August 6, 2020

Robin Gillham

Future Trends In The Photography Industry

Photo: by Harsch Shivam

Who knows what new advancements and fresh problems the future will bring, but one thing is for certain — the pace of change is moving fast. To keep you in the know, we've decided to dust off our crystal ball and bring you the trends we think will shape the future of photography.

Get The Perfect Image With AI

You may think of Isaac Asimov when the term AI comes up, but machine intelligence could already be in your pocket. In fact, it’s highly likely that in your camera bag you’ve got gear that’s already packed with AI functionality.For instance, most, if not all, automatic features on a modern camera utilize AI in some way. Automatic exposure, autofocus systems, tracking, and stabilization are only a few, and they’ve been helping us capture better scenes for years.Fast-forward to the future, and experts agree that we will see AI take over many more photographic tasks. We could all enjoy better, faster, and more intuitive autofocusing and stabilization. Just imagine entire scenes and subjects, captured with a perfect exposure every time.Not only will AI improve photography out in the field, but in the editing room too. Professional photographers often spend a chunk of their time editing their shots, but once AI technology becomes ubiquitous, editing could become a thing of the past.

Multiple Lights
Photo: Tabitha Mort

One day it may be possible to upload terabytes worth of photographs and have them automatically sort through themselves, leaving you with only the best shots. On top of selecting these images, adjustments will be applied based on previous behaviors so that every shot is tweaked exactly the way you like it. That’s what makes AI such a powerful tool, it learns from your choices.So, don’t fear the oncoming march of AI, it will benefit nearly every aspect of a photographer’s life. However, where it won’t be able to compete, is with the natural skill and creativity of an experienced professional photographer.Check out how Adobe is building powerful AI-backed software to assist creatives everywhere.

Attack Of The Drones

There was a time when aerial photography was an expensive and risky business. To snap the perfect shot from above, a professional photographer would need to hire a helicopter, or light aircraft, to get there.Today, things couldn’t be more different. It’s now possible to take a gorgeous aerial shot while having two feet on the ground, all thanks to advances in drone technology.They’re cheap, fast, and easy to use tools for photographers looking to elevate their work, but there’s still room for improvement. Here’s what the future may bring the world of drone photography.Firstly, like with all technology, drones are guaranteed to get smaller, smarter, and cheaper. It’s safe to say that the drones of tomorrow will be able to comfortably compete with traditional aerial photography, despite the advantages that can bring.New technologies will make flying easier. For example, advances in sonar to detect nearby obstacles and dangers – and avoid hazards without bothering the pilot. Another new system that could be around the corner is a drone guidance system that relies on infra-red sensors and receivers which allows the drone to “see” its surroundings and avoid everything on its own, like Google’s self-driving car project.

City at night
Photo: Benjamin Suter

Another innovation, which is currently on the drawing board, is a system in which pilots can handle and operate their camera to its full extent while in flight. With this technology, photographers will be able to do a lot more than just pointing the camera in the right direction or fiddling with the gimbal settings.Hardware restrictions such as battery range will be solved in the future too. Drone manufacturers are currently experimenting with different battery solutions as well as trying to design ways in which to obtain a bigger, more powerful energy source. There are even prototype drones that recharge using sunlight that could be on the market in the near future.

Enter The Matrix? Meet Virtual Photography

There are a number of advancements in Virtual Reality (VR) that you can enjoy today. But what does the future hold for VR, Augmented Reality (AR), and immersive photography? Let’s take another look into our crystal ball.Advances in VR have come thick and fast over the last decade and they seem to keep coming. VR headsets have enabled the user to step into and interact with a completely immersive 3D environment and partnering this technology with photography will be a natural fit.Just think, a camera system that can capture an environment in 360 degrees, saving every detail and nuance. Then a powerful computer system takes the visual data and creates an interactive environment, which anyone can step inside to enjoy the atmosphere. This may sound like something from your favorite Sci-Fi show, but it’s actually being done today by companies like Valve, and the advancements of this technology will shape the way we enjoy photography tomorrow.AR will also have a major role to play in the future of photography. Anyone will be able to use their own smartphone camera to project a 3D representation of what a new photo print might look like on their wall. Plus, photographers will be able to code into their images AR bonus features. For instance, the person viewing the image will be able to whip out their phone and see a different interactive dimension through their screen.The possibilities that all kinds of virtual and augmented reality will bring to photography are endless. Just remember not to lose your grip on the world around you.Check out how one of Pixy’s VIP Photographers, Paul Reiffer, is using Augmented Reality to help customers find the perfect place for his fine art prints.

The Return Of Vintage

Even with the future ushering in AI and smarter camera gear – there will always be those who prefer analog photography. Some vintage photographers feel that it offers more creativity and freedom, but the problem is, there is only a finite amount of analog camera gear to go around.One prediction is that with more and more collectors snapping up cameras, some older models will be brought back from the past.Some companies have already made it their aim to re-release discontinued cameras. Lomography is one such company. The Lomographic Society International was founded in 1991 by a group of Viennese shutterbug students who, while on a trip to Prague, came across the Soviet LOMO LC-A compact camera. They loved its vintage and artistic style and decided to make it their mission to bring it back.

Photo: Balazs Benjamin

They didn’t exactly revamp and re-release the same camera but they interpreted it into their own vision. With the future of DSLR looking uncertain, camera companies will be shifting their attention to mirrorless systems. Just imagine if major manufacturers like Nikon decided to release an old favorite with new technology, it would give photographers the best of both worlds.These are only a handful of our top predictions for the future trends which could shape the world of photography.

What do you think the future will bring?

No matter what awaits us, you can rest assured that Pixsy will be there to recover your lost revenue and fight image theft.

Robin Gillham

Robin is a resident case manager at Pixsy, working directly with our creators and photographers to help them enforce their rights. Robin is a hobby photographer with a keen interest in time-lapse.

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