Capabilities Are Limited To Specific Projects

Even though most AI photo editing tools are made for a specific purpose, you may still need to edit some parts of your photos by hand. Different AI tools provide different results, so to fix errors, some companies hire experts for human touch-ups.

AI Cons 3- It Can Drag Your Creativity Down

It Can Drag Your Creativity Down

If you use an algorithm to edit your photos, you may lose some of your energy and creativity. Manual editing could be your thing if you thrive on revealing each picture’s distinctive personality.

Benefits of Manual Editing

Benefits of Manual Editing

Manual Editing Advantages 1: Complete Control Over The Editing Process

You may express yourself as you like when you edit images manually. AI is not the same as a human editor when trying to impress clients or make a photography masterpiece.

Manual Editing Advantages 2: It Ensures High Quality

If you’re a photographer or editor whose reputation rests on the quality of your work, then you know that manual editing gives you significantly more control over the final output.

Manual Editing Advantages 3- It’s simple to fix

If you don’t like your first changes, it’s easy to take them back and make new ones. Photos that have been changed with an AI program can be hard to fix by hand in different ways. The flexibility of manual editing allows for unlimited revisions.

Cons of manual editing

Cons of manual editing

Manual Editing Cons 1- That Can Take A Lot of Time

That Can Take A Lot of Time

Many photographers need to be more relaxed about how much time it takes to filter and edit photos manually. No matter what kind of photography you like, every photo shoot ends with the editing process.

If you want to avoid paying for a service that offers your edits back in 24 hours, be prepared to spend a lot of time sitting and carefully selecting and editing your images.

Manual Editing Cons 2- It Can Be Expensive

It Can Be Expensive

When editing your photos, you must pay for someone’s time. Most of the time, it costs more to edit photos by hand than to pay for a monthly subscription to an online editing service.

When compared to the one-time annual fee of $50 to $100 for membership in a tool. On the other hand, the cost of manually editing an image might range from $0.50 to $5 per image.

Manual Editing Cons 3- Delays May Occur Due To Unexpected Situations

Delays May Occur Due To Unexpected Situations

Any business that wants to do well must be able to meet deadlines. When editing by hand, it can take a long time, sometimes so long that the deadline can be missed. Even if you plan to hire experts. This probably happens sometimes, but it’s better to be ready for it with a backup plan.

Manual Editing Cons 4- Lack of Consistency

Lack of Consistency

Whenever a person is doing something physically demanding, there is a chance that they could make a mistake. Inconsistency in editing is a prevalent flaw, especially among novice photo editors. If you don’t use good judgment or if you change how you edit a lot, it can hurt the final images.

Who Won the Battle of AI vs Manual Photo Editing? 

Who Won the Battle of AI vs. Manual Photo Editing

AI is still a growing field, and its effects can be seen in many different areas, such as photography and photo editing. Technology will get better in the future because it is a system that can learn and fix itself. It will take us to a new level in the coming years, enriching our personal and professional lives.

Additionally, it is also great for photo editing by hand because some jobs still require a human touch. Let’s say you have a piece of diamond jewelry that has words written on it. 

A human editor can polish it perfectly, which is impossible with AI tools. To the contrary, to get such performance with AI, a particular programming command is needed. 

But in the end, we could say that the mix of human creativity and AI points to a bright future.


Will AI replace photography?

Even if AI appears as good as photographs, it could never take the place of real photographs.

Can AI edit photos?

AI can look at your photos and improve them in many ways, such as by focusing on the subject and getting rid of distracting backgrounds or by only adding special effects to certain parts of the photo. They do most of the work that needs to be done to edit your photos, saving you time and effort.

Bottom Line

The best picture editor for you will depend on the specifics of your industry. Photo editing tools, especially ones that can process a lot of images at once, can be used for a wide range of things, such as e-commerce, website design, marketing, and even personal use. 

When editing photos, photography businesses need to hire outside help to make sure the final products are of the high quality that clients expect.

Still, your pictures can be modified in other ways; for example, you can take help from a post-production house.

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