I have put this in the ‘humorous’ category, but the humour is actually in the story that goes with this photograph.
I was checking in for a flight at Berlin’s Tegel airport and as I was pushing my luggage trolley towards the check-in desks I noticed many of these large-as-life advertising posters for Basiq Air hanging from the roof. Then I noticed a Muslim man walking towards me, accompanied by his wife in a black abaya and two small boys. He suddenly stopped and looked up at one of the posters. His expression froze for a moment, and then he shook his head in disbelief and hurried his children along trying to cover the eyes of the eldest boy with one hand, almost tripping over the suitcase he was pulling with the other hand. I guess he wasn’t used to seeing pictures of naked women in an embrace hanging around the airports in the country where he came from (I would think from his wife’s dress they were from either Saudi Arabia or one of the other Gulf states). It would have been great to get a shot of his expression looking at the poster, but that was just about an impossible POV. I should add that his wife didn’t seem at all fazed by the advertising though!
It makes you wonder what people from very conservative countries who travel to very liberal countries think when they see advertising like this – which of course would never be permitted in their own countries and possibly which they had never seen before in their lives. I suppose this is what you call culture shock. (Actually I have to confess I was a little taken aback myself when I saw these posters. Having lived in a Muslim country for the past eight years, these days I am not used to seeing so much ‘flesh’ on advertising posters).
By the way, there is a little bit of humour in the advertising poster too. According to a German friend of mine (thanks Reiner) ‘Erleben’ means 'to experience' and the ‘Er’ is substituted with 'Air' (the English word) so that roughly translated it means: ‘Airperience Holland Now - For a cuddle-price to Rotterdam – 46 Euros web tariff one way per person including taxes and fees’.
No PP except cropping and sharpening.
Critiques | Translate
RADEEH (2802) 2006-03-06 10:37
I think your note is not justified, instead of targetting him you should have pointed the abuse of two female bodies for commercial purpose. World over this phenomenen is doing the rounds, if you want to attract customers attention , put a female body , instead of putting out the details of the product. I wonder what the relation between the airline and this two half naked hugging females. The point is not Muslim or christian but exploitation of female body for commercial purpose
RGatward (20062) 2006-03-06 10:56
Amusing shot and note, it would aslo have been interesting to see his expression, with the poster in the background.
rtome (638) 2006-03-06 16:01
Excellent note and good shot. tfs... :-)
kensimage (8561) 2006-03-06 21:22
For 46 euros, I get to cuddle together with the two of them? OK, that's a deal. It'll make the flight seem much shorter.
Amusing shot, good framing to make it graphic. Regards, Ken.
david (3992) 2006-03-07 1:30
well, it did make me laugh! but i'm really attracted to your framing. the diagonal of the poster against the steel wall makes great lines.
your note is great and it would have been awesome to capture the look on the man's face ... such contrast between the liberal poster and conservate attitude would have been brilliant.
in response to raheed, i see his point about the muslim man being offended. capturing it in the shot would have been great, but without his photo it's not worth mentioning.
as for exploitation ... well, that's a an opinion ... so it's prejudiced whether you agree or not. those comments are best kept out of photo critiques!
good shot david
kclai (2267) 2006-03-07 2:50
With such a good notes accompany such a simple shot, I would say this is just perfectly a humurous collection.
The sign speaks for itself.
peter1892 (1681) 2006-03-07 17:45
Good notes & a nice image! It's eye catching & obviously gets the message across (cheap airfares to Rotterdam).
Technically the crop is good, so are the colours & overall sharpness of the image.
Fixfocus (9385) 2006-03-08 12:44
Perect translation and an interesting note to come along with this shot.Would be nice to have some real people in here too,but reading the note i understand that it was impossible.
Still a good catch with excellent graphism.
rabani (9645) 2006-03-08 20:18
You missed it David. Or else you'd have gotten the sort of photos Henri Cartier Bresson would have gotten. A Muslim man with his aghast or shock expression in front of a Muslim unfriendly ads. Usually in other femininely friendly countries, you see well clad ethnically/nationally dress stewardess looking at you in the ads and in the flight as well. You think these two ladies are stewardesses too. :)
cjmm (4479) 2006-03-09 11:20
I like very much the photo and note. The photo is well exposed and composed, and has considerable graphic impact. The note hits the nail with a nice humour touch.
But what impressed me more (and enjoyed) is the mixed emotions you got from other members and got me to reflect a little on diversity.
Thanks for sharing!
sergio1 (12152) 2006-03-10 11:35
Very very original shot. Great idea here. The sharpness are good too.
You have a good weeked
elmec (12210) 2006-03-10 13:32
Very good idea for the photo!
dHitman (0) 2006-03-10 21:34
Good framing. Clean background further enhanced the poster. Simply eye catching. Oh, excellent note as well. TFS.
capthaddock (28790) 2006-03-11 9:04
Hi David - hahaha having spent the past month among the "ninja" women of arabia I find it very amusing, great story, it's interesting they can be shocked by seeing such a benign image yet not by watching public beheadings, that said this ad would probably be too risky in parts of the USA as well.
dsidwell (9783) 2006-03-12 10:00
Hi David! I find your positioning of the poster in the frame, and the inclusion of its environment to be very effective. Excellent notes, by the way! I also tend to agree with Radeeh. Nice shot!
PJE (20758) 2006-03-13 22:24
Well David I must say that this poster is a little too liberal for my eyes too. Its not proper to see to topless women hugging together like this. Nice clear shot though. Your photo is good...the ad..not!
saamb (1008) 2006-03-15 16:49
intersting story. and nice photo with a good quality. but a request: you have written"Gulf" about "persian Gulf" . this is false! write "Persian Gulf" please. edit this Plz. i don't understand "Gulf" what mean by oneself????!!! do you think that"persian gulf" is a made up name???
Thanks for all
PeterC (2242) 2006-03-16 22:03
Brilliant compostion and super note it made me chuckle!! Excellent shot.
jrj (34841) 2006-03-21 6:21
Good balance here D. between the photo and the well reasoned notes.
Nice capture of the ad - and to be true most of us can be a bit surprised to see this as an ad for taking off to Rotterdam..
Wondering what MY motivation would be based on what the poster communicate...
sarju (5324) 2006-03-23 1:58
Excellent not you have written for this photo.
I am really speechless .... lols
Thanks for sharing this piece of information with us .. i loved your note
regards ... sarju
PS: well I would be taken back a bit if I were to see a poster like this in North America ... it is kind of funny to think that North America is percieved as a place with lots of nudity in some circles but in reality the laws over here are way too conservative as compared to the the ones on Europe.
colinbrenchley (6431) 2006-03-25 5:00
I like these type of photoes which show the positioning of adverts in the environment.
Theana (623) 2006-03-28 4:45
Wow, I would never have thought that an ad like that could raise such controversies... Everyone knows that the Netherlands is one of the most liberal countries in the world, so I do not see a problem with this ad. Finally you do not see the two women frontally, eh? The reaction of the Muslim man is understandable but I found it interesting to hear that his wife seems not to have been shocked at all! She seems to know that some topics are just being suppressed in more conservative societies but nevertheless they still exist... I personally find the ad funny although I sometimes also do not understand the connection between a naked body (I do not think these two women were exploited, they certainly did this voluntarily) and the product they advertise. Your point of view is well-chosen and the quality as great as usual.
riclopes (35577) 2006-03-31 10:31
What a delicious story you give us with this photo! I loved it. The shot has a great visual impact, and the naked decoration of the background enhances it. I also like the simple composition with tilt lines everywhere. Again, excelent work and note!
Have a good weekend,
Stepan (27210) 2006-04-01 4:43
There is a small perspective, that creates a small distorsion. This effect is interesting and transform the shot into an original one (compared to a straight compo !). Great colors too (hald b&w, half colored).
And interesting story too.
Paolo (41222) 2006-04-01 9:51
Hi David, good funny shot, and note.
good POV and perfect focus and contrast. amazing light and brilliant composition.
aloyho (6798) 2006-04-02 4:06
This is an interesting and crisp shot. The converging lines direct out attention to the poster and the darker tones of the background provided good contrast to bring out the image and message. Very well framed and good quick respond to your surrounding. Well done!! Regards and a nice weekend.
jbweasle (9373) 2006-04-03 4:14
Hi David. Only 46 euros to Amsterdam? I'll hand over my money now if this is waiting at the other end for me! Well seen and great composition - especialy to have got the corner of the poster in line with the diagonal beam.
Ishidro (101) 2006-04-06 16:13
thanks for sharing so many good photographs and comments. Although, the picture is technically good, I prefer your note when it comes to this good catch.
Greetings from Germany,
Rinie_Hoff (9340) 2006-04-20 2:59
Hi David, great story, and yes I have been thinking about those things as well, living in a liberated country like the Netherlands, while friends of minde live in Saudi Aarabia, and the woman isn't even supposed to drive a car. I also underline what you say about the woman, that she was not fazed. I think women are far more tolerant to what is happening in the world around them, then men are.
This is a nice picture, and a nice story about culture gaps.
zou (223) 2006-06-25 11:31
for 46 euros I take 2 :)
nice picture, lovely poster I like it
brevbrev14 (140) 2006-09-11 15:17
Hi David!i like very much this shot because it is a little detail of time changement...The story goes with this picture i think, i agree with you!and i like very much also your graphic style to capture it!!Bravissimo!!!
batalay (35879) 2006-11-12 14:36
The photo, of course, is first rate in itself -- composition, color, exposure -- excellent. There is also good social commentary in both the photo and the explanation about our times. Whether the cultural sensibilities of the Moslem man are ofended, is there any real redeeming value in the photograph? Would it be different to have different permutations -- a man and a woman together, two men together. Is it not just the shock value that the advertising agency is invoking.
- Copyright: David Astley (banyanman) (7789)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2004-04-29
- Categories: Humorous
- Camera: Nikon D100, Nikkor AF-S 24-120/3.5-5.6G ED
- Exposure: f/5.0, 1/90 seconds
- Photo Version: Original Version
- Theme(s): Pasandida [view contributor(s)]
- Date Submitted: 2006-03-06 10:25
- Favorites: 1 [view]