- January 23, 2019

From gears to colours and style, here’s a peek into major visual trends in Asia this year.

2018. What a year.

The smash success of movies like Crazy Rich Asians and Black Panther turned the old
Hollywood formula upside down. In East and West, marginalised communities stepped into
the light. From #MeToo to #nofilter, women were making themselves heard loud and clear.
In a year defined by transparency and visibility, 2018 visual trends missed no beat.
Fashion, art and advertising shots were drenched with head-turning rainbow shades. On
social media, extreme close-ups dominated. Photojournalism turned to stripped-down
simplicity to tell stories as they are.

So what’s in store for 2019? Here’s our prediction: strong colours will take the lead once
again. What else? More photographers will continue to push the envelope by combining
technology and technique to create culturally powerful images.

Pick the right gears

No camera? No problem!

Dylan Chan/PIXERF

The future of photography now fits in your pocket. With ever-growing functionalities, high
built-in camera quality and shorter product cycles, smartphones have become an
affordable alternative to cameras. Armed with features like smart HDR and a resolution of
up to 41 megapixels, you don’t have to be a pro to capture impressive images. The
abundance of camera accessories and apps is also poised to make editing a breeze.


Film is cool again

Nethanial Ha/PIXERF

Film photography continues to make a comeback in 2019. Key to its appeal is the
unpredictability and imperfection that distinguish film photography from its digital sibling.
For budding pros, working with film is also good opportunity to step up your game — you
must be in tune with every detail that goes into your shot before pressing the shutter.


Let it fly

Rusdi Effandy/PIXERF


Drone photography is here to stay (and slay). In 2017 alone, almost three million drones
flew off the shelves and this number is expected to more than double by 2020. We
witnessed this enthusiasm when our team gave away a DJI Mavic Air during the PIXERF Connects: Kuala Lumpur event last year! Want to see the jaw-dropping potential of this
technology in action? Check out the dronography shots in our Marketplace.

Your subject matters

Hit the streets

Louis Amal/PIXERF


Street photography is still going strong. The rise of streetwear fashion, from glossy spreads
and fashion week runways to social media, attests to its commercial hook. Even luxury
brands can’t resist teaming up with streetwear powerhouses, as the Louis Vuitton x
Supreme collaboration showed.


The human element

Mohd Nazri Sulaiman/PIXERF

Are you an avid landscape photographer? Adding a human element is an effective way to
bring genuine stories and emotions to your photo. Juxtaposing man against nature is also a
smart way of playing with scale — nothing amplifies the size of a mountain like the sight of
tiny humans trying to scale its peak.


It’s all about diversity


The appetite for diverse cultural representation will continue to rock the visual content
market. Expect more socially driven and culturally unique content from Asia-based
content creators, giving us a whole new world to explore.

The style file

A is for Authenticity

Audi Khalid/PIXERF


Authenticity in photography has been steadily gaining steam. From genuine emotions to
perfectly flawed subjects, more audiences are eschewing picture-perfect visuals for the
real, raw, and relatable. More brands are joining the bandwagon — check out CoverGirl’s I Am What I Make Up campaign for one recent example.


Deadpan is alive

Athena Tan/PIXERF

Imagine photography with no angles, no lighting, and no composition — just emotionless
content. If that sounds unappealing, think again. You might have seen these images
gracing the covers of indie magazines in your favourite bookstore. Known for giving
viewers the freedom of interpretation, this style is the perfect fit for the time we live in.


Look on the bright side

Tom Potisit/PIXERF

If you hadn’t heard about it yet, PANTONE has released 2019’s Colour of the Year and it’s —
drumroll, please — Living Coral. Expect this mellow pink-orange combination to pop up
everywhere. What does this selection tell us about colour trends in the near future?
PIXERF Ambassador Tom Potisit says, “Bright and vibrant colours have been taking
over contemporary photography, and I’m always looking to use them in my personal style and photography.”


Green is in

Kittibordee Pannarong/PIXERF

From the recent climate change report to the rise of eco-lodges, sustainability and
conscious living are finding their way to the mainstream. All this bodes well for green —
the go-to colour for sustainability.


Turn up the lights

Athena Tan/PIXERF

PIXERF Ambassador Yik Keat thinks that clean and refined visuals with lots of lighting
manipulation will trend in 2019. He also reckons that the trend of night lights will be the
next big thing in editorial and commercial photography. What’s your take on it?

Art meets photography

What’s old is new

Sandipani Chattopadhyay/PIXERF

Will classical artworks play a bigger role in photography? Inspiration from tradition and culture and adapting them to modern styles of photography has always been the formula to keep things familiar but fresh. With new innovations in styles, visual creators can now add their own touch to historical concepts and wow audiences with their end product.


Blur the lines

Nazir Azhari/PIXERF

Cross-genre photography such as the fusion of industrial and commercial visuals will take
off as brands and businesses look for more originality and viral content. As the lines of
commercial and lifestyle photography converge, expect more unexpected collaborations
from Asia’s visual content creators.


The perfect pair


Photography and video make for a magical match, and cinemagraph is the proof.
Condensing still photographs with minor movements into an animated GIF that plays in a
never-ending loop, this unusual ‘art form’ has a hypnotic quality that works like a charm
for younger brands willing to take a risk with experimental content. Netflix, Apple Music
and Adidas are just a few big names who have turned branded cinemagraphs into a
memorable marketing gimmick. Ambassador Shavonne Wong is one such proponent of the cinemagraph, saying, “The future of photography is the cinemagraph – a way to keep your audience interested with something unique and different. I did not want to go fully into videography and wanted to keep my passion for photography alive, yet stand out this year.”

What do you think of our article on visual trends in 2019? We’d love to hear your feedback.

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