We’re often techies. OK, we are techies and electronics geeks. We read, we buy, we play. Digital photographers are techie junkies at times and I am no different. Because of the nature of my personal photographic work and being an instructor of students all over the world, I do keep up with current trends for digital photographers. These are exciting times for us, and the available tools for our passion are getting larger, more complex and most of all, fun! Lets talk about 10 technology trends that are here or forthcoming. I’ll be breaking these down in detail over the next 10 articles, here is my introductory summary.
Recent Photography Trend #1: The Apple iPad
When was the last time you stepped into a Starbucks and didn’t see someone doodline on an iPad? Lets face it, they’re all over the place. Yuppies, professionals and regular folks likes us playing with their iPads. How does cool new tool help the photographer? Think of the future, cloud computing. Its coming, and its the next-step of the web. The iPad is more than a glorified iPhone with a few apps. Its gaining steam. For photographers, look for more and more image editing and display options in the future. At the size of a magazine, there isn’t an excuse for not having one. Let me put it this way, as a photographer, I’ll be hooked on this thing first day I get mine home. No, its not going to replace what I can do with Lightroom, Photoshop and Elements, but I can do just about anything I want to most photo’s on the fly, and its great to display my work to others, video included. Its a web app notebook, eReader and photo display/editor all built in for me in a small package. Put this on your holiday list, you’ll want one.
Recent Photography Trend #2: Point And Shoot Size DSLRs
Mirrorless Without the Pentaprism And Almost 1/2 the Size of a DSLR
Now we’re talkin! We all know how backbreaking a heavy DSLR can be with huge lenses and accessories. Folks, things are getting simpler and smaller. Enter this years entry into the new subcompact DSLR, the mirrorless digital camera. Get the lightweight advantage of a small point and shoot with full DSLR capability at a low price with good glass, and we have a new class of digital camera.
Recent Photography Trend #3: High Dynamic Range Photography (HDR)
I’ve written about this extensively, and it looks like HDR is going to have a place in our workflow for some time to come. HDR is actually a simple concept, but somewhat tricky (until now) to implement for digital images. HDR is a number of images, taken at different exposures that when combined in software, contain an entire dynamic range of the scene, elements from the extreme shadows to the extreme highlights, and everything in between. Got all that?
Recent Photography Trend #4: Digital Photography Workflow Software
One of the trends that has been growing for advanced and enthusiast photographers is the use of image editing workflow software. The market is dominated by Adobe Lightroom and Apple Aperture. The first out of the gate a few years ago was Aperture, however dominating the space now is Adobe with its recent release of Adobe Lightroom 3. Both are top notch. Apple based professional photographers tend to favor Aperture as it is strictly for the Mac and integrates well with iPhoto. The rest of the world favors Adobe Lightroom. Which is better?
There isn’t an answer to that question, bothhave their pluses plus a few minuses. For the PC users, you need to understand the Mac mentality, its slightly different but the “just” is rocking image management and quick on the fly image corrections and the abilty to output slideshows and photobooks lickidly split. Like I said, both are excellent, low cost complimentary additions to help with a higher volume workflow. Teamed up with Photoshop or even Elements, and you have real solid toolset for the busy photographer that wants to keep their images organized.
Recent Photography Trend #5: Professional Quality Digital Video
It has arrived. The convergence has occurred of the video camera and the digital still camera, especially the DSLR. Now standard equipment on the latest DSLRs, digital video not only is on the wish list, its a must. Gone are the days of separate cameras for still and video to schlep on vacation, you have both capabilities in the same camera with pro level results.
Click Here for sample video from Canon USA
Recent Photography Trend #6: The Super Zoom
One of the most perplexing problems facing myself as a photographer today, besides the 7-10 split at the bowling alley, is how to lighten my load a I strive for simplicity. Lightening my load is is a a constant challenge. Like you, my camera bag gets heavier and heavier as I collect DSLRs, lenses and accessories. I’m into simplicity now. Lighten my load, use less equipment and get the same quality results. A trend that has been growing in recent years is the use of the all-in-one zoom lens. My students often use them and the rate is increasing I am discovering, and I’m seeing unexpected EXCELLENT results from them in their use of all-in-one zoom lenses. That doesn’t say that super zooms don’t have their tradeoffs, they do.
Recent Photography Trend #7: Digital Infrared
Back in the film days, or BF (before digital cameras) a small breed of photographers would load up their 35mm cameras with infrared film (in the dark I may add!), attach special filters in front of their lenses, and pursue a true art of infrared black and white photography. It was difficult to work with at best. The photographer would have to store the film in cold temperatures, and never knew what type of results they would get from the film, you see, we didn’t have immediate feedback like we do know with LCD’s on our cameras.
Recent Photography Trend #8: Using Color Management
The advent of digital photography and expertise by the new breed of photographer has prompted an important addition to a photographers workflow. Color management. Photographers are by the most part all digital now, and learning the importance of matching the colors they see on their computer display to what is being output to their photo printers. Hence the importance of a color manged workflow.
Recent Photography Trend #9: Full Frame Digital SLRs
In the past few years all of our major DSLR manufacturers have solidified their product lines with full frame (35mm equivalent) digital SLRs. With that advent in mind, many a pro and enthusiast have declared film “dead”. Its taken over 10 years for us to get to this point where the technology was affortable and possible, and now in the digital world we have the potential quality in a digital SLR that rivals that of medium format photographer, really!
The new, undisputed king of DSLRs where price isn’t an object, this is Canon’s new flagship full frame DSLR. Canon took its best professional practices, and integrated them into the new leader. This is a professional tool, built for the professional. Its where silly arguments like megapixel count is left for the amateurs. This is the best quality and most durable camera available. About twice the cost of Canon’s more affortable full frame EOS 5-D, this full frame DSLR is in another class.
Recent Photography Trend #10: The Return of Black and White
Black and white photography never really did go away, there is still a legion of fine art black and white photographers out there practicing their art. What digital photography has given us however is a greatly increased interest in photography as a whole, and with that increase a whole new slew of black and white photographers.