Beware the influence of Earlybird
A billboard caught my eye as I cycled home last night. It was Sky Sports advertising the start of the new football season and I was intrigued to see that the huge photo of Fernando Torres celebrating one of his rare goals for Chelsea had a definite yellow tint. It reminded me of one of those vintage filters in Snapseed. Or even our old friend Earlybird in Instagram. Slightly faded, a touch of sepia, desaturated colours. And the ad is also being run in today’s dailies where it even comes with curved corners (again like Earlybird) and ragged edges (a favourite look of many Instagram photos).
Someone took that photo with a hugely expensive DSLR and Sky paid thousands of pounds for it. Only to add a vintage filter? What’s going on?
The photo definitely has something of a 1970s football annual look. Perhaps Sky thought it would remind middle-aged football fans of their early childhood excitement about the sport. Make us think of Peter Osgood in that Chelsea shirt and of better more authentic footballing times. In a way, they have identified the same nostalgic attraction that many of us have when we add a vintage filter to a photo. Or perhaps they have seen Instagram’s popularity and are deliberately appealing to people who they know are used to seeing their photos with filters added. Or maybe they just think it looks cool. Like a lot of us.
Please be aware of the influence of Earlybird on mainstream photography