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Trends of 2022: Photography

It’s been a wild year for photography with many changes – and even threats.

Video, over still images, is largely the dominant image format with photography having to learn how to weave itself into the medium of movement. This, however, is not to say that photography is dead and we must look at it from an excited and optimistic outlook in regards to how photography will evolve from this rapid change. 

Here are some of the top trends predicted for photography in 2022.

Aida Muluneh | Idle Whims (2018)

High Drama and Surrealism 

As editing and digital techniques grow more and more advanced there is a growing trend to capture and create images that look ‘surreal’ or even ‘unreal’. Imagine a romantic couple dancing in an ocean, for example. Striking or unusual colours, intense zooms and natural elements are popular within this trend. Lighting effects and emphasized/larger than life elements are also favoured.

Grey Hutton

Science Scenes

Perhaps inspired by the vaccine, a scientific concept is beginning to be the framework for a photography trend as well. You are likely to see more images with people wearing aprons, masks, or gloves in a more sterile setting. You may also see more beakers or test tubes or measured items that feel detailed and specific. Space themes may also apply here. The idea is rooted in the concept that everything is possible. 

Matt Black Syracuse, New York. USA. 2015. © Matt Black | Magnum Photos

Silhouettes and Ambiguity

What’s nice about these images is that they can provide different areas of focus, such as a scene, without highlighting the individual in the image. This makes silhouette options great if you are working with stock photos or don’t want to show specific individuals or worry with elements such as style trends (clothing options on models can quickly date photos).

Flavio Edreira

A Bird’s Eye View

Thanks to drone photography, more projects are using images that feature a bird-eye-view of something. It’s a popular technique with images that capture events or places. What makes this trend work most stunningly is solid composition. Not any old drone photo will do. It takes the right eye to create a birds-eye-view image that demands attention. 

Look for images with strong shapes, identifiable markers, and an overall sense of creativity. It’s hard to explain but you’ll know it when you see it here. The images will draw you in, such as the photo above, as you try to take in all the details of the scene.

Azim Khan Ronnie

Authenticity

TikTok has seen its biggest growth yet in 2021. This has had a ripple effect on many other types of media, increasing a desire for more authentic, organic and thus less heavily curated visuals.
Authentic images lack over retouching and the stage or posed quality that is often associated with commercial photography. The models aren’t overly made up and the background isn’t exactly flawless (although it still looks good).

Cinemagraphs

Video is killing the still image star slowly but surely and cinemagraphs in 2022 will be a great way to bridge that gap. Cinemagraphs are still images with a hint of motion. A very popular one is the skyline of Paris above the Seine. While the skyline is still, the river Seine’s water moves ever so slightly in a gif-like motion. 

Carlos Coelho

Vertical Photography

Vertical photography is a technique wherein the camera is put on a flat surface, usually the ground. This is mainly used to emphasize vertical and long landscapes. It is also used to highlight the height of the subject. This technique is used to capture arches, skyscrapers, buildings, and mountains. Inspired, of course, by social media and the need for the 16:9 format on many digital platforms. 

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