Agency: Sra. Rushmore. Photographer: Ramon Serrano
A new ad aimed at architects, photographers and other creative types begs a question about 21st Century image making
When was the last time you used the word ‘view’? Talking to your boyfriend/girlfriend on your cellphone from a hotel room on a business trip? When was the last time you used it in relation to taking a photograph? These ads for Spanish train company Renfe, like a contact sheet, promise “over 300 landscapes per hour.”
OK so they are ‘views’ but not necessarily in the older sense, in the way that parents or grandparents would show you their old holiday snaps from days gone by and talk about the great view. Creating images was more expensive so each image needed to appreciation as a ‘view’.
The images in the Renfe ad are more like digital experiments, each strip a set of Pantone variations. Curated landscapes of shape and colour. The ads appeared mainly in architecture, photography, cinema and art magazines, professionals who deal with images.
Do we look at the world through a lens differently now? Does the fast technology of our Smartphones make us more like street photographers, interested in ‘instants’ rather than ‘views’? Are we ‘mapping’or taking photos? Are we more fascinated by what we can discover playing with an image, remixing it with filters, than we are with the original landscape?
It’s not that either way of seeing is better, pitching the old more leisurely photography of our parents and grandparents versus the new fast era of abundant photography. The view versus the instant. This ad, and how it pictures ‘a view’ highlights a shift in how we now see the world through the lens. Do you have a view?