Duluth Reimagined: Editing Photos with AI

Previously I posted some AI generated images that could plausibly be of Duluth but it was difficult to create images that were distinctly Duluth. The absurd specificity of Jim Richardson’s interactions with ChatGPT inspired me to try again but with a different process.

I used a feature of DALL-E that allows me to remove sections of my own photographs and replace the blank areas with AI generated images. I started by trying to create images as surreal as possible, but DALL-E seems to do best when the prompt aligns the photo with a large number of images in its database. So while the realism of the end results varied, all of the prompts came from asking the same question: what else might this be a picture of?

When the prompt generated something interesting, I used open source photo software to clean it up a bit, removing annoying AI artifacts like backward streetlamps and random color blotches. The final result is a series of unreal images that could only be from Duluth. Such as …

The Fitger’s SpaceX Project …

… featuring the Kom-on-Inn Planetary Lounge

Duluth: San Francisco of the Midwest

A Short Hike to Downtown

When the Lake Dries Up

The Ski Hut, relocated

Wabasha Bookstore, now with books

Northern Lights Express, Route Plan B

The French chateau that inspired the Duluth Depot

The Launch of the Duluth Public Library

The Radisson, Beacon of the Great Lakes

1 Comment


about 3 months ago

I recently asked AI for an image of "a car driving on an icy hill in Duluth" and got this. It was part of a conversation with some colleagues from the southern United States, so this is now what they picture us doing up here.

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