Looking into a crystal ball used to be a common past time at the new year. Rapid Technological change was always a key aspect of these predictions, yet this year the changes in photography might not be gleaming new toys you can pick up.
- We’ll do better without you, the move to on-line storage and display has been a wealth of Auto-fix facilities. Even your humble photo processing service in the local shopping mall probably uses an “enhance” filter. A lot of this is gimmickry and little more that increased contrast and colour saturation. Some are based on science, particularly from the field of medical imaging and some have come down from fancy photoshop plug-ins. Corels inclusion of Perfectly Clear and Niks Software’s Snap Seed (now Google’s Auto Awesome) are good examples of what can be achieved. However if you are a creative you might need to fight this trend, at least recognise it.
- Better user interface on cameras (particularly smartphones). In todays world cameras might have a few mechanical and optical functioning bit bits (particularly the bigger DSLR) but at their centre is now a lot of electronics. They are essentially specific purpose computers and as such are programmable. Some existing cannon camera can already have their firmware updated (see magic lantern). However it is in the smartphone camera arena that the changes are most evident. There are hundreds of camera apps, unfortunately many are trival (and specifically the zanny filers I could do without). Yet there is light. There probably is no need to link new cameras back to the three traditional exposure controls, which relate back to the sensitivity of the film, or a diaphragm style aperture control. Even the time taken for the exposure. A simpler set of sliders on a touch screen that corrected over exposure, maybe focus (by just touching the screen where you want it in focus), a slider for depth of field and maybe a drop down set of buttons for specific modes like fast action close up all on the phones touch screen (or on the back of the camera) and the changes can been seen on the screen straight away, This doesn’t sound like much but I bet that would become a popular camera app or even an actual camera.
- I suspect this will be the year of the photobook, Ok the term has changed a lot some time ago, not so long ago actually serious photographers had exhibitions and very occasionally a publisher might hang the expense and produce a wonderful book of photos, usually with accompanying text but a recognised write, Now the photobook can easily be self published. There are some quiet amazing limited edition photobooks being created today by semi-professionals and gifted amateurs These books have reached a price, mainly due to the technology of the production aspects and old fashion competition where it is can be cheaper to prepare a photobook full of say a hundred or so 5 by 8cm sized snaps of a recent overseas trip compared with getting those snaps printed out individually. The difference is it will probably take some time and energy to create the book and possibly your family will slink away when they see you get the book out, In between there is a place where you can be creative and publish what is important to you. The movement to photobooks is also present in the ebook area where photobooks are starting to gain traction mainly due to the larger screen on IPads and Android tablets. 2014 is a good year to consider creating your first photobook, just start small (in $20-$25 range)