What’s trending in Licensing: 2020 is feeling blue in the best way

Photo Stories

Keep up with key trends in Licensing as 500px’s Art Director, Karen Biilmann, analyzes common threads and current themes throughout our Exclusive Contributor photography submissions. From light to dark blue, here’s what’s trending in the 500px Licensing Collection.

With an increased awareness and focus on data-driven choices—AI and technology, adaptation, speed, scale, production and demand, etc.—2019 has caused us to crave limitless imagination, conceptual content, and peace, produced from a place of pure creativity, with an emphasis on color. Because of the constant demand for authentic, creative content, influenced by the “authenticity” of highly curated social media lifestyle influencers, there has been a need to disconnect and get away from external influences in order to nurture ideas and grow them into something truly unique, allowing us to stand out and be heard.

Sundown in national park by Mario Nikolaus on 500px.com

This focus on capturing honest emotion and connection through a photographic series has allowed us to discuss big ideas in unexpected ways, stimulating a response from our audiences and providing a place for great storytelling, and most importantly, freedom for interpretation, allowing for broad commercial relatability and appeal.

Honesty and emotion can be conveyed through more than literal staging. Tones, props, and location all play vital roles in how content can be interpreted. Pantone released their 2020 Color of the year earlier this month—classic blue. According to Leatrice Eiseman, the Director of Pantone’s Color Institute, classic blue is a “solid and dependable hue we can always rely on. Classic blue encourages us to look beyond the obvious, to expand our thinking, [and to] increase our perspective and open the flow of communication.”

Apnea in blue water by Eric Volto on 500px.com

Many companies have also followed suit, releasing their own variation of the blue hue that is seemingly in demand. But why blue?

Blue is a color that is closely associated with harmony, peace, trust, and loyalty. It reduces stress and creates feelings of tranquility and calm. It is also associated with the cultivation of life—blue water, blue skies, and air. It affects us mentally, rather than the strong physical reaction we have to a powerful color like red, for example, which can feel fiery and intense.

Converted infrared by Sydni Indman on 500px.com

Blue stimulates thought—different shades are associated with different emotions; for example, lighter blues often convey clarity and simplicity.

Life in transit. by Hagar Wirba on 500px.com

Canon EOS Rebel T7
50mm | ƒ/1.8 | 1/320s | ISO 400

Roberta by Carlotta Ricci on 500px.com

Nikon D3100
35.0 mm f/1.8
35mm | ƒ/2.8 | 1/4000s | ISO 100

Bercy by Estelle Couturier on 500px.com

A darker blue, on the other hand, may stimulate a deeper feeling of trust, calm, and tranquility.

Witchery by Cherisha Norman on 500px.com

Canon EOS 70D

milk by Aks Huckleberry on 500px.com

Fujifilm X-E1
Fujifilm XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS
18mm | ƒ/2.8 | 1/60s | ISO 500

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