13 photo trends for 2013

13 photo trends for 2013

Is it a coincidence that the Mayan calendar ends when Canon’s and Nikon’s new full frame cameras are due to hit shelves? We think not. That’s because it’s a new era for photographers, and is why we predict a rise of full frame cameras and lots of low-light images to be among the many photo trends for 2013.

Want to know what else we predict? Then read on. But don’t go asking us about 2014 yet.

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1. Composites
Once upon a time using Photoshop for anything but Auto Levels was unspoken heresy. These days, photo manipulation is enjoying a well-deserved wave of good press. While sites like 500px have done well to promote the beauty that Photoshop can achieve, it was the discussion around the disqualification of the 2012 Landscape Photographer of the Year winner for making a composite image that led many to realise: Actually, it’s just art. Next year we expect to see more photographers coming out of the digital darkroom and hanging their wares on their Facebook wall (or Pinterest – see 12 below).

2. App convergence
So-called ‘app cameras’ enabled with Wi-Fi were one of the big developments in 2012. Next year we expect to see even more of this convergence in the form of new (cheaper) cameras, a slew of photo apps and the beginning of a crossover into the professional market.

3. Time lapse photography
The above-mentioned new photo apps will offer to simplify what were previously time-consuming creative effects, and perhaps king of them all will be time lapse photography.

4. Touch editing
As mobile devices pervade (or invade, depending on your view), applications like Photoshop Touch will see strong growth. Affordable and easy to use, we foresee photographers using the convenience of this new technology to experiment more with their photos, leading to a rise in…

5. Photo expressionism
Brace yourselves, for Flickr and Facebook and all the other favourite haunts of casual photographers will be teeming with painted photos and other such effects. In all seriousness, though, we expect a creative boom period of photographers trying new things (many of which will be bad), and when the dust settles we’ll see much more convergence between photography and elements of traditional (ie old school) art.

6. Surrealism
Expect more surrealism too. Photographers like Linus Lohoff and Rebekka Gudleifsdottir have found success creating their surrealist effects in-camera. But new technology and a new popular ethos bent on experimentation will see photographers pushing the limits of what they were once able to do.

7. Full frame
2012 was the year of full frame according to many lists, but we think 2013 will actually be that year. Canon and Nikon got the ball rolling with their entry-level full frame DSLR benchmarks, but a few other manufacturers might join the party as well.

8. Bokeh
With all these new full frame sensors out there in the hands of people who’ve never shot at that standard before, you’re going to be seeing a lot more low-light photography as people come to learn and enjoy its advantages. And once that switch flips, you can bet you’ll start seeing more bokeh shots in your newsfeed. You probably didn’t think it was possible, and neither did we, but brace yourselves: it’s coming.

9. CSCs as primary cameras
With cameras like the Canon EOS M or the Panasonic GX1 setting new standards in quality, it’s safe to say that compact system cameras are getting to be pretty damn good. Most of us know someone who’s vowed never to buy a DSLR again, and with trailblazing features like articulated touchscreens and WiFi, can we blame them? We’ll be joining their ranks soon.

10. DIY photography
Let’s not forget that amid all the ‘affordable’ full frame DSLRs and brilliant new technology swelling our camera bags, times is still tough out there. What we spend on cameras and lenses we have to save elsewhere, and that will come at the expense of some of the smaller camera accessories that aren’t as necessary to spend money on when you really think about it. You can’t build a new DSLR, but you can build a new flash diffuser, or bean bag or even a light box.

11. Printing photos
The number of people who print photos has been on a steady decline for years, reaching its zenith with Kodak getting bankruptcy protection in the US in 2012 and stepping quietly away from the photographic world. But with other companies now feeling the heat, we suspect – er, predict with absolute certainty! – that a marriage to the growing retro photography movement could restore order. Blurb has already launched its Instagram book service, but expect more to follow suit and try to cash in on the billions of photos of sleeping cats and fairy cakes lingering in the Insta-ether.

12. The fast rise of Pinterest
The new kid on the block, the visual bookmarking site Pinterest has experienced unparalleled growth. It doesn’t matter if you’re not into kittens or crafting; it’s so much more than that. It’s a place to save recipes for instance. And for photographers it’s a place to not only showcase your own archive, but to collate the works of those who’ve inspired you and those you’d like to emulate, not to mention tips and tutorials to help you along. Its visual format is perfectly suited for photographers, and all it takes is for the right re-pin of one of your photos and you could be the internet’s next big thing.

See our guide to 14 Pinterest photography boards that every photographer should follow

13. Cloud storage
Mobile storage devices will finally die off in 2013. Dead, we tell you! The rise of cloud storage has quietly been one of the biggest innovations in photography over the years, as it’s greatly simplified our photo management process and even the way we think about our pictures. As more cameras become Wi-Fi-enabled, we expect more people to use cloud storage services.

See our guide to 10 things you need to know about Project 1709, Canon’s cloud-based photo management platform


So there you have it. All of the above will DEFINITELY happen in 2013. Or maybe they won’t. Let us know what you think the biggest photo trends will be in the comments below – or share your thoughts on our Facebook wall.

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