What About Trends?

How do trends influence my photography? I found this to be one of the toughest questions/assignments in the Find Your Eye Course. After about three days of thinking and searching, some insight has finally come.   

I take note of trends in lots of areas of life, but I’m usually the “last one on the block” to try them.  Wait a while, sit back and observe, see where this trend goes…that’s usually what I do. Examples abound in my personal life that support this.  Once upon a time I thought layered hair cuts would never do for me.  Now my hair is cut in layers.  Flat panel televisions that could be mounted on the wall seemed like something I could live without, but last year we acquired one. Cell phones with  cameras were definitely not something I could imagine using a few years ago, but now not only do I take an occasional photo on my LG phone … I also text.  

Books on photography appeal to me more than websites by professional photographers. One publication I have is “Digital Photography Master Class” by Tom Ang. A classic coffee table kind of book that we have is “Images of The World” by National Geographic.  I looked at these a lot over the last few days, and did some searching on the web, so that I could define some photographic trends.  

Camera phone or iPhone photography is huge these days. I have done some with my phone but it is not my camera of choice, and purchasing any apps to make it better does not appeal to me. I enjoy seeing what others do with this, but for now I’m still observing.
Textures are lovely when applied correctly to the image that can be enhanced by them. My preference is for images of real textures, like the rust on a chain, or peeling paint on a wall. 

Drastically adjusting the colors in an image to make it look surreal seems to be a trend, especially among those who create modern art with their images. I have used a little of this, but nothing drastic. I may increase the saturation of color just a bit or convert an image to black and white. There are a couple other settings that I use occasionally, but rarely do I post those changed images here.  

My preference is for that classic, timeless look. Not fussed with too much. I really like images that look good straight out of the camera.  That’s why I chose the image (at the top of this post) from a walk in the woods the other day with my dear friends. Leaves on the path, signaling that change from summer to fall. 

As I did this exercise, thinking about it for a few days, I came to realize that what I reflect in my photography is a mirror of my life. My home, the way I dress, the choices I make…sometimes colorful, sometimes kind of monotone, but authentic. What you see is what you get.

Trends do have influence.  As I continue on this path to learn my own style, I’ll continue to observe the trends that are out there and choose what suits my taste….just as everyone else does.

(Written for the Find Your Eye Course by Kat Sloma. Click this to learn more.)

8 Replies to “What About Trends?”

  1. I love that you found parallels between your life and photography in how you view trends. I can identify with a lot of what you've said here. I'm glad you were able to look and identify a few trends. It is good practice for our "eye" to notice them, and then you can decide if it's something you might want to try.

  2. Deb, you have really helped clarify this topic for me — I just didn't know how to approach it when Kat assigned it. Like you, I don't embrace new trends right away — at this stage of my life I have defined my own style, and only adopt new things that seem to be "me". Nice examples of your special photo style.

  3. Deb,
    Your early morning thinking turned out quite well 🙂

    Like you, I don't tend to be an "early adopter" of trends. I had to chuckle as I just started texting a couple of months ago, having felt previously that it was a silly way to communicate. I liked your description of spending time observing – seeing if a trend will eventually fit into your life with time.

    Your images are wonderful examples of your style and eye and certainly don't need anything added.

  4. Thank you, gals, for your replies! I've thought more about trends after I posted this today. It will be fun to try a few of them in the near future, to see if I can adapt some of them to my images.

    I find comfort in the fact that you all seem to appreciate the "stand back and observe" mode that I get into..that several of us get into when something new comes along.

  5. Deborah,

    You are just like me with the stand back and wait about new trends. I'm not big on changes and I like old and comfort things I'm use too. Being the last one to get the newest "TOY" doesn't bother me and it's good to wait and make sure it's something that will make me happy and will be useful.

    I love your take on both these pictures. They are both amazing in their own special unique way. The leaves will always be my favorite though.The background underneath them is pretty too.

    Glad your having fun exploring the new trends and how you can photograph them.

    Thanks for the nice comments you leave me on my blog too, makes my day just reading them. Aren't you enjoying the cool crisp days we are getting. Tonight will be cold and I'm in my warm winter pj's and slippers tonight, gotta love autumn!!

  6. You echo my feelings. I'm not trendy. I too seem to just sit back and wait. I love the word "authentic" because that's exactly how I feel about photography. Sure it's fun to play with editing some, but I most enjoy the real! Both of your photos are beautiful. Beautiful colors and beautiful textures. I've enjoyed your post through the class and your comments on my blog!

  7. Crazy week, so I'm just getting around to commenting on "trends". I love what you wrote-starting with a wake up call at 4:30-happens to me all the time. Grrrr.
    I too am behind on trends, and the older I get the more I'm ok on that. I figure if I missed the trend I'll just wait a little longer and catch the next one.
    I think it's interesting that you noted a commonality in your photography and things you favor in your life. Very observant.
    Hope you will be journeying on in October. I've enjoyed our exchanges. BTW…love that rusted ring image.

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