A number of products premiering at CES 2019 give an indication to the future of photography and videography. Even without new equipment, there are some changes you can make to ensure your images and video are ready for the future.
The content we create as photographers and videographers has to be displayed at some point, in some medium. What used to be displayed via prints in the darkroom or glossy photos from a lab has evolved into primarily digital displays. The jump to LCD displays brought with it a number of considerations, particularly related to resolution and color space. The typical finished image for digital display is now a sRGB JPEG not usually bigger than 3,000 or so pixels on the long edge. Web and social media forces heavy compression and resizing beyond that.
A number of these standard attributes may change soon, as larger color gamuts are increasingly supported in consumer devices. Apple has already rolled out the Wide Color gamut, their version of DCI-P3, to a number of devices, including iPhone 7 and newer. Expanded gamut support is still challenging, especially in web applications, but with the excellent resolution and color gamut in Apple's devices, photographers should consider exporting photos specifically for use in a mobile portfolio. The 4K UHD spec also calls for DCI-P3 support, making this a likely winner in future color gamut wars. Shooting raw offers photographers the best chance at accommodating future color space developments, and best practices in color management will continue to be an important consideration for commercial shooters.
Typical resolutions are also rapidly changing, as many phones now have 1080P or higher displays, while 4K is increasingly common on computers. 8K is already on the horizon for TVs. Also, ultra-wide 21:9 LCDs, like the LG 38UC99, offer new opportunities for editing a standard ratio image with room left for tool palettes. Put together, resolution will be increasingly important, after stagnating for quite a while. Camera bodies are already there, with even consumer bodies putting out 24 MP files, but photographers will need to get more comfortable with sharing higher resolution finished images across different platforms.
Finally, along with these new display standards, mobile user's internet speeds are also poised to jump ahead with the rollout of 5G. Taken together, photographers should consider changing up their approach to finished images. The standard 2K sRGB JPEG might not cut it anymore. Instead, consider increasing the resolution, dialing back compression, and getting ready for some wider color spaces. I'm reminded of the quote that "the future is already here. It's just not very evenly distributed". For photographers, your clients may be on the latest and greatest devices, so your images should look right at home on them.
Lead image by Tomasz Frankowski.