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Let This A.I Critique Your Photos, Or, Let Us

By Holly Roa on October 10th 2016

When you think of artificial intelligence, what comes to mind? Siri? The Terminator? How about Keegan the photo coach?

Oh, you haven’t heard of Keegan, so allow me to introduce you. In his own words, more or less:

Keegan is an artificial intelligence created by Regaind, a startup specialized in automatic image analysis. After being trained by professional photographers, Keegan is now able to describe the strengths and weaknesses in your image, in order to help you identify specific areas in which you can improve…. and to let you challenge your friends on your score! Keegan gives 5/10 to a decent photo, 7/10 to a very good shot and 9/10 to an exceptional image.

keegan-the-photo-coach-hollyUpload an image and Keegan will rate it, and tell you exactly what he “thinks” about it. I was curious about his judgement, so I tested him on some well known and generally well regarded photographs. Here is what he had to say.

First up, a John Keatley photograph of Bill Gates:


Reading is cozy, Keegan picked up on that. And Mr. Gates does look fairly at ease. Not a bad score, not a bad photograph.

How about something by William Eggleston? Iconic, and a pioneer in his time. Keegan’s take?


Keegan says “meh.”

An Annie Leibovitz portrait:


Keegan’s highest praise yet, very enthusiastic about the light. He even awarded it a ribbon.

A Philippe Halsman piece featuring Salvador Dali:


Curiously, Keegan had no love at all for this surrealist photo.

One of the world’s most iconic photographs, Steve McCurry‘s Afghan Girl:


It appears Keegan is onto something here; he’s given this one extra special recognition and offered a golden ribbon.

A Decisive Moment by Henri Cartier Bresson:


Hashtag boring. That’s harsh! He trashes the composition too, guess he hasn’t heard of the golden ratio.
After getting his take on all these famous photographs, I was curious about what Keegan would say about something of my own.holly-roa-hjr-photos-ruthie-newfie-holly
So basically, cute puppies trump all. I guess that’s not wrong, though I have to question his judgment ranking this higher than all the rest of the photos I tried.

Give it a try and see what Keegan thinks of your work! And if you’d like to have some good old fashioned human intelligence applied to your photos (and you should, critique is a great way to grow) submit something to SLR Lounge’s own critique section!


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Seattle based photographer with a side of videography, specializing in work involving animals, but basically a Jill of all trades.
Instagram: @HJRphotos

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Korey Napier

    Pulled this image of Nicolas Cages’ head on a pile of poo off of google. It likes it so much it gave it a 9.3/10

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  2. id Asumah

    Just this weekend, i finally installed the eyeem app on my iPhone and uploaded my first photo. I found it quite interesting how somewhat accurate its suggested tags where. I see a parallel here. Interesting and fun ‘game’ to play with tho.

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  3. Paul Empson

    :-D nice bit of fun…. as soon as I saw animals getting the top marks I reasoned Keegan was lacking in abstract & artistic awareness.. maybe the more animals he sees the more he’ll realise the merit of an HCB’s decisive moment image…

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  4. Pye Jirsa

    Interesting little piece of AI. I usually can see a use for most things ,but for me, Keegan falls short. Wayyyy short.

    Unusual compositions, seeing details, etc are all things that throw it off. Sure it can give you feedback on basic compositional rules, but give it an unusual composition, exposure, etc and it thinks the image is crap.

    Take a standard close up portrait with basic crops and good lighting, and it thinks it’s absolute gold.

    I also don’t see this being able to provide much thoughtful feedback on things like minding the details, skill in retouch, etc.

    I cringe thinking that a lot of people might actually use this and follow its advice.

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  5. Shivani Reddy

    Great write-up Holly, I am curious to see what they used to train Keegan haha, this algorithm is hilarious. “Managed to save your subject in all that blur”…

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    • Holly Roa

      Thanks! Not sure how they trained it, but apparently he’s named for an actual person named Keegan who gave him English phrases to use.

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