Photography and Travel in 2016

Photography and Travel in 2016

Happy New Year!

Let’s take a look at the state of photography and travel today, and what we can expect in 2016:

Camera technology has plateaued

Camera technology won’t get any better in 2016. Instead we’ll see the same technology get smaller. In lieu of big DSLRs, you’ll be able to carry cameras half the weight and size while still maintaining ultra high quality.

That’s nice for convenience, but it doesn’t matter for the end result.

Fall colors, Chicago

Fall colors, Chicago. Nikon D810 – this camera’s price will only get cheaper

The last few years brought us such super high megapixel offerings that we just don’t need anything else. For years I’ve been downsizing my photographs for web use (including posting to this site), and now with my Nikon D810 I can print at as high a resolution as I want and maintain sharpness at any reasonable viewing distance.

We are truly at a point where jacking the megapixel count any higher is futile. This is a very good thing for photographers! Prices will fall and the highest possible quality will be attainable for many more photographers. It also means more competition. No longer will the money you spend on a camera differentiate you from your peers. The quality of your shots will reign supreme. Since competition breeds innovation, expect some amazing pictures from photographers everywhere in 2016.

 

We’ll shift away from computer editing in favor of the old school

As camera technology plateaus, more photographers will get back to basics. We’ll spend less time in the digital dark room and more time out in the field, creating great pictures at the source. Just look to Instagram for proof of this, where old school low-fi is most definitely “in”.

Low Fi Fern in Japan

Low Fi Fern in Japan

 

We’ll move toward fast aperture prime lenses

“Do everything” zoom lenses are fun, but they will never provide anywhere near the quality of fast aperture prime lenses. With the plateau of camera technology, better cameras can no longer make up the difference between low quality zoom lenses and fast primes. Fast primes can attain a cinematic depth of field that looks beautiful and unique in a way that no zoom lens can match. In 2016, primes are so damn good that they are virtually required if you want to attain that coveted “pro” look.

Sigma 35mm f1.4 Lens

Sigma 35mm f1.4 Lens

 

It’s the picture, not the photographer

Search engines are getting better, and good pictures are coming into their own regardless of where and by whom they are posted. You may write for the Wall Street Journal or the Huffington Post or simply for your own personal blog. It doesn’t matter because a quality picture is a quality picture. This is true more than ever as we move into 2016, so take good pictures and post away because you never know who is watching.

Anchorage, AK

Anchorage, AK

 

Travel has become easier, but the magic is harder to find. Find it in 2016.

Thanks to the internet, travel has become exceedingly easy yet we are no longer fully immersed in foreign cultures when we venture abroad. Instead of jumping off the deep end as we used to do, we travel thousands of miles to test the waters, secure in the fact that we can pull out whenever we’ve had enough. Safety net apps like Google Translate and Google Maps make it far too easy for us to feel at home when we are abroad; thus we lose much of the mysticism that used to be so inherent to travel. I’ll soon write a whole post about this because I feel like we are losing too much off what makes travel so amazing.

 

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Of course, it’s possible to regain some of that mysticism. Leave your cell phone off and travel to a place that is so out there, so remote that most folks have to spend a considerable time Googling to even find it on a map.

What do you think 2016 has in store?

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Comments ( 5 )

  • Mirøslav Hristøff

    I’m totally agree with you about that we’ll shift away from computer editing in favor of the old school. Everything is vintage and retro now. Everything new is well forgotten old now. And thank you for the idea to travel to a place that is hard to be found even on google maps 🙂

  • Jeff Bell

    That is an interesting take. I bought a mirror less Fuji camera last year thinking I’d use it maybe 20% of the time, but now I use it almost exclusively, shelving the DSLR. The results are almost the same, maybe even better in some regards, and it is so easy to carry everywhere. I think you are right about that being a shift in the near future.

    Computer editing, luckily, seems to be moving away. I haven’t seen near as many painful HDR photos on the web lately.

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