There will be few people who have thought, or even dreamed, once, with completely deserted cities. A reality that has been shown to us in fiction films that present us with a somewhat apocalyptic future. One is “I Am Legend” starring Will Smith, although there are more recent as “The Road” with Viggo Mortensen, or “Book of Eli” with Denzel Washington. Sometimes fiction ends up surpassing reality, will any of these films be right?
Ross Ching, a blogger living in Los Angeles, United States, has given his particular vision to the matter. He says that a few months ago he discovered a series of photographs taken by Matt Logue and came up with the happy idea of eliminating cars from them. For this he used the so recurrent, and at the time greatly helped Adobe Photoshop. For the edition of the video, of the Apple Final Cut Pro. The result is simply spectacular.
The architect of such an experiment said that he was fed up with the traffic jams in Los Angeles, and when he came up with the photographs in question, he had the idea of imagining that same city depopulated with cars. One day he thought, what would happen if all the cars disappeared tomorrow? And he went to work, using a technique called time-lapse, whose translation into Spanish is something like “accelerated video sequence”.
The technique he used was not simple. Since he had several photos of the same places, taken at different times from a fixed point, his goal was to eliminate the vehicles from the images. He loaded several of them simultaneously in Photoshop and got rid of the unwanted elements. The image below these lines is the original material from which it started. In it the cars are present.
The advantage that it had was to have several snapshots made from a static point, with which it was possible to erase the vehicles. For that he had to select those with less traffic, since otherwise the task would have been much more complicated. The next step was to do without the vehicles. The result is shown below.
Half the work is practically done. You already have the desired car-free image, but you still have to put the icing on the cake. Ross Ching wanted to apply effects to the sky, so he created a mask, that is, he got rid of it in the photographs. In this way he wanted to create the sensation of passing time in the image, a kind of sensation of movement.
After viewing the images one can ask several questions, many of them really disturbing.
The first, could we live without cars?
It is difficult to answer because too many factors come together in it. There will be cities where there are alternative forms of transport, such as the metro or bicycle. There will be other cities where there is no metro, or that the existing differences make the use of the bicycle unviable. To reach a compromise in this sense is really complicated. Now, the cars could be eliminated, but keep the buses … There are solutions for all tastes.
Another question we could ask ourselves is, how would our lives change? To begin with we would get rid of the nasty noise generated by road traffic. Horns, revolutionized engines, discussions, music at full volume … All these sounds would disappear as if by magic, generating a series of new sensations when walking a city. It would be surprising to walk through Madrid or Barcelona without cars in the streets. I dare to say that they would look like different cities. Tranquility and silence would take over them. “
It is obvious that the environment would benefit from the disappearance of cars. The air quality would increase dramatically with the cessation of emissions of carbon dioxide and other gaseous compounds that expel the exhaust pipes of vehicles. We would enjoy cleaner air in urban areas. To breathe fresh air we would not need to go to the countryside, we would have it in the middle of the city. Incredible true?
It is also evident that the oil industry would not like the fact that they stopped using cars. Who was going to buy oil? The automobile sector is one of its big markets. If he stopped demanding it, what would they do with him? A gigantic portion of the demand would disappear immediately, and with it huge profits for the companies. The price of a barrel of oil would be very low, and OPEC and the big magnates would not like it.
The last question that is thrown into the air is, what would be done with as much desert asphalt? Surely architects come up with ingenious ideas to take advantage of this land without apparent use. I would vote to transform it into green areas, parks, gardens … In short, the perfect binomial city-field, where nature runs at ease in the center of large cities.