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The hottest photography trends of 2012

This post is an extract from the Computer Arts Collection Photography Edition - a must for every creative photographer. To find out more info, check out the last page of this article.

Computer Arts Collection’s regular Trend Report explores the long-lived creative movements that encourage innovation rather than imitation. An experienced trend-forecasting agency, FranklinTill has made a business out of identifying such patterns.

As with previous issues of Computer Arts Collection, with this photography micro trends article FranklinTill provides a visual essay of the emerging aesthetic directions within a particular theme during 2012, which for this issue is photography. The five key themes we'll cover are:

  • Graphic abstraction
  • Painted expressionism
  • Psychedelia
  • Surrealism
  • New romanticism

So, let's things off with our first category, and some seriously inspirational photography!

01. Graphic abstraction

Flat Landscapes by Lauren Hillebrandt

Flat Landscapes by Lauren Hillebrandt

A graphic approach to still life photography makes us question whether we are looking at a 2D graphic or a 3D object. Abstracted geometric shapes appear transposed onto flat blocks of colour, clean angles highlight the beauty of simple objects.

Everyday objects and routines are explored by photographer Lauren Hillebrandt in her flat landscapes. A banana or a plastic cup are treated with a graphic playfulness that celebrates the beauty of simplicity through flat colour and abstract forms verging on the surreal.

02. Painted expressionism

Animal Collective by Marie Taillefer

Animal Collective by Marie Taillefer

A riot of colour and imagery is conveyed through the work of photographers such as Marie Taillefer. Energetic imagery feels more like giant painted canvases exploding with splashes and daubs of highly saturated colour. An experimental, unforced approach is taken by photographers who mix media in an unrestrained fashion to create beautiful painterly images that drip with colour and texture.

Taillefer’s highly sensual and dreamlike images really capture the imagination, and lead us into her compositions through the use of paint and collage techniques.

 03. Psychedelia

Lines and Lines and Lines by Brock Lefferts

Lines and Lines and Lines by Brock Lefferts

Mesmerising multi-coloured mayhem is delivered in a hallucinogenic kaleidoscope of synthetic pop, which frees our mind from an overly perfected and controlled world.

Arizona-based digital artist and designer Brock Lefferts uses layering techniques to combine psychedelic styles suffused with natural imagery, creating vivid and stimulating colour palettes.
Media artist Valquire Veljkovic photographed the new Magical Realism collection by Berlin fashion label Tata Christiane. Mind-bending imagery twirls around in a kaleidoscope of synthetic colour, creating highly tactile visuals.

04. Surrealism

Silo Theatre by Dean Poole at Alt Group; photography by Toaki Okano

Silo Theatre by Dean Poole at Alt Group; photography by Toaki Okano

Things just aren’t what they seem. Otherwise simple shots are playfully styled so that the ordinary becomes extraordinary through humour and ludicrousness – familiar forms are obscured and partly hidden in Dali-esque portraits that captivate the imagination.

Toaki Okano’s series of images for the Silo Theatre reveals sections of the body in strange hybrid compositions, reminiscent of a Dali painting.

05. New romanticism

Photography by Jeff Luker

Photography by Jeff Luker

With the current fascination for all things nostalgic, photographers are capturing the romance of memories and happy times. Soft, dreamy landscapes with a touch of femininity remind us of the ‘good old days’. These overexposed, sun-drenched images conjure up memories of summery happiness, where all our worries are washed out to sea. Delicate and innocent in feel, there is a sense of spirituality and a renewed connection to nature.

Jordan Sullivan’s recent exhibition – The Wild & The Innocent, at the Clic Gallery, New York – showed a series of photographs by different artists that explore our relationship with nature at a time when we are increasingly disconnected from it. Dreamy wild landscapes are shown alongside images of the human body.

Computer Arts Collection: Photography

CA Collection: Photography

This brilliant feature was a small extract from the latest issue of Computer Arts Collection. Computer Arts Collection is a new annual series of six in-depth guides from the makers of Computer Arts magazine, and is packed with insight and inspiration from the global design industry.

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