XMAGE Trend Report highlights how tech influences the pictures we take

  • At MWC 23 last week, Huawei held an event to unpack its latest XMAGE Trends Report.
  • The report looks at photography trends across the world through the lens of different subject matter.
  • For technology, it found an increase in taking pictures of people while their capturing an image.

At last week’s Mobile World Congress 2023 (MWC 23), Huawei was on hand to unpack the findings of its latest XMAGE Trend Report for this year, which looks at photography from the across the world and identifies some interesting elements through the lens of different categories.

For those unfamiliar with XMAGE, it is the recently spun up photography and camera division at Huawei, with its research and developments going into some of the hardware of the company’s latest phones, such as the Mate 50 Pro.

Back to the report, which is extensive and available to read in the embed at the end of this story, and the one category we were specifically interested in was technology. This not only as we are a technology news site, but also because technology and smartphones in particular have changed the ways that photography has evolved.

“The images show that these camera phones are powerful, turning everyone into not just a consumer of images but a creator,” noted Nichole Fernandez (seen in the header), a visual sociologist and one of the main authors of the report.

“Even the untrained person can become a photographer, capturing moments they find meaningful and creating something they are proud enough of to submit to a contest. It is democratizing image production.”

Looking closer at the technology segment of the report, one of the more interesting trends found was an increase taking images of people using technology, namely with their phones in-hand.

“There is also a fashion for photographing people taking photos, often putting the subject’s viewfinder into sharp focus so that we can see what they are seeing,” the report highlighted.

“This glimpse into someone’s perspective, seeing what they are looking at, it’s like peeking into their
inner thoughts,” added Fernandez.

“This trend is well illustrated in a picture of people raising their phones over the heads of others to video a dramatic light show. We not only see the giant flowers projected onto skyscrapers in the distance, but we also see the spectacle on the many display screens,” she continued.

Another interesting trend is our propensity to take images of technology itself and technological infrastructure. This, the report’s authors explain, is the resulting combination of intrigue, wonder, and mystery.

“While humans can use technology, we find it hard to grasp how technology works… and for
this reason he believes photographs are the favoured tool for recording the magical capabilities of
machinery. In a submitted image of cars passing under an urban bridge, the vehicles are blurred, giving a
sense of power and movement,” the authors posited.

As mentioned the report is extensive, and well worth taking look at it if you’re interested in some of the other categories like relationships, identity, cultural heritage, and more.


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