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Super Sensory

The more digital we are, the more we long for the tangible. The more we’re required to sit in front of screens, the more we romanticise the experiential and the unplugged.

Here, Pam Grossman, Director of Visual Trends at Getty Images, explains why the super-sensory trend is as much about content, as it is composition. 

173505153, Tim Flach/Getty Images

When so much of our lives is conducted via screens we are increasingly looking for imagery that engages all of our senses.

Imagery is about to get even more immersive: macro detailing, close crops, HD. Vivid visions that blaze and engage all of our senses. Some of this is out of necessity, sure. Screens are getting smaller, with more users selecting their mobile device as the primary window through which they view the world.

Smaller frames love bigger pictures, and they allow for more intimate engagement with images of nature, portraits, and chromatic, abstract designs.

169072836, Jonathan Knowles/Getty Images

But the super-sensory trend is also about content, not just composition. The more digital we are, the more we long for the tangible. The more we’re required to sit in front of screens, the more we romanticise the experiential and the unplugged. We’re seeing a rise in the perfume industry at large, and entire exhibitions based on scent even cropping up at art museums.

165951192, Cavan Images/Getty Images

The artisanal food movements are showing no sign of slowing down, and the rise of magazines like Kinfolk and Edible prove it’s as much about lifestyle as it is about nourishment.

165951192, Cavan Images/Getty Images

Touch has become the ultimate sense, as more of us tap, swipe, and pull-to refresh through our days. Is it possible that tactility has become novel? That texture has become the ultimate luxury?

165013990, Arnold Media/Getty Images

Just as the Industrial Revolution begot Romanticism in literature and art wherein creators elevated the outdoors to a level of transcendence, so our climate of pixels and multi-tasking is spurring on a new aesthetic based on an inward escape into the senses.

The more digital we are, the more we long for the tangible.

Imagery that is up close, personal and visceral is alluring, because it makes us forget, if only for an instant, that we have a glowing rectangle between it and us.

162533007, picturegarden/GettyImages

The D&AD Next Photographer Award unearths the best new photographic talent and promote it back to the industry. The competition is open to new photographers with less than three years professional experience.

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