The accessibility of modern photography equipment has opened the door for hobbyists, enthusiasts, and professionals alike to pursue new niches and capture captivating images. As photographers experiment with new techniques, some exciting trends are emerging and producing beautiful results. Here are ten of the latest photography trends to explore in 2019.
Macro photography is a style of photography that zooms in closely on an object (or on a specific part of it) to capture its intricate detail. Think of a butterfly’s wings or the pollen on a flower, for example. It takes a common object and presents it in a way that we’ve never seen or thought about before.
To get the proper level of detail, macro photographers must use a special macro lens. The lenses are relatively inexpensive, however, and there are even versions available for smartphone cameras. As this unique photography style gains popularity, many photographers are finding great success in selling prints.
While the general population enjoys the freedom of digital photography instead of using film, photographers are falling in love with film photography again. It requires a certain thoughtfulness and intention before taking a photo to make sure that the lighting and angles capture the best possible shot. Many photographers consider film photography an elite art and use it to hone their skills and creativity. While digital photography is here to stay, film photography is regaining popularity with professional photographers and hobbyists all over the world.
3. Light painting
Light painting is one of the most versatile photography techniques. The same image can be captured in a number of unique ways by experimenting with natural and artificial light, exposure time, and reflections.
It’s a lucrative trend for photographers because of its limitless potential for creativity. Everyday images become mesmerizing works of art with a few simple adjustments in lighting. It doesn’t require any special equipment or lenses and isn’t limited to a studio setting. For photographers that enjoy experimenting with light and shadow, it’s an excellent niche to highlight their artistry and skill.
High dynamic range, or HDR photography, is a technique that uses the range of brightness between the lightest and darkest areas of the subject being photographed. It doesn’t require any special equipment but does take a bit more time to edit to get the desired result. HDR images are perfect for landscape and portrait photography because of their ability to pick up on differences between the light and shadows in an image and create a balance between the two.
Many modern cameras have an HDR setting that adjusts the contrast modes directly in the shot and saves time in the editing process. Some photographers prefer to take three images at different shutter speeds and then combine them to create the final image.
Panoramic photography, also known as panotography, uses wide format and 360-degree shots to capture broader images like landscapes and skylines. It is designed to capture an image in the same way the human eye sees it.
If you don’t have a wide format lens, but want to experient with panotography, most smartphone cameras offer a panoramic setting. It is also possible to edit individual images to create a single, panoramic shot.
Vintage photography is trending as a modern take on an old-school photography style. With the popularity of filters on social media and photo-sharing sites, the vintage look is a favorite for amateurs and professionals alike.
To give your photos a retro feel, experiment with contrast, saturation, and brightness to get the feel of an old photo. While most people use vintage photography to capture “timeless” subjects like landscapes or people, it can be fun to take a modern-day subject, like Times Square in 2019, for example, and apply a vintage overlay for an ultra-unique result.
Aerial photography used to be limited to those with access to planes or helicopters. Now, thanks to the proliferation of drones, nearly anyone can take beautiful images from the air. The clunky and expensive drones of the past have since evolved into a new breed of sleek photography drone that costs less than a mobile phone and takes high-quality photos with a wide range of options. While there are local and state regulations for when and where drone photography is acceptable, it’s quickly trending as a new outlet for landscape, architecture, and wildlife photographers to capture images that wouldn’t have been possible otherwise.
When the first camera equipment was invented, spontaneity was simply not a possibility for photographers. They had to carefully pose their subjects and keep them still to get a decent image. As cameras evolved, so did the flexibility for photographers to capture people and scenes in the moment, and candid photos were born.
Candid photography is gaining traction as a lucrative niche for professional photographers to capture raw, authentic photos and moments in time. In the wedding photography market, many couples request a “documentary-style” approach to their wedding photos instead of a list of canned shots. The result is a cohesive story that depicts the events of the day exactly as they unfolded, without the facade of staged poses.
Whether it’s a domesticated pet or wild jungle creatures, animal photography has a way of capturing our attention and keeping it. While it has always been a niche in the photography world, this style has spread to wedding and engagement photos, stock photos, and lucrative pet photo shoots.
We’ve already discussed how aerial and panoramic photographers are using new techniques to capture beautiful landscapes. There is a growing trend for landscape images as standalone art--without a human or animal subject as the focal point. Photographers are experimenting with new ways to highlight unique characteristics of landscapes, whether it’s the unique textures of water against land or the contrast between shadow and sunlight.
There are nearly limitless ways for photographers to create timeless works of art through these and other trends and by using old equipment and techniques in new ways. It’s an art form that is always changing and opening new doors for creative photographers to showcase their talent.