Today is World Storytelling Day, and Canon ambassadors along with leading international photographers and videographers have shared their thoughts and predictions for what the future of visual storytelling may involve – with artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented reality (AR) technology at the forefront.
In an advanced technological world, we have access to limitless digital content at our fingertips, giving us the freedom to share stories in a more compelling, creative and immersive way, to benefit both consumers and creators with new opportunities.
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Renowned creators and Canon Ambassadors from all over the world have expressed their opinions on how visual storytelling will evolve over the next decade, and to sum things up: the consensus is that it will likely incorporate more viewer-led storytelling using interactive technology. Canon's experts predict that AI and AR technology will be a central factor, with audiences demanding greater control over news relevancy and content viewpoints.
The tools we use to share stories are changing and in turn we must adapt and evolve with them. The transactions of visual storytelling are limitless, be it masterful brushstrokes or the sound of a shutter, and can be accessed at the snap of a finger once released into the digital world. Photojournalist and ambassador Muhammed Muheisen (opens in new tab) agrees, suggesting “The tools are changing, technology is taking over. Social media is all over the place. It’s like a train that moves so fast, and you’d better be side-by-side with it, or you will spend ten years trying to catch up.”
As consumers, we never tire of stories and we have not yet reached the capacity of experiencing life through the eyes and lens of another, as delicately explained in a piece by Constanze Bauer (opens in new tab), Canon's EMEA communications specialist.
Bauer implies that the more stories we have, the more we desire. We may all look to different places for our inspiration yet nothing is entirely unpredictable. A video released by Canon Europe (above) asks the important question of what the future holds to ten of its ambassadors.
Fashion and beauty photographer, Emmanuel Oyeleke (opens in new tab), provided probably the most intriguing yet not too obscure suggestion that artificial intelligence will play a crucial role in visual storytelling. We already have software and algorithms in place to learn from our browsing interests, after all.
Tasneem Alsultan (opens in new tab) poses the important question of whether prints will survive the next decade, while Robert Marc Lehmann (opens in new tab) highlights the importance of authenticity, and suggests people have to see the relentless truth. Could this be an argument against excessive photo-manipulation in post-processing? A contemporary debate of photographic authenticity that has been argued for years.(opens in new tab)
A similar opinion comes from award-winning photojournalist and New York Times contributor, Ivor Prickett (opens in new tab), who praises the developing practice of pairing photography with strong journalistic investigations as a method of storytelling.
In a differentiated viewpoint, filmmaker Simeon Quarrie (opens in new tab) suggests that technology is no longer a passive tool to follow the lives of others, but an interactive experience. “Social media algorithms decide which stories you see based on your viewing history, but the algorithm of the future will dictate the structure of the story that you watch… imagine watching a movie or a TV series. The shot and the composition remain structured, however the visuals inside the story change.”
Fashion photographer Evely Duis (opens in new tab) believes that visual storytelling should be more about personal aspects with the vision of the photography clearly represented in the final images. This emotive approach aligns with Alsultan's belief that we make space for things that trigger feelings, and due to the fact that we live in an increasingly digitized world, she predicts that the power of print will conquer digital fatigue and have a key role to play in support of the visual storytelling experience, with the emotional connection that prints can provide.
Definitely some food for thought here about the future of not only photographic practice but how we as creators convey stories to others and what this means on a deeper level for the evolution of content itself. Happy World Storytelling Day!