One of the key things that we feature in our anniversary issue every year are the upcoming Trends and Predictions when it comes to technology, photography and products in the coming year. And the best part is that we are able to predict them accurately as opposed to many others. So these are the things that we feel will become big in the coming years.
While I have been speaking about the emergence of film in the past few years, 2017 probably might be one of the biggest years of its comeback in recent history. A few years back it was only a few photographers that would shoot on film and in most cases also develop it themselves. But in recent times small developing pigeon hole set-ups have also sprung up which are seeing more than their share of film. Not to mention that couple of mainline manufacturers have increased their sales and production of silver halide paper. So get ready for some film action.
Augmented and Virtual reality
While augmented and virtual reality is still at a nascent stage but going by what I saw at Photokina and CES in the past year, the year 2017 will establish a firmer footing. Imaging biggies like Nikon and Panasonic launched products in 2016 focussing on AR and VR technology. But largely it will be the content that will see the biggest change with the newer products supporting the visual experience around photography.
While the development of technology is inevitable, yet there are milestones achieved which change the manner in which an industry moves. Take for instance the launch of the first iPhone. Sure there were touch phones prior to its launch, but it changed the trend of most phones featuring touchscreen in the next few years, and now practically 90% or more phones are touch screen.
I don't think that when it comes to imaging there will be a milestone achieved in the year 2017, but the launch of products like Hasselblad X1D and the Moto Mods are a few example about where the imaging companies and the technology in the industry might be heading. This might just be the beginning of the imaging industry starting to lock horns with the technology and its future. I see more companies coming to the fore in 2017 when it comes to playing with technology, and the true future of the same will be seen in the next few years, which is when I expect a milestone breakthrough.
360 Degree Photography
While 360-degree photography in some ways is already to the fore and the content has started trickling in, I feel that in 2017 this will one of the biggest trends when it comes to content. You can already see video content with the 360 experience on platforms which is changing the way we experience content. And the true potential of that content is what I expect to gather force in the year 2017. In fact when it comes to content I think this will be one of the biggest trends of the year.
When it comes to trends in shooting images then flash is going to be a big trend in the coming year. While it has been around for the longest time, earlier the efforts were made to reduce its impact to merge it into natural light. But in the year 2017 flash will be more in your face instead of taking a back seat in those shoots. Be it fashion, portrait, candid or commercial, the trend in the industry will be to make it loud and in your face.
Photos taken in the moment
For most who might understand the sub-head might think that this is nothing but candid photography. While that might be marginally true, the year 2017 will be all about ‘being natural’. It means that pictures will be shot in the moment, capturing the action in its natural form. Yes, I did predict about candid being one of the trends in 2016 and in wedding photography it was one of the trends that swooped the industry.
But there is a fine line between the pics shot in a natural environment and candid. Ideally candid is a genre where the subject isn’t aware of the photographer. But for natural environment, the subjects are aware of the photographer’s presence yet continue their journey.
Social Media/POV and Perspective photography
There is no denying that fact that social media has impacted our life in many ways. And the year of 2017 will see a phenomenal rise in the manner in which pictures are shot, both professionally and personally. Naturally in some places selfies have been banned because of its nuisance value to many, but there will be a new trend that I predict that will come up in 2017, which is point-of-view photography (POV).
Not that consumers today aren’t shooting these things. But there is stark difference between the regular pics and the ones that are shot and uploaded on social media. In many ways its for social approval and bravado. And I feel that is the style that will be a big trend in the coming year. Another big trend will be perspective photography, much like what we see on Snapchat these days where people often provide their personal take or experience to an event/occasion.
Better technology in smartphone cameras
While this isn’t something that is going to take much predicting, it’s natural that smartphones launched in 2017 will feature better cameras. But I feel that the technology featured in smartphones cameras will get a lot better, especially since manufacturers don't have much space to play with (literally). So while they might get feature packed, we can expect new breakthroughs in this industry for sure.