Drawn from East, West, Central and Southern Africa, the case studies in this special issue build on several decades of important work on photography in Africa. That work has examined colonial photography and postcards, studio work from colonial times to the present, activist photography, photojournalism, and artists who work with photographic images. It has addressed issues of representation, portraiture, aesthetics, self-fashioning, identities, power and status, modernities and materiality, the roles of photographs in governance and everyday politics, and the many histories and modes of social practice around making, showing, viewing, exchanging, manipulating, reproducing, circulating and archiving photographic images. Yet these articles push such issues and topics in exciting directions by addressing new photographic circumstances emerging throughout the world, initiated through new media's technological shifts and possibilities. In Africa, this has fuelled a range of transformations over the last fifteen years or so, transformations that are still unfolding. As the articles show, digital images, mobile phone cameras and social media (also accessed via phone) constitute the potent triad that has set off these transformations.