Editing with Generative Fill in Photoshop

Exploring the Future of Editing: Generative Fill in Photoshop

May 11, 2024

 Excitement and controversy have recently surfaced with the introduction of AI usage in the ever-evolving world of technology.

One such tool that has sparked attention is Photoshop's Generative Fill feature. While some express frustration over those who use AI, it's essential to recognize the potential and practical benefits that tools like Generative Fill offer.

First, let me address the elephant in the room: the backlash from some photographers. Many traditionalists argue that relying on AI diminishes the authenticity and skill of photography. They fear these tools might replace the artistic touch that makes each photograph unique. Similar to years ago, when digital photography was still looked down on by some who had been in the field for years prior, then slowly moved on as most now shoot digitally.  

Also, when Adobe Photoshop came on the scene, so many would say that using Photoshop to edit anything for any reason meant you were not a "real" photographer if you didn't get it all right in camera... yes that was a thing, however retouching images happened way before photoshop when it was all done by hand using paint and other art tools.

It's crucial to understand that AI is not a replacement for creativity but a powerful tool to enhance it. 

I admit, when I started trying out these tools, I was a little weirded out but also amazed. I didnt know how to feel about it and was on the fence because I have always manually edited whatever I needed with my images for the last 15+ years. Now seeing how this tool was cleaning up and changing what I needed so much quicker, I didn't know how to feel, mainly based on the opinions of others that said photographers would no longer get work as AI would do it all. 

This leads me to another issue that I feel should be clarified with AI programs like Midjourney, where you will type in a long, detailed prompt and it will then create realistic images based on what you typed. That is something fun to do, but to me is not something to call "your art" or "your photography."

However, in Photoshop, when editing with AI tools, these are still your images, you're just editing them differently.

Consider the process of manual editing, a technique where photographers meticulously edit to create the "perfect" image. Now, compare this to using Generative Fill in Photoshop. At their core, both methods aim to achieve the same result: combining elements to enhance the final image. The only difference lies in the approach. While manual editing demands hours of precise work, Generative Fill streamlines the process by intelligently filling in missing areas based on existing content. In essence, it's a different means to the same end.

So, why embrace Generative Fill and what are the benefits? 

1. Efficiency: AI can perform complex tasks in a fraction of the time it would take a human. I have been able to speed up my workflow immensely, like fixing wardrobe malfunctions or changing certain pieces to something better, cleaning and editing hair, removing unwanted items in the background, plus so much more, which I teach in my new online course that you can check out HERE.

Photographers can now focus more on creative decision-making and less on repetitive editing tasks.

2. Consistency: AI can help maintain uniformity across an edit, ensuring a cohesive aesthetic within the image.

3. Advanced techniques: Now accessible to a broader audience, regardless of technical expertise and even to those with the knowledge and experience within Photoshop, the editing is now done much faster.

Embracing AI tools in Photoshop isn't just a trend; it's the future of advanced editing in addition to our traditional retouching style that we can choose to learn in its early stages and get ahead of those who decide to wait it out, as technology continues to advance, AI-driven tools will become increasingly integral to the creative process. 

Although it's not perfect as we still have manual editing steps to do and even sometimes tweak or fix what the AI tool has done, it's still an amazing asset to embrace. 


Rather than viewing AI as a threat, photographers should embrace it as a valuable ally in their artistic journey. After all, the essence of photography lies not in the tools we use but in our style, the stories we tell and the emotions we evoke through our images.

Generative Fill in Photoshop represents a shift in how we edit and while it may stir controversy among purists, the practical benefits and transformative potential cannot be denied

As we navigate the ever-changing world of photography, the future of editing is here and it's here to stay.

If you would like to learn more about editing your work in Photoshop with some help from AI, click the button below to find out more!