Luminous Landscape Forum

The Art of Photography => But is it Art? => Topic started by: wolfnowl on May 16, 2008, 12:04:33 pm

Title: Figure Work
Post by: wolfnowl on May 16, 2008, 12:04:33 pm
From 'The Online Photographer':
http://theonlinephotographer.typepad.com/t...m-excellen.html (http://theonlinephotographer.typepad.com/the_online_photographer/2008/05/random-excellen.html)


"Sanders McNew explores the tension between the concepts of "portraits" and "nudes" in flattering but unretouched photographs of real women.

Mostly nude portraits (http://www.mcnew.net/portraits) (not workplace/school friendly)

A very short article about the work (http://www.smellsfunny.net/featured-artists-2008)"
Title: Figure Work
Post by: gerk on May 16, 2008, 12:41:49 pm
Love his T Shirt in that article
Title: Figure Work
Post by: Rob C on May 16, 2008, 04:08:32 pm
Dear God, why bother?

Rob C
Title: Figure Work
Post by: DarkPenguin on May 16, 2008, 04:30:11 pm
For some reason the Glen Quagmire quote "Fat chicks need love too... but they got to pay." comes to mind.
Title: Figure Work
Post by: blansky on May 17, 2008, 10:34:06 am
I like them.

They try neither to be overly sexual, pornographic or even erotic. They are just a celebration of the beauty of the female body in all its shapes and sizes in an unembarrassed, unashamed, uncoy, unphoney ( I made those words up) manner.

Actually they are very refreshing pictures of real people.

What a concept.


Michael
Title: Figure Work
Post by: Rob C on May 17, 2008, 10:47:17 am
Quote
I like them.

They try neither to be overly sexual, pornographic or even erotic. They are just a celebration of the beauty of the female body in all its shapes and sizes in an unembarrassed, unashamed, uncoy, unphoney ( I made those words up) manner.

Actually they are very refreshing pictures of real people.

What a concept.
Michael
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=196243\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Absolutely, Michael, and thatīs why they fall flat in their asses (the pic, at least) because the underlying assumption to support that concept has to be that ALL bodies (female) are beautiful when that is evidently, clearly and in most peoplesīexperiences not the case. As proven. And as the majority of "real" women that I know would vouch. Why ever do you think there is such an enormous beauty industry if all women were created equal and beautiful?

But you are just being controversial; please, tell me itīs so!

Rob C
Title: Figure Work
Post by: Dale_Cotton on May 17, 2008, 12:19:59 pm
Rob: it sounds to me as though when you say "beauty" you mean what I mean when I say "pretty". A pet bulldog may be beautiful to its owner but homely to a stranger.

Sanders has got each of these women to vividly reveal a persona, some of which I find attractive, some not - making the photos more character studies than pin-ups. Using greyscale instead of colour further de-eroticizes them. I see the stress of posing naked as having put each woman into self-conscious mode, which in turn amplified her self-expression. If Sanders had managed to evoke the same intensity from the women while having them pose in swimsuits or underwear, nothing artistic would have been lost, at least to my eye.
Title: Figure Work
Post by: micek on May 17, 2008, 12:55:13 pm
As Dale says, these are character studies. I am not sure the subjects' nudity adds anything to the work, but I find some of them very successful.

Quote
Dear God, why bother?

Rob C

Could you please expand on this, Rob?

Quote
Why ever do you think there is such an enormous beauty industry if all women were created equal and beautiful?

Perhaps one of the reasons this work is worth looking at is precisely the fact that the women are not portrayed as objects of (any) industry, but as people.
Title: Figure Work
Post by: Rob C on May 17, 2008, 02:36:04 pm
Two answers for the price of one!

Micek: the only expansion Iīd have thought one can make is to repeat that the pictures are nothing other than boring, ordinary photographs of VERY ordinary looking females and, as such, hardly worth the trouble of shooting. Of course, the photographer might have personal reasons for photographing these people, but that has zilch to do with the images and their relevance to the public display of naked flesh as being discussed in this thread.

The beauty industry. The industry does not do so well because women think of themselves as "object"; if you really really believe that women are so insecure then you should meet a few more of them. The greatest insult that women perceive is when somebody suggests that they dress to please men; the contention is that they buy what they damn well like for themselves.  This very thing has cropped up repeatedly in rape/harassment cases when males have attempted to claim that women have īled them onī by dressing provocatively with the resulting reply that they (the women) reserve the right to dress as they please without that granting any imaginary rights to the male species, which, I think, confirms what I have written about the objectification of the fair sex.

I believe, by dint of experience, that the whole busines of women as object is a fabrication, a plot devised by the ugly sisters and the politically correct school of charmless idiocy. Women are far more self-possessed in public situation, in interpersonal exchanges and fare far better in almost any media event you care to think about. Why? Because from early childhood they are brighter intellectually, are far more self-aware and self-assured and have a much deeper understanding of how to open doors.  Doormats? Objects? You have got to be joking! They know how to do what it takes.

Dale: If I  may refer to your bulldog analogy, then it explains why you donīt get my point: a bulldog is ugly under any circumstances. It might well be lovable, as indeed might all the ladies in the photographs, but there is no semantic trick which can convert either them or the bulldog into beauty!

Revelation of character. For me, this is nothing more than one of the hoariest claims known to photography. Character is never revealed in a single photograph or even a session. The claim that so many protraitists make about that very achievement makes me want to scream out loud in frustration. Bollocks! At best, you get a shot that either looks roughly like the person at some particular moment or, better, you transcend the person and create an imaginary being, one who is the product of the two skills - yours and the modelīs. But character?

I take issue with the point you make about b/w de-eroticising bodies. With respect, good b/w makes for far stronger erotic imagery than colour! Check out Waclaw Wantuchīs eponymous site and compare both media. I do agree about the swimsuits in that nothing would have been lost, but then, neither do I think anything would have been gained in this particular context.

Thus, my "why bother" remark. All personal opinion, of course, so hardly important.

Rob C
Title: Figure Work
Post by: micek on May 17, 2008, 03:26:22 pm
Rob: thank you for enlightening me on the nature of women. I happen to live with four of them, but perhaps I should follow your advice and go out and meet a few more.

I have some further doubts, though.

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photographs of VERY ordinary looking females and, as such, hardly worth the trouble of shooting

Would you kindly explain at what stage females become worth shooting? When they are SLIGHTLY ordinary, or perhaps only ORDINARY? Should we refrain from doing so until they are remotely ATTRACTIVE or only when they are STUNNING?

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a bulldog is ugly under any circumstances

If I understand you rightly, that means they should not be photographed either, like VERY ordinary women. Could you possibly suggest a list of dog breeds that might be considered photogenic?

Thanks.
Title: Figure Work
Post by: blansky on May 17, 2008, 04:49:41 pm
Quote
Absolutely, Michael, and thatīs why they fall flat in their asses (the pic, at least) because the underlying assumption to support that concept has to be that ALL bodies (female) are beautiful when that is evidently, clearly and in most peoplesīexperiences not the case. As proven. And as the majority of "real" women that I know would vouch. Why ever do you think there is such an enormous beauty industry if all women were created equal and beautiful?

But you are just being controversial; please, tell me itīs so!

Rob C
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=196244\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Hey, I like porno as much as the next guy and have made a fool of myself over beautiful (and often shallow) women as the next guy.

BUT, just because a body doesn't fall into mainstream catagories of "beauty" does not negate the beauty of women who fail to meet the mainstream criteria.

What is wrong with photographing bodies as they are. Unashamed, and unenhanced. Do all nudes need to be hardbodies, or perfect as the beauty industry defines.

There are a lot of pictures these days of pregnant women, many of them nudes. Some people think they are great because they show womanhood in one of its natural states. Others think they are ugly because they prefer to think of women as strickly sex objects and the result of that "sex" is rather left unknown.

Just for fun, lets say the fat girl in his pictures was your wife and presuming you loved her, would not the way she looked be beautiful to you?

Be careful the answer may say more about you that you wish to be known.


Michael
Title: Figure Work
Post by: gerk on May 17, 2008, 04:50:45 pm
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photographs of VERY ordinary looking females and, as such, hardly worth the trouble of shooting

I think that's the entire point of this collection.  They are real.  Not glamour models, not retouched in photoshop.  Women you would see every day.  It's more about the artform and NOT the models.

Lastly I have to say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, whether it be women, bulldogs, or photography and it seems we have drastically different ideas of what beauty is, as you say it's just your opinion, but it's saddening to see that you are so close minded when it comes to "bothering"
Title: Figure Work
Post by: Mike Guilbault on May 17, 2008, 10:45:00 pm
I believe the photographs are successful.

I do like some of them more than others.  But the greatest success of these photographs is that right here, right now, people are talking about them.  Whether you like them or not is irrelevant - that you are compelled to make a comment about them is success.
Title: Figure Work
Post by: TaoMaas on May 18, 2008, 06:58:02 am
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Lastly I have to say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, whether it be women, bulldogs, or photography and it seems we have drastically different ideas of what beauty is...

I agree.  I suspect most, if not all, of the women in that series has someone in their personal life who views them as being beautiful.  My only complaint about the project is that it seems overly long.  246 images is too many.  I think it could have been pared down to 50-75 and been more effective.  It also struck me that there were a number of instances where diptyches might have been in order.
Title: Figure Work
Post by: Rob C on May 18, 2008, 07:46:50 am
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I believe the photographs are successful.

I do like some of them more than others.  But the greatest success of these photographs is that right here, right now, people are talking about them.  Whether you like them or not is irrelevant - that you are compelled to make a comment about them is success.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=196323\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

No Mike, that is not succes. For that to be success you would have to believe the PR agency cop-out that there is no such thing as bad publicity. Patently, those very agencies that pass along those ludicrous one-liners do NOT believe that: consider the exceptionally tight security they exercise over top magazines, controlling, vetting and choosing even within the tight group of the top-evel photographers that those same mags would like to have cover celebrity interviews. Control is VERY tight only because it matters greatly what type of publicity is received by Mr and Mrs Joe Public. Quality of publicity is crucial, not unimportant.

That the site, the images, are being discussed has little to do with the photographer or his models; that group of individuals was simply brought to our attention by the original poster and if you wish to believe that there has been success simply due to discussion, then the success belongs to the OP.

But I tire of this - I have made my views as clear as I am able. If others wish to find them opaque, unclear and plainly incorrect, then thatīs okay by me too. There is little joy in repetition, as per the sad state of some of the other threads in the camera/lens/equipment departments of this site. Speaking of which, perhaps Ray is correct to think that received wisdom is taken too literally by many people, that they question nothing if it is repeated often enough, just as with the no such thing as bad publicity credo.

Rob C
Title: Figure Work
Post by: Rob C on May 18, 2008, 08:08:33 am
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Hey, I like porno as much as the next guy and have made a fool of myself over beautiful (and often shallow) women as the next guy.

BUT, just because a body doesn't fall into mainstream catagories of "beauty" does not negate the beauty of women who fail to meet the mainstream criteria.

What is wrong with photographing bodies as they are. Unashamed, and unenhanced. Do all nudes need to be hardbodies, or perfect as the beauty industry defines.

There are a lot of pictures these days of pregnant women, many of them nudes. Some people think they are great because they show womanhood in one of its natural states. Others think they are ugly because they prefer to think of women as strickly sex objects and the result of that "sex" is rather left unknown.

Just for fun, lets say the fat girl in his pictures was your wife and presuming you loved her, would not the way she looked be beautiful to you?

Be careful the answer may say more about you that you wish to be known.
Michael
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=196287\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Michael, my wife has worked with me on shoots with girls ever since the 70s; she has shared the same beaches where those beautiful young women have carefully positioned themselves between set-ups in an effort to retain an even tan; she has sprayed those same perfect bodies to make them glisten for my cameras. She was, at the time, also the mother of our two children and had no problem (not did I) with running around topless on the sands as she worked. However, and this is perhaps the point, she is/was no fool: you do not put yourself in the silly position of getting photographed and stuck up on the internet when your own common sense tells you (should) that you are just going to make a fool of yourself.

Just for fun, the fat girl in the pictures my wife? I canīt see that how my wife does or does not look has much to do with the photographs under review: she is not one of the ladies there. As I explain above, she would not put herself into such a silly position and if you refer to physical looks, then yes, she was beautiful when she was of an age that women can be beautiful in that specifically physical sense of the word. Only an idiot denies the reality of the ravages of time to either gender; the only difference is that some have more to lose in the first place. If you want to argue the point, then think no further than that line in Marilynīs song: "and we all lose our charms in the end," and from those symbolic lips you hear the sadness of life as clearly and prophetically as you might ever wish to.

Aha! Food beckons. (Now THATīs a beautiful woman at work!)

Rob C
Title: Figure Work
Post by: Rob C on May 18, 2008, 09:00:55 am
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I think that's the entire point of this collection.  They are real.  Not glamour models, not retouched in photoshop.  Women you would see every day.  It's more about the artform and NOT the models.

Lastly I have to say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, whether it be women, bulldogs, or photography and it seems we have drastically different ideas of what beauty is, as you say it's just your opinion, but it's saddening to see that you are so close minded when it comes to "bothering"
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=196289\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

So, what part of glamour models ainīt real? Do you think they all need plastic boobs?

Bothering. To bother about something one has to care; to bother about beauty when it is so evidently missing is pointless. Beauty of body and/or face or its lack therein is ALL that a photo can show; to pretend otherwise is to engage with the mindset of the charlatan. Try to think of a SINGLE photograph where the magical mystery of character is revealed. You will be able to list countless where the ACT of pretending, of projecting an emotion hopefully defining character has been done with success - think the movies - but to see character in a photograph of an unknown person is a claim in the realm of the absurd: you just canīt know. Takes us neatly back to the thread elsewhere of the typical terrorist costume of beard and swarthy looks...

Rob C
Title: Figure Work
Post by: Mike Guilbault on May 18, 2008, 09:12:35 am
Quote
I agree.  I suspect most, if not all, of the women in that series has someone in their personal life who views them as being beautiful.  My only complaint about the project is that it seems overly long.  246 images is too many.  I think it could have been pared down to 50-75 and been more effective.  It also struck me that there were a number of instances where diptyches might have been in order.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=196357\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I agree.  In fact, after about 55 images, I didn't view the rest.  

And I still stand on my belief of success.  It doesn't matter how one finds out about it.  The fact that we're debating whether the images are good or not, art or not, is the success.  The fact that he is being discussed on more than this forum is a success.  Now, I must add that there are different levels of success.  So how successful this work is becomes a different discussion.
Title: Figure Work
Post by: micek on May 18, 2008, 10:25:32 am
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to bother about beauty when it is so evidently missing is pointless

Rob, I am worried now.
If I see  beauty in some of those images, does that mean I am hallucinating?

Could you also please clarify what degree of beauty is required before a woman is worth photographing? Are there any measurements, any anatomical criteria you could share with us?

I wouldn't want to abuse your patience, so is there a website or literature of any sort where I could make myself familiar with the canons of beauty that dictate what is worth portraying and what isn't?

It had never occurred to me before that one shouldn't photograph plain women or bulldogs if some artistic purpose was involved, but I am eager to learn; what dog breeds are photogenic and which, apart from bulldogs, are not?
Title: Figure Work
Post by: DarkPenguin on May 18, 2008, 11:54:09 am
"some of these images"?  So you're saying you're just a degree or two away from Rob's opinion?  If you agree why are you arguing?
Title: Figure Work
Post by: jjj on May 18, 2008, 12:06:49 pm
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Micek: the only expansion Iīd have thought one can make is to repeat that the pictures are nothing other than boring, ordinary photographs of VERY ordinary looking females and, as such, hardly worth the trouble of shooting.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=196274\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
I'd say the plasticised, over photoshopped images of women caked in make up that you see all the time these days is to my mind, incredibly boring. These photos show women looking beautiful without resembling a blowup doll, as is sadly becoming the norm these days. But if your taste leans more towards women resembling mannikins, then these would be very boring indeed.  
 Some of the images are stunning, mixed in with the very good shots. And to get so much variety of images from such a simple set up is also a testament to the photographer's skill.
Title: Figure Work
Post by: gerk on May 18, 2008, 12:16:36 pm
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So, what part of glamour models ainīt real? Do you think they all need plastic boobs?

Bothering. To bother about something one has to care; to bother about beauty when it is so evidently missing is pointless. Beauty of body and/or face or its lack therein is ALL that a photo can show; to pretend otherwise is to engage with the mindset of the charlatan. Try to think of a SINGLE photograph where the magical mystery of character is revealed. You will be able to list countless where the ACT of pretending, of projecting an emotion hopefully defining character has been done with success - think the movies - but to see character in a photograph of an unknown person is a claim in the realm of the absurd: you just canīt know. Takes us neatly back to the thread elsewhere of the typical terrorist costume of beard and swarthy looks...

Rob C
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=196370\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

The part that "ain't" real about glamour models are the hours spent in make-up and with the hair stylists,  the powdering/coverup makeup for the shiny bits, the photoshop touchups for blemishes, eye-colour enhancement, teeth whitening, eye-whitening, slimming, lip widening and what-have-you.

As for the beauty comments again I'll say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and we have differing opinions on that one, but let me ask you this.  If you were hired for a set of products shots for a product that you don't believe in would you still do it?  If you were hired to take pictures of a gallery that you didn't find beautiful and photo-worth would you do it?  Lastly if you were hired to take pictures of a model that you didn't find beautiful would you do it?
Title: Figure Work
Post by: jjj on May 18, 2008, 12:21:14 pm
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Just for fun, the fat girl in the pictures my wife? I canīt see that how my wife does or does not look has much to do with the photographs under review: she is not one of the ladies there. As I explain above, she would not put herself into such a silly position and if you refer to physical looks, then yes, she was beautiful when she was of an age that women can be beautiful in that specifically physical sense of the word. Only an idiot denies the reality of the ravages of time to either gender; the only difference is that some have more to lose in the first place. [a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=196368\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Not sure why being photographed in a way that makes you look good is silly. Just because it is not to your taste, doesn't make something bad. And when exactly does a female stop being beautiful as she is ravaged by time, when she is no longer a teenager, in her twenties, thirties.... You seem to have a very narrow minded view of how and when a woman can look good and it seems your wife has passed that stage as far as you are concerned.
I knew someone who adored fat women, so the fat girl mentioned above would be just his type. Just as some men like curvy girls and some like skinny girls, some will like plastic girls with fake boobs and others will hate them, some will like heavily made up girls and some will like those without makeup, each to his own. To my mind, it's a girl's personality that makes them attractive [as opposed to simple pretty/ugly judgements ] and where I think the photographer has suceeded, is in capturing their personalities.
Title: Figure Work
Post by: micek on May 18, 2008, 01:16:51 pm
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"some of these images"? So you're saying you're just a degree or two away from Rob's opinion? If you agree why are you arguing?
Darkpenguin: I said I find beauty in some of these images, (not some of these women.Whether the women are beautiful or not is not my concern, what I am talking about is the photographs).
Rob has made it clear that he finds this series of  photographs boring and not worth bothering with.
Are you suggesting all 200+ photographs are beautiful?
Title: Figure Work
Post by: Rob C on May 18, 2008, 04:38:14 pm
Quote
Not sure why being photographed in a way that makes you look good is silly. Just because it is not to your taste, doesn't make something bad. And when exactly does a female stop being beautiful as she is ravaged by time, when she is no longer a teenager, in her twenties, thirties.... You seem to have a very narrow minded view of how and when a woman can look good and it seems your wife has passed that stage as far as you are concerned.
I knew someone who adored fat women, so the fat girl mentioned above would be just his type. Just as some men like curvy girls and some like skinny girls, some will like plastic girls with fake boobs and others will hate them, some will like heavily made up girls and some will like those without makeup, each to his own. To my mind, it's a girl's personality that makes them attractive [as opposed to simple pretty/ugly judgements ] and where I think the photographer has suceeded, is in capturing their personalities.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=196398\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

 JJJ

Beautiful, as in photogaphy of women, is a visual thing. There is no point in trying to add to that by bringing to the party diversions such as character, voice, sense of humour, kindnes, advanced maternal instincts or anything else other than the visual. Those other attributes, or lack of them, are to be found in both beautiful and not beautiful women. They do not constitute part of the definition of beautiful.

Of course, you are free to dispute the definition, but as I indicated somewhere here earlier, semantics plays no part in changing fundamental truth.

I am still unable to see how you are able to understand or grasp the quality of a personīs personality from a photograph; there must be a great job awaiting you at CSI! Or even a chair at some cutting edge university somewhere; what a rare no, unique talent that is!

My wife would laugh in your face if you were to try and snow her with notifications of beauty; she is a realist, has survived seven different, major operations in three-and-a-half years and has the strongest spirit I have met in anyone, man or woman. To bullshit her with psuedo charm and the chatlines of the idiot would not win you nor anyone else a grateful smile; more likely a derisive hoot of laughter. Perhaps, when life deals you a few rude shocks, the facile belief systems melt away and you see things as they really always are: harsh and totally unforgiving, with survival the best you can hope for (if I may end with a preposition and drive you nuts). But letīs lighten up: if your bulbs are turned on by those, to me, sad switches on that site, enjoy!

Rob C
Title: Figure Work
Post by: Rob C on May 18, 2008, 04:57:16 pm
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I'd say the plasticised, over photoshopped images of women caked in make up that you see all the time these days is to my mind, incredibly boring. These photos show women looking beautiful without resembling a blowup doll, as is sadly becoming the norm these days. But if your taste leans more towards women resembling mannikins, then these would be very boring indeed.   
 Some of the images are stunning, mixed in with the very good shots. And to get so much variety of images from such a simple set up is also a testament to the photographer's skill.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=196396\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Yes, Dick Avedon tried the same thing earlier as he toured the States doing his latter day Diane Arbus. A roll of Colorama does not a masterpiece make!  Even for him. Trust me, I have toiled too many years on that sterile white paper, the reason I gave up my first studio, only to be forced to build another alongside my house as the bloody market demanded more of the same.

I do agree with you about todayīs version of what is passed off as beauty: even the beauty ads are sterile.  Worse the ladīs mags, but I seldom see them nowadays other than in passing.

There is a sense where I would argue that beauty in print died with the ending of the Shrimpton reign, to be replaced by androgynous inventions more in the realms of pain than joy. But, that is not to say that I believe beautiful photography of women is a thing of the past; look hard enough through a varity of photographersīagentsīsites and some remarkable stuff is still to be found. I have sometimes posted links on LuLa to these place; should anyone care, they are still to be found listed somewhere on the site.

Rob C
Title: Figure Work
Post by: Rob C on May 18, 2008, 05:01:23 pm
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The part that "ain't" real about glamour models are the hours spent in make-up and with the hair stylists,  the powdering/coverup makeup for the shiny bits, the photoshop touchups for blemishes, eye-colour enhancement, teeth whitening, eye-whitening, slimming, lip widening and what-have-you.

As for the beauty comments again I'll say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and we have differing opinions on that one, but let me ask you this.  If you were hired for a set of products shots for a product that you don't believe in would you still do it?  If you were hired to take pictures of a gallery that you didn't find beautiful and photo-worth would you do it?  Lastly if you were hired to take pictures of a model that you didn't find beautiful would you do it?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=196397\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

If, and when, I can work out the relevance to the discussion of your last few questions, I shall try to answer you truthfully as possible.

Edit: sorry, I went to the last part of your post first. Regarding your comments in the first paragraph, are you suggesting that makeup really does turn a sowīs ear into a silken purse? Further, are you of the belief that makeup, used by every woman I know, makes her less real than she was before she applied it? Isnīt that exactly what they are all trying to achieve? Would you deny them the belief that they have succeeded in making themselves look better, be closer to their personal ideal of beauty, if you will?

Rob C
Title: Figure Work
Post by: gerk on May 18, 2008, 05:25:13 pm
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If, and when, I can work out the relevance to the discussion of your last few questions, I shall try to answer you truthfully as possible.

Edit: sorry, I went to the last part of your post first. Regarding your comments in the first paragraph, are you suggesting that makeup really does turn a sowīs ear into a silken purse? Further, are you of the belief that makeup, used by every woman I know, makes her less real than she was before she applied it? Isnīt that exactly what they are all trying to achieve? Would you deny them the belief that they have succeeded in making themselves look better, be closer to their personal ideal of beauty, if you will?

Rob C
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=196434\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

No I don't believe makeup turns a sow's ear into a silken purse   Personally I find the overuse of makeup (such as almost always happens with glamour models in photoshoots) a large turnoff.  There's nothing appealing to me about a woman's face that has 1/8" of makeup on it.  Makeup, used sparingly is fine for me, but again each to their own.  I much prefer the natural look.  Does liberal amounts of makeup make a woman look better?  Hell no.  Alas, we're not talking about the women's feeling of themselves, we're talking about women looking beautiful for YOU as you were the one that stated that all those women were ugly and not worth the bother of photographing. Anyway we've strayed way OT here so I'll let things lie as they are, but you still didn't answer my questions regarding turning down work because you don't like the material/location/models.
Title: Figure Work
Post by: wolfnowl on May 18, 2008, 05:59:23 pm
Just curious... what do the women in these forums have to say?

Mike.
Title: Figure Work
Post by: micek on May 19, 2008, 01:44:12 am
Oh well. There are obviously no answers to my questions.
Sorry to have bothered you Rob.
Title: Figure Work
Post by: jjj on May 19, 2008, 05:16:22 am
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Beautiful, as in photogaphy of women, is a visual thing. There is no point in trying to add to that by bringing to the party diversions such as character, voice, sense of humour, kindnes, advanced maternal instincts or anything else other than the visual. Those other attributes, or lack of them, are to be found in both beautiful and not beautiful women. They do not constitute part of the definition of beautiful.

Of course, you are free to dispute the definition, but as I indicated somewhere here earlier, semantics plays no part in changing fundamental truth.

I am still unable to see how you are able to understand or grasp the quality of a personīs personality from a photograph; there must be a great job awaiting you at CSI! Or even a chair at some cutting edge university somewhere; what a rare no, unique talent that is!
Being a bit literal here aren't we. You can take a picture of anyone, but a good photographer shows something about the sitter's personality. That doesn't mean you can tell what their favourite food is or whether they were bullied at school. A pretty woman with no personality doesn't photograph as well as a less attractive woman who loves to perform for the camera, so no beauty is not simply a visual thing, as otherwise Kate Moss would not be as rich as she is. And hence why the term photogenic is used, to differentiate from pretty/beautiful. Lots of beautiful women don't photograph well.  But then as you seem to believe nearly all women photographed  since Shrimpton are ugly then, you simply come across as a grumpy old codger who only likes girls [really the fashions] of his long past, younger days.
Do you also believe no good tunes have been written since the Beatles split up too?  

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My wife would laugh in your face if you were to try and snow her with notifications of beauty; she is a realist, has survived seven different, major operations in three-and-a-half years and has the strongest spirit I have met in anyone, man or woman. To bullshit her with psuedo charm and the chatlines of the idiot would not win you nor anyone else a grateful smile; more likely a derisive hoot of laughter. Perhaps, when life deals you a few rude shocks, the facile belief systems melt away and you see things as they really always are: harsh and totally unforgiving, with survival the best you can hope for (if I may end with a preposition and drive you nuts).
I'm not the language purist, so why should I care, [it's a stupid rule, introduced by stupid people anyway] and I'm certainly not trying to flattter your wife, I was just querying, when you think a woman passes her sell by date and stops being attractive.
 
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But letīs lighten up: if your bulbs are turned on by those, to me, sad switches on that site, enjoy!
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Actually Rob, if the images also included men, I'd still appreciate the photos, so would that then make me gay? They are great pictures, that appeal to some people's tastes, but not others. The fact that the women are not clothed does not then make them porn.


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Yes, Dick Avedon tried the same thing earlier as he toured the States doing his latter day Diane Arbus. A roll of Colorama does not a masterpiece make! Even for him. Trust me, I have toiled too many years on that sterile white paper, the reason I gave up my first studio, only to be forced to build another alongside my house as the bloody market demanded more of the same.
Just because you don't like white backgrounds or don't like using them, doesn't mean great shots cannot be done with them. With most people, the shots may be dull, but in the right hands, a white background can make for great images.

You seem to be confusing your own very personal taste with what is right/attractive/good. Not the same thing, not even close. You quite rightly wouldn't take a daft comment like, "there were no decent images of women in print until the late 80s" seriously, would you?
Title: Figure Work
Post by: Rob C on May 19, 2008, 06:03:00 am
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Being a bit literal here aren't we. You can take a picture of anyone, but a good photographer shows something about the sitter's personality. That doesn't mean you can tell what their favourite food is or whether they were bullied at school. A pretty woman with no personality doesn't photograph as well as a less attractive woman who loves to perform for the camera, so no beauty is not simply a visual thing, as otherwise Kate Moss would not be as rich as she is. And hence why the term photogenic is used, to differentiate from pretty/beautiful. Lots of beautiful women don't photograph well.  But then as you seem to believe nearly all women photographed  since Shrimpton are ugly then, you simply come across as a grumpy old codger who only likes girls [really the fashions] of his long past, younger days.
Do you also believe no good tunes have been written since the Beatles split up too?  

 I'm not the language purist, so why should I care, [it's a stupid rule, introduced by stupid people anyway] and I'm certainly not trying to flattter your wife, I was just querying, when you think a woman passes her sell by date and stops being attractive.
 
Actually Rob, if the images also included men, I'd still appreciate the photos, so would that then make me gay? They are great pictures, that appeal to some people's tastes, but not others. The fact that the women are not clothed does not then make them porn.
Just because you don't like white backgrounds or don't like using them, doesn't mean great shots cannot be done with them. With most people, the shots may be dull, but in the right hands, a white background can make for great images.

You seem to be confusing your own very personal taste with what is right/attractive/good. Not the same thing, not even close. You quite rightly wouldn't take a daft comment like, "there were no decent images of women in print until the late 80s" seriously, would you?
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Happy to oblige as the siteīs grumpy old codger: somebody had to do it!

Now, itīs you making confusion or comparison between photogenic and beautiful, which I canīt find as part of the original argument (discussion has proven too generous a term). However, I do agree that the two are certainly different. As for the post-Shrimp lot, they have been created to deal with a different ethos altogether. Neither have I said that none of those newer girls have been attractive. As for music post-Beatles? Well, I was always more fond of the Stones and the Beachboys and certainly Chuck Berry before any of them (Beatles included) ripped off his sound in so many copies of his, Berryīs, material. Extrapolation doesnīt really extend argument, simply throws in a dollop of confusion.

As for your statement about the late 80s, I donīt think it was ever mine, so no, I wouldnīt take it seriously.

But on a wider point I do agree with you: all opinion has to be subjective because nothing else is truly available to any one of us. I said as much already.

With regard to porn, I did not raise it at any time; that was another posterīs confession that he enjoyed it as much as any other man. Sadly, I must be less of a man than the rest because I hate it; have never in my life shot a pornographic image and find them truly offensive. I did not find the original images we were chatting about pornographic, just unfortunate.

As for being a bit literate, one has to be when trying to explain meaning. As you have found yourself at times, there does come a stage when whipping the fog ceases to be fun and, of itself, enters the realm of the absurd.

Take care - Rob C
Title: Figure Work
Post by: Ray on May 20, 2008, 12:52:41 pm
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Revelation of character. For me, this is nothing more than one of the hoariest claims known to photography. Character is never revealed in a single photograph or even a session. The claim that so many protraitists make about that very achievement makes me want to scream out loud in frustration. Bollocks! At best, you get a shot that either looks roughly like the person at some particular moment or, better, you transcend the person and create an imaginary being, one who is the product of the two skills - yours and the modelīs. But character?
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Rob,
You are really being controversial here. You might be right, but I suspect this is a jaundiced view based upon your own experiences of photographing models who are 'would be' actresses.

In connection with another thread about a recent Ken Rockwell article, I came across the following quote from a Google search on the technical details of Karsh's photo of Winston Churchill.

Karsh had something profound to say on the matter of portraiture. I quote:

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"Within every man and woman a secret is hidden, and as a photographer it is my task to reveal it if I can. The revelation, if it comes at all, will come in a small fraction of a second with an unconscious gesture, a gleam of the eye, a brief lifting of the mask that all humans wear to conceal their innermost selves from the world. In that fleeting interval of opportunity the photographer must act or lose his prize."
Title: Figure Work
Post by: Rob C on May 21, 2008, 04:30:02 am
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Rob,
You are really being controversial here. You might be right, but I suspect this is a jaundiced view based upon your own experiences of photographing models who are 'would be' actresses.

In connection with another thread about a recent Ken Rockwell article, I came across the following quote from a Google search on the technical details of Karsh's photo of Winston Churchill.

Karsh had something profound to say on the matter of portraiture. I quote:
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Ray, Karsh was but borrowing the mantle of special genius which photogaphers are wont to claim in such moments of verbal  desriptions of their work; makes them sound, well, sort of specially gifted people, donīt you think?

Perhaps working with pro models has simply shown me that anybody can manufacture an expression which is MEANT to convey some quality, but is usually just an emotion. Iīm afraid that good models, poor ones, actresses or anybody else can switch on an expression that they consider representative of a characterisitic. Women do it all the time: itīs part of their way to open those doors of which I wrote a day or so ago. Funniest thing is to watch a couple out dining on what looks like their first date: she gazes in to his eyes, hangs on to his every world, smiles (unwisely) through the fish and he almost simpers in a sort of role reversal or, alternatively, does a lot of leaning back in his chair and looking cool. Thatīs one interesting thing about living in a tourist trap: you get to see a lot of very different people and have some laughs, even if being over-charged for the pleasure.

As nobody yet confronts a camera without putting on a face of sorts, I stand by my belief that all a photograph can show is an act, an expression meant to achieve a result, though I admit that that act might be confused with the real thing. It is no more revealing of character than the expression on a catīs face as it walks off with a bird in its mouth.

Rob C
Title: Figure Work
Post by: Ray on May 21, 2008, 05:30:19 am
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Ray, Karsh was but borrowing the mantle of special genius which photogaphers are wont to claim in such moments of verbal  desriptions of their work; makes them sound, well, sort of specially gifted people, donīt you think?

Perhaps working with pro models has simply shown me that anybody can manufacture an expression which is MEANT to convey some quality, but is usually just an emotion. Iīm afraid that good models, poor ones, actresses or anybody else can switch on an expression that they consider representative of a characterisitic. Women do it all the time: itīs part of their way to open those doors of which I wrote a day or so ago. Funniest thing is to watch a couple out dining on what looks like their first date: she gazes in to his eyes, hangs on to his every world, smiles (unwisely) through the fish and he almost simpers in a sort of role reversal or, alternatively, does a lot of leaning back in his chair and looking cool. Thatīs one interesting thing about living in a tourist trap: you get to see a lot of very different people and have some laughs, even if being over-charged for the pleasure.

As nobody yet confronts a camera without putting on a face of sorts, I stand by my belief that all a photograph can show is an act, an expression meant to achieve a result, though I admit that that act might be confused with the real thing. It is no more revealing of character than the expression on a catīs face as it walks off with a bird in its mouth.

Rob C
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Rob,
I get a sense you are even more cyncial and skeptical than I am   . I recall I've sometimes got into trouble photographing 'important' people when they were not aware of being photographed. I got severely chastised for that once by the wife of a judge in the NT of Australia, during an excursion in Arnhem Land.

Generally, people don't like to be photographed unawares. You might catch someone picking their nose, for example. This fear or reluctance is connected to persona, or vanity.

Karsch might have borrowed his comment  to enhance his importance. But it seems nevertheless true that we are all in the game of pretending.

My favourite Shakespearean quotation is, "All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players". I'm playing a part on this forum, pretending I know something.
Title: Figure Work
Post by: blansky on May 21, 2008, 12:35:23 pm
RobC is seems to me that you have spent a great deal of your life photographing "models" who are after all, merely actresses for still cameras.

This prolonged activity is seems has jaded you a great deal and turned you into hopeless cynic. There comes a time when certain people have lived too long, experienced too much, witnessed too much and done too much. They become bored, cynical and grumpy.

I, on the other hand have spent my life photographing silly old ordinary people. While everyone wears a mask, ordinary people have a much harder time holding theirs on, compared to a pro.

For this reason, I think that pictures like the ones under discussion, are excellent, revealing and even the "fat girls" carry off a beauty that your "models" can never attain.

I sincerely hope I'm wrong about you, but I fear that boredom and grumpyness have burrowed deep into your soul. Or maybe you just need to get laid.


Michael
Title: Figure Work
Post by: Rob C on May 21, 2008, 12:59:11 pm
"Or maybe you just need to get laid."

Thank you, blansky, I shall advise my wife accordingly once she has learned to walk properly after her latest five-week stint in hospėtal.

Rob C
Title: Figure Work
Post by: Rob C on May 21, 2008, 01:01:45 pm
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Rob,
I get a sense you are even more cyncial and skeptical than I am   . I recall I've sometimes got into trouble photographing 'important' people when they were not aware of being photographed. I got severely chastised for that once by the wife of a judge in the NT of Australia, during an excursion in Arnhem Land.

Generally, people don't like to be photographed unawares. You might catch someone picking their nose, for example. This fear or reluctance is connected to persona, or vanity.

Karsch might have borrowed his comment  to enhance his importance. But it seems nevertheless true that we are all in the game of pretending.

My favourite Shakespearean quotation is, "All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players". I'm playing a part on this forum, pretending I know something.
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Absolutely on the money, Ray, it is always an act. But then there are ever those who think it the real thing.

Rob C
Title: Figure Work
Post by: DarkPenguin on May 21, 2008, 01:07:14 pm
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For this reason, I think that pictures like the ones under discussion, are excellent, revealing and even the "fat girls" carry off a beauty that your "models" can never attain.

Sooo...  What exactly is this fat broad beauty that models cannot attain?  Or it just models in full bulimic-heroin-revlon mode who cannot achieve it?
Title: Figure Work
Post by: LoisWakeman on May 21, 2008, 01:13:38 pm
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Just curious... what do the women in these forums have to say? Mike.
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Well: having read this, I suspect I am not a real woman at all, and certainly unfit to be a model. I never wear makeup and am very plain to look at, as well as middle-aged, and not terribly concerned about fashion except for comfort.

So perhaps I shouldn't comment - but I do find some of the remarks in this thread patronising. I also find photos of surgically-enhanced and airbrushed bodies of either sex to be boring - but what do I know?
Title: Figure Work
Post by: Mike Guilbault on May 21, 2008, 01:19:25 pm
This started out as a very interesting discussion and has quickly deteriorated.  Let's get back on track eh!

The reason that quotes like "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder" have been around so long and are well known is because they're true.  Beauty is not some Hollywood standard but means something different to everyone.  As a portrait photographer, ie. not models, it is my job to bring out the beauty and/or character in every subject that crosses my camera.  Do I succeed every time?  Probably not.  But...

Quite a few years ago, I 'took' a photograph of a friendly old man in Nova Scotia along with his two oxen.  A friend of mine and I found them in the front yard of this humble country home on a backroad off a backroad.  He came out to offer his help and bring the oxen closer for us to photograph them.  You could see the pride in his face of his 'babies'.  He crouched out of the way as to not be included in the photo, but I had my wide-angles lens on and captured him kneeling before these huge beasts, looking up at them.

A few weeks later, after having the film processed (remember, this was quite a few years ago), I sent him a copy to thank him for his assistance.  About 6 weeks later, I received a letter from his son.  Shortly after the portrait was taken, he had a complication with an operation and passed away.  The letter went on to say that this was the ONLY photograph they ever had of their father (he was easily in his 60s) and, quote, 'if any one picture could sum up his life, this was it'.  He had raised these oxen since calves and they were his pride and joy... all captured in 1/30 sec (or there about's.. no metadata to check!)

My point is that YOU may not see the character or beauty in the portrait, but someone who knows the person will.  I believe that Karsh summed it up quite well in that quote.  Even if you photographed 1000 beautiful women, I'm sure only a handful would stand out over the rest.  This happens when you capture that moment.

It is not up to us to decide what is beautiful or not... it is to capture, as much as possible, the essence of our subject.  You can quote me on that!
Title: Figure Work
Post by: Sunesha on May 21, 2008, 03:46:17 pm
I think they was interestning. I think they reflect the time we live in. People have seen "beauty" women so much.

In Sweden nowdays it is very popular to just use "ordinary" woman in ads. As it gets more attention than the more stereo typical beauty models.

Actually it turned my head a lot more on town nowdays. One off biggest sports stores chain in sweden just used "ordinary" women in their swimsuit collection. Somehow I look more on those girls as I relate more to them. As they look as the women I know. They where thin girls but normal weight girls not BMI <17 girls you are so used to see. Somehow I feel they are more attractive . As they seem more accessible  and real.

I guess this will spread. I heard that in some countries in Europe they have forbidden models to do modelling if they have to low BMI.

I really agree that beauty is in the eye off beholder. Somehow when you seen 200 photoshopped girls just by browsing your own day. There is something fascinating with looking photos off women with different shapes and looks.

I think what the whole commercial beauty bussiness lack is personality. But I guess they probaly dont need that to sell their products.

My feel that women shoots especially nude ones has the same body type. I feel it just gets to saturated.

I saw show my local town off nude males. Off all ages and shapes. It was interestning they just posed normally. But just to see humans in there fit/fat/hairy and so on state. Was very interesting. Especially as a heterosexual male I rarely think or look on male humans so it was new experience.
Title: Figure Work
Post by: jjj on May 21, 2008, 03:54:37 pm
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My point is that YOU may not see the character or beauty in the portrait, but someone who knows the person will.

It is not up to us to decide what is beautiful or not... it is to capture, as much as possible, the essence of our subject.  You can quote me on that!
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I will thank you, as you made the same point I was going to make to Rob C about his daft idea, that you simply cannot capture character/personality in a photograph. Your poingant story certainly indicates you can and when I photograph people I like to chat to them and get a sense of who they are as that makes for much better portraits, IMHO. This also reduces any 'performing' for the camera, but even then, how they perform/act is determined by their character.
Title: Figure Work
Post by: Sunesha on May 21, 2008, 04:01:18 pm
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My point is that YOU may not see the character or beauty in the portrait, but someone who knows the person will.  I believe that Karsh summed it up quite well in that quote.  Even if you photographed 1000 beautiful women, I'm sure only a handful would stand out over the rest.  This happens when you capture that moment.

It is not up to us to decide what is beautiful or not... it is to capture, as much as possible, the essence of our subject.  You can quote me on that!
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I think you just expressed what I was thinking. Somehow when you leave out the "perfect" state off a person and are presented you as "real" person. My head always go, wonder who they are. Wonder who there friends are and so on. Then I start to looks for clues and imagine.
Title: Figure Work
Post by: jjj on May 21, 2008, 04:03:13 pm
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In Sweden nowdays it is very popular to just use "ordinary" woman in ads. As it gets more attention than the more stereo typical beauty models.
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One of the most well known beauty campaigns in the UK is the Dove one which makes a point of featuring 'normal' women.  

This video also got them a lot of attention, when it shows how many of today's 'beauties' are manufactured.
[a href=\"http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYhCn0jf46U]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYhCn0jf46U[/url]

And you know you've done well, when the parrodies start appearing
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-kSZsvBY-A&NR=1 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-kSZsvBY-A&NR=1)
Title: Figure Work
Post by: Sunesha on May 21, 2008, 04:30:15 pm
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One of the most well known beauty campaigns in the UK is the Dove one which makes a point of featuring 'normal' women. 

This video also got them a lot of attention, when it shows how many of today's 'beauties' are manufactured.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYhCn0jf46U (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYhCn0jf46U)

And you know you've done well, when the parrodies start appearing
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-kSZsvBY-A&NR=1 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-kSZsvBY-A&NR=1)
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Man, hadn't seen the parody before. At least even that Dove is milking the political correctness approval. I love the ads. Especially since my little sister(aged 26) had no idea how much retouching goes into a beauty shoot. Until Dove showed it. So nowdays she actually feel a lot better about herself.

I have friend that live on beauty ads stuff. I helped him out sometimes. I always surprised how much work it is behind just make beutiful women appear even more beutiful

The good part I liked about our Sport chain "Stadium", they just threw in the "normal" girls in ads without making a whole campaign surrounding it. It kinda always creep a bit inside me when I see companies milking out good will in return for more dollars.

Our media presents us a distortion off reality. We buy it to be a part off , they earn money.

Thats what I like about art. It is presented from the artist point off view off reality. Media is presented what they think we think about world.
Title: Figure Work
Post by: jjj on May 21, 2008, 04:45:51 pm
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The good part I liked about our Sport chain "Stadium", they just threw in the "normal" girls in ads without making a whole campaign surrounding it. It kinda always creep a bit inside me when I see companies milking out good will in return for more dollars.
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Dove may be milking it, but at least it's going against the beauty fascism that is otherwise around us and allowing others to feature real people without an issue.
People photography seems to be of two kinds these days, people looking impossibly beautiful or looking like complete shit. One part of the media fakes beauty and the other part delights in paparazzi snaps of stars/models etc looking awful. Like there's a skill to getting a bad shot of someone! Even so, I've even seen shots where people who look awful, have been retouched to make them bad.
Title: Figure Work
Post by: Rob C on May 21, 2008, 04:52:38 pm
Quote from: jjj,May 21 2008, 07:54 PM
I will thank you, as you made the same point I was going to make to Rob C about his daft idea, that you simply cannot capture character/personality in a photograph. Your poingant story certainly indicates you can and when I photograph people I like to chat to them and get a sense of who they are as that makes for much better portraits, IMHO. This also reduces any 'performing' for the camera, but even then, how they perform/act is determined by their character.
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[/quote

Wish I could accept your interpretation, jjj, but the little story of the man and the beasts hardly convinces me that you can capture character via portraiture. In fact, all the photograph in question shows is that there is nothing new under the sun, being nothing more than a typical īexecutive in his office, craftsman with his toolsī kind of shot, where the concatenation of man, equipment and location gives a visual clue to his world. That does not show whether the executive is honest, a rogue or even loves his wife any more than one can tell whether the man with the beasts is shy, modest, vain, generous, mean, a glutton or a saint.

That a relative sees something precise is no surprise: of course he does, he sees what he knows, not what the photographer shot, which serves only as reminder, the key to the deeper values being firmly in the lock within his own (the relativeīs) memory.

All these types of picture have been the staple diet of photo clubs since photography began; even in my own time I recall the fisherman in his heavy sweater, knurled hands clasped before him, his eyes peering out to the horizon. Bloody hell, he was no fisherman, he was just the guy who ran the local newspaper shop. No character there, just games and stereotyping at work.

But there you go, you are happy to believe one thing and I another. Fair enough, matters little to either of us.

Rob C
Title: Figure Work
Post by: Rob C on May 21, 2008, 04:58:31 pm
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Sooo...  What exactly is this fat broad beauty that models cannot attain?  Or it just models in full bulimic-heroin-revlon mode who cannot achieve it?
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Hey, Mr P!

I hope you werenīt really expecting a direct answer to a direct question, were you?

Rob C
Title: Figure Work
Post by: Rob C on May 21, 2008, 05:01:01 pm
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Well: having read this, I suspect I am not a real woman at all, and certainly unfit to be a model. I never wear makeup and am very plain to look at, as well as middle-aged, and not terribly concerned about fashion except for comfort.

So perhaps I shouldn't comment - but I do find some of the remarks in this thread patronising. I also find photos of surgically-enhanced and airbrushed bodies of either sex to be boring - but what do I know?
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A hell of a lot, actually.

Rob C
Title: Figure Work
Post by: jjj on May 21, 2008, 05:18:58 pm
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Wish I could accept your interpretation, jjj, but the little story of the man and the beasts hardly convinces me that you can capture character via portraiture. In fact, all the photograph in question shows is that there is nothing new under the sun, being nothing more than a typical īexecutive in his office, craftsman with his toolsī kind of shot, where the concatenation of man, equipment and location gives a visual clue to his world. That does not show whether the executive is honest, a rogue or even loves his wife any more than one can tell whether the man with the beasts is shy, modest, vain, generous, mean, a glutton or a saint.

That a relative sees something precise is no surprise: of course he does, he sees what he knows, not what the photographer shot, which serves only as reminder, the key to the deeper values being firmly in the lock within his own (the relativeīs) memory.
Yet so many people take pictures that don't do that, only some will capture something of the person, something that will happen more often with a good [people] photographer.
Rob you strike me as being like a blind man who vehemenantly denies that green exists, simply as he cannot see it. Though as you correctly say, we each have different belief systems. Yours seems to work well for you and I doubt anything wil change it!
Title: Figure Work
Post by: DarkPenguin on May 21, 2008, 05:23:15 pm
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Hey, Mr P!

I hope you werenīt really expecting a direct answer to a direct question, were you?

Rob C
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Nope.  I'm guessing it is probably the same thing that's driving the GF cell phone photo and MILF industries.
Title: Figure Work
Post by: Mike Guilbault on May 22, 2008, 12:09:21 am
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Wish I could accept your interpretation, jjj, but the little story of the man and the beasts hardly convinces me that you can capture character via portraiture.  That does not show whether the executive is honest, a rogue or even loves his wife any more than one can tell whether the man with the beasts is shy, modest, vain, generous, mean, a glutton or a saint.
Rob C
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That's why I said 'to capture, as much as possible'.  One portrait may not capture every facet of a person, but to capture even a part of of that character can be a success.  This is why we have photo essays.  People do not display every emotion, every look or every side of their personality all at once.  Depending on the person, it could take a book of images to explore every character trait of any particular individual.  Others, one portrait may sum it up.
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That a relative sees something precise is no surprise: of course he does, he sees what he knows, not what the photographer shot, which serves only as reminder, the key to the deeper values being firmly in the lock within his own (the relativeīs) memory.
He indeed sees 'what the photographer shot' and recognizes his father for what he was, hard working and prideful of his accomplishments.  If this one photo triggers a memory which helps a son remember his father - I consider it successful.  It's not up to us to decide what he was, only to try to capture a glimpse of that and preserve it for someone who recognizes it.

I photographed the man and his oxen for myself...  but it had far more value for the son.
Title: Figure Work
Post by: Rob C on May 22, 2008, 03:49:56 am
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That's why I said 'to capture, as much as possible'.  One portrait may not capture every facet of a person, but to capture even a part of of that character can be a success.  This is why we have photo essays.  People do not display every emotion, every look or every side of their personality all at once.  Depending on the person, it could take a book of images to explore every character trait of any particular individual.  Others, one portrait may sum it up.

He indeed sees 'what the photographer shot' and recognizes his father for what he was, hard working and prideful of his accomplishments.  If this one photo triggers a memory which helps a son remember his father - I consider it successful.  It's not up to us to decide what he was, only to try to capture a glimpse of that and preserve it for someone who recognizes it.

I photographed the man and his oxen for myself...  but it had far more value for the son.
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All of which seems to sum up (to this green-denying one) that all the photographer can do is record whatīs there, not at all the same as "showing character" as per the self-promoting bullshit of the Karsh dictum!

If another person, other than the photographer, sees something in a photograph by virtue of greater familiarity with the subject, then itīs a little OTT for the photographer to claim the credit! That is the in the gift of the viewer, not any mystical skill of the camera operator.

I note that to capture photographically even one aspect of a person is now considered success - how low can the bar go?

But letīs face it, there are entire industries now existing to part punters from their money by peddling the same dream: follow me and I shall show you the way! I think they call them cults, magazines or even workshops...

Rob C
Title: Figure Work
Post by: Sunesha on May 22, 2008, 04:54:50 am
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Dove may be milking it, but at least it's going against the beauty fascism that is otherwise around us and allowing others to feature real people without an issue.
People photography seems to be of two kinds these days, people looking impossibly beautiful or looking like complete shit. One part of the media fakes beauty and the other part delights in paparazzi snaps of stars/models etc looking awful. Like there's a skill to getting a bad shot of someone! Even so, I've even seen shots where people who look awful, have been retouched to make them bad.
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I agree, It is good.

Never thought about it in that way. You are right.

How we photograph people maybe tells how we want people to be ?

I am not big protrait photography guy(meaning I doesn't shoot people myself). Most off the photography people shoots I look at is more travel photography mostly showing off cultural features like clothes and hairstyles.

I think it is trends, hopefully the BMI <17 girls are soon not the trends. Hopefully we see more "normal" looking girls doing the fashion stuff.

I liked the artificial american ads from the 40s - 50s. More the look off the ads.

HM a big clothes brand here in Sweden used old models that was popular in 80s. But heavy retouched so they didnt look 50-60 years.

Anyway I enjoy laughing at funny retouching at:
[a href=\"http://photoshopdisasters.blogspot.com/]http://photoshopdisasters.blogspot.com/[/url]'

Strange part that I saw ad in Sweden with Nippleblock trend. I feel very strange when people remove body parts...
Title: Figure Work
Post by: Mike Guilbault on May 22, 2008, 07:19:02 am
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I note that to capture photographically even one aspect of a person is now considered success - how low can the bar go?


Actually, that bar is quite high.  It certainly doesn't happen with every portrait.  It's rare, and when it happens it's a wonderful thing and becomes successful.  Success, as with anything else comes in varying degrees and success to one is as beauty or character to another.  Some photographers have the ability, insight and fortitude to increase their percentage of successes - like Karsh did.  

This brings me back to the original post and the work we've been discussing (which I think has been lost in the discussion).  As I said, I only viewed about 50 of over 200 images.  The display could have been easily pared down which I believe would have made it more interesting and possibly more successful.  Was all of the photographer's work a success?  I don't think so.  Is marketing, self-promotion and the power of the internet a factor in this success?  Obviously.  Is it Art?  That is for the individual to decide, just as beauty, character and success is.
Title: Figure Work
Post by: wolfnowl on May 22, 2008, 09:14:58 am
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One of the most well known beauty campaigns in the UK is the Dove one which makes a point of featuring 'normal' women. 

This video also got them a lot of attention, when it shows how many of today's 'beauties' are manufactured.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYhCn0jf46U (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYhCn0jf46U)
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When I first saw that video I was impressed, as I imagine a lot of people were.  Dove also created a 'Campaign for Real Beauty' and website.  Then I read this:

[a href=\"http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2008/05/12/080512fa_fact_collins?currentPage=all]http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2008/05...currentPage=all[/url]

"I mentioned the Dove ad campaign that proudly featured lumpier-than-usual “real women” in their undergarments. It turned out that it was a Dangin job. “Do you know how much retouching was on that?” he asked. “But it was great to do, a challenge, to keep everyone’s skin and faces showing the mileage but not looking unattractive.”

Showing the mileage but not looking unattractive. That's Dove's idea of 'real beauty'? It's a shame they were unwilling to use 'real photographs' of 'real women'.

I started this thread showing the Sanders McNew work as a counterpoint to that as this body of work does show 'real photographs' of 'real women'.  Is it art?  Some of the images don't work for me, but I think all of the women in them are beautiful in their own way...

Mike.

P.S.  The information from the Gangin article was sent to the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty forum, but they didn't post it.
Title: Figure Work
Post by: jjj on May 22, 2008, 02:02:39 pm
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When I first saw that video I was impressed, as I imagine a lot of people were.  Dove also created a 'Campaign for Real Beauty' and website.  Then I read this:

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2008/05...currentPage=all (http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2008/05/12/080512fa_fact_collins?currentPage=all)

"I mentioned the Dove ad campaign that proudly featured lumpier-than-usual “real women” in their undergarments. It turned out that it was a Dangin job. “Do you know how much retouching was on that?” he asked. “But it was great to do, a challenge, to keep everyone’s skin and faces showing the mileage but not looking unattractive.”
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I remember reading about this quite recently. The chap in question had worked for Dove,  and he was a bit annoyed that  that he appeared to discredit someone he had worked for.
Now if you think about it, if he had indeed retouched those images, you'd have to be a complete idiot to admit to it. Why? Because you are burning bridges with that client and possible many others. But people want to believe even those images are PSed and so now that will become the truth, even if it isn't.
 
Dangin said: "The recent article published by The New Yorker incorrectly implies that I retouched the images in connection with the Dove 'real women' ad.

"I only worked on the Dove ProAge campaign taken by Annie Leibovitz and was directed only to remove dust and do colour correction -- both the integrity of the photographs and the women's natural beauty were maintained."

At the time of publication, the New Yorker online article was unchanged.
Title: Figure Work
Post by: jjj on May 22, 2008, 02:16:22 pm
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I think it is trends, hopefully the BMI <17 girls are soon not the trends. Hopefully we see more "normal" looking girls doing the fashion stuff.
The thing is some garments simply look much better on a woman with curves, than on a coat hanger with legs, so there needs to be a variety of shapes in order to best display the clothes anyway. People are also very varied in size/shape and mostly they are not so stupid as to think that the outfit on the anorexic model will look as good on the size 12/14/16.. they are.

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HM a big clothes brand here in Sweden....
and somewhere I tend to visit when in your fine country to save packing so much on way out.
Title: Figure Work
Post by: jjj on May 22, 2008, 02:28:56 pm
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Actually, that bar is quite high.  It certainly doesn't happen with every portrait.  It's rare, and when it happens it's a wonderful thing and becomes successful.  Success, as with anything else comes in varying degrees and success to one is as beauty or character to another.  Some photographers have the ability, insight and fortitude to increase their percentage of successes - like Karsh did.
My sneaking suspicion is that this is an area that Rob isn't good at and therefore pooh poohs it. You get the same from people who decry PS, when the reality is, they simply don't know how to use it. I'd be really interested to see some of the work Rob has done, as he seems to have worked during interesting times, but sadly there's never any evidence of it.
One of the things I lke on this forum is the lack of anonymity with most posters and the fact you can you can usually link a photographer to his work.  Rob C is all words and no images, as far I can can see, which is a shame really. So show us what you've got Rob!

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This brings me back to the original post and the work we've been discussing (which I think has been lost in the discussion).  As I said, I only viewed about 50 of over 200 images.  The display could have been easily pared down which I believe would have made it more interesting and possibly more successful.  Was all of the photographer's work a success?  I don't think so.  Is marketing, self-promotion and the power of the internet a factor in this success?  Obviously.  Is it Art?  That is for the individual to decide, just as beauty, character and success is.
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Initially, I wasn't sure about the amount of shots, mainly because viewing a large no. online is more painful than in a book or on a wall. But, then the more I looked, the more variety I saw and that becomes interesting in itself. I think it would work better as a collection on the wall than within the constrains of an online gallery.
As for the is it art question, plenty of old masters out there that are apparently art, even if they do nothing for me. And I wouldn't argue they weren't. It's an iffy premise to deny the label of art to anything that one dosen't like. In my opinion.
Title: Figure Work
Post by: Mike Guilbault on May 22, 2008, 04:52:49 pm
My sentiments exactly jjj.  

Now... is it still art if you use a Canon and process it on a PC???  
Title: Figure Work
Post by: Sunesha on May 22, 2008, 07:20:56 pm
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My sentiments exactly jjj. 

Now... is it still art if you use a Canon and process it on a PC???   
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If you do it on a Mac it is art.  
Title: Figure Work
Post by: wolfnowl on May 23, 2008, 12:48:58 am
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Dangin said: "The recent article published by The New Yorker incorrectly implies that I retouched the images in connection with the Dove 'real women' ad.

"I only worked on the Dove ProAge campaign taken by Annie Leibovitz and was directed only to remove dust and do colour correction -- both the integrity of the photographs and the women's natural beauty were maintained."

Thanks for letting me know!

Mike.
Title: Figure Work
Post by: Rob C on May 23, 2008, 02:54:23 pm
jjj

Yes, they were interesting times, but Iīm afraid that the images will have to remain off your screen; copyright in those days didnīt give the author shit; it belonged to the commissioning client and, to surprise you even further, it wasnīt all that prevalent (perhaps London was different) to get model releases either. The model agency would bill you and that was all you got. Model paid, bill receipted, end of story. In fact, it wasnīt until I signed up with Tony Stone in the late seventies/early eighties that I can remember releases being an issue. So, those I have since then are jealously guarded. Unreleased model shots stay silent!

Whilst I am fairly sure that using the images in a fine art context might be a risk worth taking on a local, Spanish level, putting those images on air in this litigious era to me is not. Further, in the context of this site (or at least the majority on this thread), I could give you the blessed VM and you would still find fault because she looks too pretty, too beautiful, holy or just too damn unordinary; in other words, as Iīm not an amateur in the business of seeking peer approval, I couldnīt care less if you think there are no trousers to the mouth. A mouth which, in my opinion, has not boasted about anything at all but simply told you the truth as it sees it.

However, as that will not satisfy your curiosity, try to research the Hewden/Stuart Group plc, which was and is the biggest plant-hire, plant-sales group in the UK (though since bought over by an even bigger Canadian group) and if you can locate their calendars from ī74 to ī85 you might see that I shot, designed and produced the lot (must have done something right)  Tennentīs Lager calendars from '79 to `85 ditto. In between I did calendars for Teachers Whisky and Glayva Liqueur not to mention the many unknow (to me) ones through the good offices of Stone. (By the way, I refer to plantīs meaning as in civil engineering and not horticulture.)

So no, donīt hold your breath for any  images from me on this site.

Rob C
Title: Figure Work
Post by: DarkPenguin on May 23, 2008, 03:32:49 pm
I can find Tennents Lager Lovelies beer can images from that time frame.  Did you do any of those?  I've found one advert for a calendar around 65.  (Better looking images than the beer cans.  But I could be holding the hair styles against them.)

(Is it any worse if you beat your wife after getting drunk on a beer product featuring a picture of some strumpet?)

Hmmm....  there is a book called "Lager Lovelies - The story behind the glamour" by C. Schoefield and A. Kamm.

That Hewden whatever company is in a google desert.  In the future if it isn't in google it never existed.

This would be a lot easier if every goddamn page on the internet didn't refer to a calendar of events.  If you are collecting cans featuring images of some bimbo you don't need a calendar of events.  Seriously.  You can reuse the same post-it note with "Things to do today!  1. Get drunk.  2. Do something inappropriate to mention on this forum with the "Ann" can from '65." written on it.
Title: Figure Work
Post by: Rob C on May 24, 2008, 04:09:47 am
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I can find Tennents Lager Lovelies beer can images from that time frame.  Did you do any of those?  I've found one advert for a calendar around 65.  (Better looking images than the beer cans.  But I could be holding the hair styles against them.)

(Is it any worse if you beat your wife after getting drunk on a beer product featuring a picture of some strumpet?)

Hmmm....  there is a book called "Lager Lovelies - The story behind the glamour" by C. Schoefield and A. Kamm.

That Hewden whatever company is in a google desert.  In the future if it isn't in google it never existed.

This would be a lot easier if every goddamn page on the internet didn't refer to a calendar of events.  If you are collecting cans featuring images of some bimbo you don't need a calendar of events.  Seriously.  You can reuse the same post-it note with "Things to do today!  1. Get drunk.  2. Do something inappropriate to mention on this forum with the "Ann" can from '65." written on it.
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Hi Mr P

No, the lager can girls were another departmentīs responsibility - the PR lot. I did stuff directly for the Marketing Director. The main difference was that the can girls were Scottish ones and used for local promotions - personal appearances etc. at boozer events - whereas the calendar ones marked a break from the parochial mindset because I kicked off the whole thing by exposing the company to Londonīs best.

If I remember correctly, we use the following girls: Georgie Steer (also featured on a Lichfield calendar for Unipart) in Mallorca; Denise Perry in Rhodes (another Lichfield girl); Denise Denny in Florida (a Barry Lategan girl from his Mintex shoot in Sardinia); Denise Perry again in the South if France; Jackie Jones in Costa Smeralda, Sardinia (Lichfield too); another girl called Suzie G in Singapore (Lichfield again, in Sicily) and some further people including some Scottish ones in Kenya, Bahamas, Ireland and other places best forgotten for the very last one I did, the Centenary one, which was handed over by the Marketing Director to his underling, the PR Manager. I suppose, in the PR guyīs mind, using Scottish girls was the equivalent of flying a kilt or one of those horrid, eponymous little dogs that have come to symbolise the country.

In any event, I had long left the place by then so I suppose it was inevitable that Iīd lose the business, but it seems that even the can girls fell victim to the politically correct movement, that tide of irrational fear that caused more business distress to the pretty girls in the modelling industry than their uglier sisters might have imagined; such is envy.

(Oh for jjj: if you really have a burning desire to see one of my shots, then dig out the Top Models Directory for `80 -`81 and look for the Denise Denny entry. On the right of a spread is a Lategan shot from Sardinia and on the left, one of mine from Paradise Island, Bahamas. As she was a very successful girl of her day, it was nice to have one of my shots chosen.)

Rob C
Title: Figure Work
Post by: Rob C on May 24, 2008, 04:23:58 am
Mr P

http://www.hewden.co.uk (http://www.hewden.co.uk)

I canīt find anything there about the calendars either, but they were the best I ever did, money no problem, the best client mindset ever. But then perhaps thatīs because I was dealing with Ron Stuart, one of the founders of the Company, and it is always those people who understand the greater picture, have no fear of being kicked in the ass by a superior, who can make things happen. It also helped that he was a regular on the Pirelli Calendar gift list...!

Oh, by the way, my computer opens the internet via Yahoo, so perhaps they search better than Google - like Avis, trying harder?

Rob C
Title: Figure Work
Post by: JohnKoerner on May 25, 2008, 10:56:06 am
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From 'The Online Photographer':
http://theonlinephotographer.typepad.com/t...m-excellen.html (http://theonlinephotographer.typepad.com/the_online_photographer/2008/05/random-excellen.html)
"Sanders McNew explores the tension between the concepts of "portraits" and "nudes" in flattering but unretouched photographs of real women.

Mostly nude portraits (http://www.mcnew.net/portraits) (not workplace/school friendly)

A very short article about the work (http://www.smellsfunny.net/featured-artists-2008)"




I looked at every single one of those photographs, and I thought Sanders' effort was absolutely wonderful

To me he did what he set out to do, which was to capture a full panorama of women, of all body types, ethnicities, and emotions in a neutral and natural setting. Yes, some of the women were hideous, I mean so hideous in fact that I personally might have been tempted to get my gun, not a camera (LOL). But hey, that was part of the story being told.

In reading some of the comments posted, it seems as if there is a certain shallowness or denseness that biases some people toward physical beauty alone, as if the only things in this world that are "beautiful" are those which possess perfect physical form. But is "physical form" all there is to beauty? I mean, how many of us have met physically perfect women ... who have gotten uglier by the second every time they talk, because they either have no personality or a negative one? Conversely, how many of us have met women who may not be perfect physically, but the more we talk with them, interact with them, and see the light and mischief in their eyes, the more and more attractive they become to us?

In fine, the human spirit can be beautiful too, more beautiful in fact than mere human form

And this is what I personally found was so compelling about Sanders' work: there was a broad spectrum of natural human emotions to be seen, for those who are subtle enough to see them. From women who were clearly a little shy and withdrawn, to those who were basically unimaginative and boring in their poses, to those women whom you could see were transformed by the moment into really feeling beautiful ... all of these emotional ranges were captured on film ... and all of these kinds of emotions and levels of comfort are part of being human.

When an ordinary woman gets to be photographed nude for the first time, and just beams in front of the camera because she is delighted to have this kind of attention lavished on her, is this not a form of beauty? It doesn't matter that her physical form isn't perfect, what matters is that something positive and needing to be expressed in her has come to life, and that was captured on film.

It kinda reminds me of what happened last weekend, while I was leaving my girlfriend's house. We had just spent the day horseback riding, then we ate an early dinner out by her pool, and then of course the evening progressed from there

Sadly, I had to split though, as it was just about night time and I had to get back, so she walked me to my car. As we said our goodbyes, I sat in my car and looked up at her ... and she had her arms folded and just had this smile on her face that captured "everything feminine" ... she was at once girly, womanly, satisfied, happy, sad I was leaving, basically every emotion she was feeling was all wrapped up in that one beautiful moment.

I had my camera handy on my front seat, and I just reached for it and snapped that special moment right then and there. The autoflash was off and the photo came out very dark, with the ISO too high, and the shot was too grainy. So I re-adjusted the camera, and set-up everything up manually, and I asked her to "stay still" so I could take another shot, but better-prepared this time. As I compared the two photos, the interesting thing I immediately noticed was that the second shot was technically the better shot. The color was right, the lighting was right, the clarity was better, everything was superior in that second photo ... except one tiny detail. The special moment was lost. Her smile had changed to slightly unnatural and the surreal, natural mood of the darkness was blinded by the flash. It just wasn't the same.

At the end of the day, the first photo (though technically inferior) was ultimately the better preservation of her beauty, because it captured everything I wanted to capture, including the moody darkness, but most importantly it captured "the magic" of what made me want to take the photo to begin with: her radiance. What I most wanted to see and remember was something beyond mere physical form, or flawless photographic execution, it was a mood and a feeling, a satisfied woman beaming at me. I don't know how else to explain it.

Anyway, I have digressed a bit, but my point is that sometimes seeing flawless photos of made-up models does get old after awhile. That isn't what we see in real life. I found Sanders' effort to be very refreshing, and indeed very interesting, precisely because I was able to see a whole gamut of not just physical bodies, but more importantly all kinds of levels of confidence, happiness, imagination in poses, etc. Yes, there were some truly insipid poses shown, and some truly ugly women too ... that I would probably be very happy if I never saw again. But you know what? That's part of life too.

But there were also some women captured whom I wouldn't have really given a second look under other circumstances, but yet whom I could see were beaming in front of that camera, literally glowing. And to me there is nothing sexier or more beautiful than that, which is the human spirit glowing, especially in a woman.

Jack
Title: Figure Work
Post by: wolfnowl on May 25, 2008, 03:19:34 pm
Well said, Jack.

Mike.
Title: Figure Work
Post by: wolfnowl on May 25, 2008, 03:24:27 pm
Lifted from 'The Online Photographer' site:
http://theonlinephotographer.typepad.com/t...blog_index.html (http://theonlinephotographer.typepad.com/the_online_photographer/blog_index.html)

"Last night I got a long comment from a woman named Jessalyn, the "Accountant, Kansas" in Sanders McNew's multi-frame portrait I featured as a "Random Excellence" last week. I've added her thoughts to the original post (http://theonlinephotographer.typepad.com/the_online_photographer/2008/05/random-excellen.html) as a "Featured Comment."


"Featured Comment by The Accountant from Kansas: "Millions of people every day alter their body in some way: plastic surgery, shaving their beard (or legs, and so on), cutting/coloring their hair, doing their nails, getting tattoos/piercings, putting in their color contact lenses, going on a diet, covering themselves in makeup, building muscle, and so on. There is no 'real-ness' about a person except for how they exist at any given second in time. That's what Sanders captures. These people are 'real' because there didn't exist any preconceived notion of how they should look: someone else's 'real'...before I modeled for Sanders I asked him 'how should I show up? Should I have my hair and makeup done?' and his response was 'This is a portrait. Come how you want to.' He was capturing my real, not his real, or anyone else's real. No art director's real, no makeup artist's real, no photographer's real. My real. The fact that the images are not retouched? I think that ties in to being 'my real.' By retouching an image, the photographer is inflicting their own sense of real on 'my real.' They thought the light should have hit me differently, they though that freckle shouldn't have been there, they thought that scar was distracting. By leaving the image unretouched, Sanders is in fact showing 'my real' and not 'his real.' It's a portrait, it's about the subject.

"A few of the comments mentioned the presentation of Sanders' images. One even mentioned 'a box of images' with no rhyme or reason. In my opinion, if Sanders ordered these into galleries or made them anything but a 'box of images,' it would be inflicting his own sense of 'real' onto them. By categorizing the images into groups, this tends to say that somehow these images are related by something. By not categorizing the images, this shows us how individual each shoot is. Nothing ties them together other than what they all contain (naked, portrait, B&W). Each shoot is unrelated to the next because each person contains a different 'real' at any given time than the next person. A box of images is exactly what these portraits are.

"Why naked? Well I'm sure Sanders has his reasons, but for me I see it as a way to get something honest out of your subject. I know that if I were wearing clothes I would find something to distract myself. To 'do something' in the image. By being naked, there are no pockets for me to put my hands in, no collar of my shirt to fiddle with, there is nowhere for me to look other than the camera. I am forced to show the camera a real emotion. When you're naked, what else do you have to do other than talk to the photographer about world politics or how funny last nights episode of 'Scrubs' was? By eliminating the clothing it forces the subject to use what they have left: their facial expression, which I feel is the most important part of a portrait.

"As for some of these girls being 'professional models,' I don't feel that this really makes any difference. They are all 'real' people being captured in a moment of time. Their high level of comfort in front of a camera is their 'own real' just like a non-model's level of comfort in front of a camera is their 'own real.' Most of these girls are not people you would see on the street and think 'Wow, she must be a model." Even if some of these girls model for a living, they are still daughters, sisters, mothers, neighbors, addicts, religious, fearful, loved, travelers, students, artists, excited, nervous, or any other noun or adjective that I can use to describe a person with eyes that have seen the world and have a story to tell.

"Obviously I have some bias about Sanders work since I have shot with him but I wouldn't have posed in front of his camera if I didn't feel that his work is brilliant."
Title: Figure Work
Post by: John Camp on May 26, 2008, 07:11:37 pm
I looked at the photos when they first came up on The Online Photographer (which IMHO is the best photo blog on the 'net.) Two things:

My attitude toward the photos shifted somewhat when I learned that a number of the models were professionals, a fact not mentioned by the photographer in the original post. My attitude shifted because, while (as the accountant says) the models are still women, they are people who are paid to project what the photographer wants, not what they are. I felt somewhat, mmm, tricked.

My attitude shifted *only* somewhat because I basically thought the photos were not very interesting, either in concept or in detail. Forget about the whole beauty thing -- there are hundreds of thousands of nudes on the net of every age, race, and body style/appearance, and both sexes. These simply do not distinguish themselves. Get a role of seamless and a couple of lights and almost any camera, and any of us could shoot these, with the camera set to auto/autofocus.

I no longer look at PhotoSig, but that site (last I saw it) had, at any one time, about 100 pages of 30 images each of nude/sexual photos; 3000 images at any one time. More were added every day, as the older ones fell off the end. Look through a hundred pages of those things, then come back and look at these photos and decide if there's anything special about them...I just don't think there is.

In fact, I'm not sure there can be anything new/unusual/interesting about nude photographs; most of them, I think, say more about the photographer's psyche than about anything else...

JC
Title: Figure Work
Post by: Rob C on May 27, 2008, 04:29:55 pm
John, just when Iīd given up on any more breaths of fresh air, you wafted in with a dose of realism.

How now, oh so sweet dreamers? How beautiful the non-professional; how unreal the non-professional; how professional the `real` woman! Such character!

Readerīs Wives comes to mind....

Bought a set of new tyres for the poor old Ford yesterday - just for the front; the quid might rise against the bloody euro again and allow a swap of car... eventually.

However, Iīm told that Spaniards are buying British boats like never before, 16% cheaper (to them) than some months ago. Funny how the Mini, German as it is, made in Britain, is still highly priced in Spain. Do you ever get the feeling we are all being shafted?

Rob C
Title: Figure Work
Post by: jjj on May 27, 2008, 07:31:30 pm
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Further, in the context of this site (or at least the majority on this thread), I could give you the blessed VM and you would still find fault because she looks too pretty, too beautiful, holy or just too damn unordinary; in other words, as Iīm not an amateur in the business of seeking peer approval, I couldnīt care less if you think there are no trousers to the mouth. A mouth which, in my opinion, has not boasted about anything at all but simply told you the truth as it sees it.
 Why people give opinions, weight is usually given to thiose who've demostrated some expertise in the field. Here amongst photographers, the ability to produce good images counts for a lot when talking about photography.
Also, why assume if your photos contain pictures of beautiful women, that they will not be liked. A daft presumption, just because some people liked images which were not traditionally glamourous.  In my case I like, for example blurry images, but that doesn't preclude my liking ultrasharp images, does it? My specific preference is for good pictures, I don't are what genre, what subject, what medium or what camera.


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So no, donīt hold your breath for any  images from me on this site.[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=197570\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
There's nothing stopping you showing images you've taken bar yourself. For example model releases are not relevant here, as model releases are only needed if images are used to sell/endorse products. And a website showing ones's professional work is not normally a problem with regard to copyright either.
Besides don't they they sell cameras in Spain?
Title: Figure Work
Post by: jjj on May 27, 2008, 07:40:00 pm
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if you really have a burning desire to see one of my shots, then dig out the Top Models Directory for `80 -`81 and look for the Denise Denny entry. On the right of a spread is a Lategan shot from Sardinia and on the left, one of mine from Paradise Island, Bahamas. As she was a very successful girl of her day, it was nice to have one of my shots chosen.)
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Well the first entry in a google search for those criteria picks up your post that I've quoted, quick work Google!   Nothing else in search seemed relevant. Why not simply post link if you know where some of your work is?
Unless of course you mean an old fashioned printed copy!    
Like I'd have one of them lying around!  
Title: Figure Work
Post by: JohnKoerner on May 27, 2008, 10:05:55 pm
There are hundreds of thousands of photos of everything online: cars, landscapes, seascapes, achitecture, children, the elderly, pets, flowers, the desert, sheets of ice, zebras, eagles, lions, doorways, staircases, blah-blah-blah ... and yes nude women too.

Everybody thinks they're "unique" in the way they see things and what they do ... but rarely is anything truly unique, just a different spin on the same old shit.

So I suppose the difference is that some people keep a positive outlook and try to see and appreciate the uniqueness of each person's perspective in their work ... while others will roll their eyes and act elitist.

Funny thing is, neither stance taken is unique either.




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Title: Figure Work
Post by: Rob C on May 28, 2008, 04:57:49 am
jjj

I only wish you were right about model releases,  but as I understand it, there is no holy exemption that allows photographers to "publish" without a release, and thatīs what putting stuff up on the web is if you have no release. If you look at the releases required by quality stock agencies or, for that matter, at any contemporary versions that are other than amateur-lawyer originated (as have appeared on this website recently), youīll find electronic publishing very much considered a part of publishing.

The other important thing about releases is the "holding up to ridicule, or, defamation" aspect. Sexy pics of girls, now probably mothers, isnīt going to sit well in a lot of homes I can think of. It was one thing doing that sort of photography as a beautiful young woman, for a good brand, but quite another for internet distribution on your sonīs computer. The difference in ambience is huge and that is what governs so much in the visual life of an image. Sell in Hamiltonīs Gallery or in the local flea market... you dig the difference in perception that creates?

Nobody regrets the problem more than I do. Itīs one of the facts of life which has prevented me from putting up a website for myself. It might not be something which bothers you, jjj, but I DO have a lot to lose and Iīm not going to throw it away on an ego trip, particularly just to impress you.

Yes, of course the Model Directory was hard copy - thatīs one of the primary reasons that mine is still around. Neither can I find any links to my pics for the aforementioned  clients - life can suck, canīt it? However, I think I might well have a clue to the reason: the very same reason much of it ended, and that is the influence of political correctness. I donīt have much idea how old you are, but you had to work through the seventies (at least) to understand how serious the problem became. Today, even my own daughter thinks it was ever the norm. Guess thatīs what university life did for her and the rest of her generation, now the work-spinners of the world.

As for your problem with understanding why I wouldnīt put up pics of women here, the legal implications aside, you have but to re-read this thread.

Rob C
Title: Figure Work
Post by: Rob C on May 28, 2008, 04:59:14 am
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There are hundreds of thousands of photos of everything online: cars, landscapes, seascapes, achitecture, children, the elderly, pets, flowers, the desert, sheets of ice, zebras, eagles, lions, doorways, staircases, blah-blah-blah ... and yes nude women too.

Everybody thinks they're "unique" in the way they see things and what they do ... but rarely is anything truly unique, just a different spin on the same old shit.

So I suppose the difference is that some people keep a positive outlook and try to see and appreciate the uniqueness of each person's perspective in their work ... while others will roll their eyes and act elitist.

Funny thing is, neither stance taken is unique either.
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John, why is it elitist to dislike something you see as very poor?

Rob C
Title: Figure Work
Post by: JohnKoerner on May 28, 2008, 08:29:00 am
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John, why is it elitist to dislike something you see as very poor?
Rob C





Good morning Rob.

Well, most of you have the advantage over me here as I am not a professional photographer. Therefore, I see many of the works that are posted here from a different perspective: one of fascination for the work and ideas of other people. Rather than looking at the posted works here with a critical eye, I tend to try to understand and appreciate the efforts and perspectives of these photographers as almost a cyber-mentorship to give me ideas to try myself perhaps (or perhaps not).

You are clearly coming from the perspective of a professional photographer, who’s been there and done that, and who (according to you) has done that better. Where I tend to look up at the work of most photographers here as something to try to learn from (or just to enjoy), you are clearly looking down at this work from the perspective that it is something beneath your own tastes, talents, and capabilities.

Which brings us to the definition of elitism: “Elitism is the belief or attitude that those individuals who are considered members of the elite — a select group of people with outstanding personal abilities, intellect, wealth, specialized training or experience, or other distinctive attributes — are those whose views on a matter are to be taken the most seriously or carry the most weight.”

This is why I used the word “elitist” in this context. In order to look down on something and label it “poor,” one must view one’s own position and qualifications as elevated by comparison, which is the default perspective of the elitist.

Jack




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Title: Figure Work
Post by: jjj on May 28, 2008, 10:22:05 am
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jjj I only wish you were right about model releases,  but as I understand it, there is no holy exemption that allows photographers to "publish" without a release, and thatīs what putting stuff up on the web is if you have no release. If you look at the releases required by quality stock agencies or, for that matter, at any contemporary versions that are other than amateur-lawyer originated (as have appeared on this website recently), youīll find electronic publishing very much considered a part of publishing.
Rob, you do not need a model release to publish your images unless it's for commercial gain, i.e. advertising and that's why agencies like to ask for them, as they make more money from commercial usage.  On Alamy for example you can post released and unreleased images, the difference being is that you have fewer openings without one, not none.
It's only in paranoid America they insist on it for magazines/editorial, just in case they get sued. It's not actually needed and if you want proof  if is not needed, then the vast amount of gossip magazines full of paparazzi shots would not be able to exist if model releases were needed.  


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The other important thing about releases is the "holding up to ridicule, or, defamation" aspect.
Publishing an image of someone and saying for example this is a shoplifter [when the person isn't] is not something you need a release for either as that is a completely different area, slander/libel territory, then you do need a lawyer. Showing a picture of a model posing for a calendar shot in context as part of her job, will not come into that territory.

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Sexy pics of girls, now probably mothers, isnīt going to sit well in a lot of homes I can think of. It was one thing doing that sort of photography as a beautiful young woman, for a good brand, but quite another for internet distribution on your sonīs computer. The difference in ambience is huge and that is what governs so much in the visual life of an image. Sell in Hamiltonīs Gallery or in the local flea market... you dig the difference in perception that creates?

Nobody regrets the problem more than I do. Itīs one of the facts of life which has prevented me from putting up a website for myself. It might not be something which bothers you, jjj, but I DO have a lot to lose and Iīm not going to throw it away on an ego trip, particularly just to impress you.
It's not too impress me, but  to put you in context that's all and I would genuinely like to see some of your pics.
As for the reason that models you photographed are now Mums and would be mortified if someone posted an image of them looking beautiful when they were younger is one of the daftest excuses I've ever come across for not showing one's pictures. Unless you did undercounter porn, which would be a bit more embarassing!
Using images taken for clients in one's portfolio has never been an issue and as a website is simply an online portfolio, there wouldn't be any problems there either, trying to sell the images if you do not possess copyright for some reason, is however another matter.


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Yes, of course the Model Directory was hard copy - thatīs one of the primary reasons that mine is still around. Neither can I find any links to my pics for the aforementioned  clients - life can suck, canīt it? However, I think I might well have a clue to the reason: the very same reason much of it ended, and that is the influence of political correctness. I donīt have much idea how old you are, but you had to work through the seventies (at least) to understand how serious the problem became. Today, even my own daughter thinks it was ever the norm. Guess thatīs what university life did for her and the rest of her generation, now the work-spinners of the world.
Blaming Political correctnees for your work not being online is a pathetic excuse. The real reason is it's been 'forgotten' about as it existed many years before the the web arose and was simply never put on. And long term, the t'internet may well be a more permanent repository, than the odd copy of a disposable magazine/book, which is what annual directories were.

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As for your problem with understanding why I wouldnīt put up pics of women here, the legal implications aside, you have but to re-read this thread.
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Why as some people liked the shots referenced in OP and some didn't? Besides you seemed the most damning, so maybe if you don't comment then there won't be an issue!    You are happy to slag off other women, but you do not want others slagging off ones you photographed, is that what you are saying? Do I smell the bitter stench of hypocrisy or is there another reason?

As John points out, you come across as elitist, yet are very unwilling to show that you were/are in fact 'worthy' of being elistist, by your talent. Denigrating others take little to no talent and anyone can do it.
Lots of photographers took pictures when you did. Are they all too scared to show the photographs from then, in case they upset an ex-model's kids? I doubt it somehow. Besides if the models didn't want to be embarassed, then they shouldn't have done the work in the first place or are you now admitting to exploiting youthful naivity?  
Title: Figure Work
Post by: DarkPenguin on May 28, 2008, 10:56:01 am
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Why as some people liked the shots referenced in OP and some didn't? Besides you seemed the most damning, so maybe if you don't comment then there won't be an issue!    You are happy to slag off other women, but you do not want others slagging off ones you photographed, is that what you are saying? Do I smell the bitter stench of hypocrisy or is there another reason?

That's funny.  I'd say Rob not posting such pictures is pretty well aligned with his stated position.
Title: Figure Work
Post by: jjj on May 28, 2008, 11:13:47 am
But his reasons were nonsense/hypocritical.
Title: Figure Work
Post by: Rob C on May 28, 2008, 01:54:31 pm
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But his reasons were nonsense/hypocritical.
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In the way you choose to re-represent them, Iīd probably agree, but thatīs just you finessing intent, mine, to suit your own purposes.

Suffice to say that I disagree with your liberal interpretation of copyright/model releases and would ever remain on the side of caution in such matters. And taking another point you made, if not for commercial gain, why would I publish on the web or anywhere else, for that matter? I did explain that I am not looking at getting my work seen from the same perspective as does an amateur, something John grasped right away in a previous post. Why do you persist in missing that? I certainly do have material for which I have the correct releases - I did do stock shoots too, remember - but why expose such material to you, and here, for free?

No, I see nothing wrong with saving somebodyīs blushes today for whatever they might have done yesterday. As I wrote here earlier, I have never touched porn and I despise it; however, that doesnīt mean that a topless shot from those days will not upset somebody in school if their mates see it online. (A heavy example of that, in some ways, is the manner in which those two princes must have suffered for their motherīs stupidity.) Oddly, I am not alone in this context: I have an Australian friend who was long an official Australian Playboy photographer who has literally thousands of transparencies from those days still in his possession. He will release none of it. (I used to wonder why, but of late I sort of respect him the more for it.) Sadly, I do not have all that many images left anymore, what with moving away from Britain lo those years ago, getting more damaged in various libraries and so forth, but even so, I have tried to get some more releases  for a lot of that old work since my interest in digital printing started, but the model agencies simply canīt help: girls from twenty-odd years ago are hardly on their books anymore and there is not usually much feedback once the commerce is over. Thatīs why I tried to indicate to you that there is a difference between putting prints up for sale in galleries and publishing on the web - you have a better chance of a simple and easy life away from the computer. I also tried to indicate that a gallery ambience is one thing but a web presence is quite another. And not an improvement, in my opinion, and not a million miles removed from flogging prints in a flea market.

Paparazzi photos are something quite else: sometimes those people do get sued or worse; at others they can claim to have photographed in the public domain whilst on yet other occassions they are simply reacting to information fed them by the PR people behind the very idiots they pursue. I wouldnīt take any of that sort of work too seriously, but your mileage may vary somewhat.

On the topic of political correctness, I never did claim it a reason not to put stuff of mine on  the web; I used it to indicate why so much of the pin-up work that flourished from the sixties to the early eighties has gone with the dodo. Companies doing girl calendars got frightened; some continued after a longish break, as with Pirelli (but they seem to have lost the plot IMHO); I have no idea if Unipart, Mintex, Marlboro, Heineken, Pentax or any of those other top calendar producers still do what they did - I can never find on the web anything to indicate they even had as great a past as they did. Times and people do change, not to mention what they consider a good press! But oh, didnīt somebody here still subscribe to the belief that there is no such thing as bad publicity?

You asked another, somewhat disingenuous question: do they sell cameras in Spain? Yes, and they also have model agencies too. But to employ a model you need a client or a damn good belief that your work has a market. I do not believe that there is a market today that pays for stock photography at the level required to employ models of any value and to employ lesser ones is an exercise in self-defeat, as where we came in with the original point to this thread. If you want to photograph girls without much clothing because it just turns you on and it doesnīt matter how they look, go ahead and buy or con your way into their pants; if you are seriously concerned with the market and your bank balance, then think with your brain, for a change; how else should a pro ever do it?

Thatīs how I see it, and thatīs also where I intend to leave it as there is obviously nothing I can ever write that will change the way you want to believe.

Rob C
Title: Figure Work
Post by: Mike Guilbault on May 29, 2008, 11:24:40 pm
There are two types of photographers.. those in it for whatever they can make out of it... and those that simply enjoy photography.  Which are you? Either can be pro or amateur.  It's times like this that I long for amateur status, but alas, I am a pro and therefore have to earn a living at my chosen profession.

Is what I do art?  Not most of the time.. but sometimes, once in a blue moon I suppose, I actually 'create' a photograph that I'm proud of.  I don't care what other people think about it.  It doesn't matter what they think - I LIKE IT!  Is it art? I think so. Would others call it art.. I don't care.

I've photographed nudes.. not models, although one was a fitness instructor... but mostly "ordinary" women.  I did not photograph them because I wanted to gawk at their nudity.... I was commissioned by them to create a portrait.  I've seen enough naked women to realize they all have the same parts, some in more abundance than others.. but yet the same.  I don't need to photograph a naked women to 'turn me on'.  I photographed them for their own personal use.. not commercial use in any way.

I think this may be part of the problem with this discussion.  There are so many ways to photograph a person and every photographer has their own ideas of how a person should be photographed.  If it's for commercial use, which I assume is the market Rob is relating to, then by all means, choose a beautiful, shapely model.  If it's a commissioned work for the subject... you have no choice.  As a professional, you have to find WHAT IS beautiful about that person and try to capture it.  

If you create a nude portrait of an ordinary person and they like it... you've succeeded. Is it art?  That is up to them to decide.  In my opinion, art is not created for monetary gain.  But, if it happens, then at least you can afford to create more.

Beauty is all around us... and sometimes in the most inconspicuous places.  We only have to see with our hearts to understand that.
Title: Figure Work
Post by: Sanders on May 30, 2008, 09:00:21 am
Greetings, all.

I was pointed to this thread and would have replied sooner
except my site registration was lost in The System.

Samuel Johnson, that ripe bastard, once said that he "would
rather be attacked than unnoticed. For the worst thing you
can do to an author is to be silent as to his works."  So I am
grateful to all of the people here who have taken the time
and trouble to engage in this discussion.

I won't try to answer five pages' worth of posts.  But there was
one in particular that moved me to speak up. John Camp wrote:

"My attitude toward the photos shifted somewhat when I learned
that a number of the models were professionals, a fact not mentioned
by the photographer in the original post. My attitude shifted because,
while (as the accountant says) the models are still women, they are
people who are paid to project what the photographer wants, not what
they are. I felt somewhat, mmm, tricked."

Two things about that.  First:  I have not spoken, in the T.O.P. post
or here, so it is unfair to complain that I did not "mention" that some
of my subjects call themselves models.  Second:  It is a fallacy to
suggest that once a woman calls herself a "model," she becomes
somehow less real, less an individual capable of genuine expression.  

For what it's worth, I never shoot agency models -- "real" models.
I do often find subjects from web sites where people hold themselves
out to be "models," but who are as accomplished in the profession of
"modeling" as most photographers on sites like this are in the
profession of "photography."  And I do pay each person who works
for me (US$60), regardless of how she arrives before my camera.  
Because it is work, and people deserve to be paid for their work.  It
is a matter of principle to me.  But I doubt that many of my subjects'
interest in participating in this series was driven by sixty US dollars.

John also wrote:

"In fact, I'm not sure there can be anything new/unusual/interesting
about nude photographs; most of them, I think, say more about the
photographer's psyche than about anything else."

I would go further and say that John's sentiments apply equally to all
photographs.  Ever since the days of Sidney and Spenser, artists have
fretted over the burden of the past.  And, ultimately, all photographs
do say more about the photographer than their subjects.

Thanks, all, for the discussion.

Sanders McNew
Title: Figure Work
Post by: jjj on May 30, 2008, 09:23:26 am
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In the way you choose to re-represent them, Iīd probably agree, but thatīs just you finessing intent, mine, to suit your own purposes.
No finessing, that's simply how you come across.

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Suffice to say that I disagree with your liberal interpretation of copyright/model releases and would ever remain on the side of caution in such matters. And taking another point you made, if not for commercial gain, why would I publish on the web or anywhere else, for that matter? I did explain that I am not looking at getting my work seen from the same perspective as does an amateur, something John grasped right away in a previous post. Why do you persist in missing that? I certainly do have material for which I have the correct releases - I did do stock shoots too, remember - but why expose such material to you, and here, for free?
After all your equivocating, it's now to simply show that you are actually a decent photographer and not just a talentless poltroon who likes to sneer at others. Alternatively, I'd simply like to see your work, just like I do with others on here, the reason, it helps put an image rather than a face to the posters on here. One of the best things about LL is that people [mostly] don't hide who they are and via their work we get to know a bit more about them than simply by reading posts.

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No, I see nothing wrong with saving somebodyīs blushes today for whatever they might have done yesterday. As I wrote here earlier, I have never touched porn and I despise it; however, that doesnīt mean that a topless shot from those days will not upset somebody in school if their mates see it online.
Others would consider what you did porn, just like you may consider more explicit stuff porn. I saw a Film Censor talking about how to rate a film once. There was no nudity in it, no sex of any kind as all it contained was shots of feet in shoes. It was obviously aimed at foot fetishists and the censor gave it an 18 certificate to aid sales, simply as it wouldn't be seen as porn otherwise. You shot women who posed naked for money for calendars, from what I can gather. Such calendars were meant to titilate and arouse and to my mind there is no distinction between them and porn. My view of what porn is - Porn is stuff that is honest enough to admit that it is sexually arousing. Nicely lit porn is erotica and if it's in B+W then obviously it's art!  

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Sadly, I do not have all that many images left anymore, what with moving away from Britain lo those years ago, getting more damaged in various libraries and so forth, but even so, I have tried to get some more releases  for a lot of that old work since my interest in digital printing started, but the model agencies simply canīt help: girls from twenty-odd years ago are hardly on their books anymore and there is not usually much feedback once the commerce is over. Thatīs why I tried to indicate to you that there is a difference between putting prints up for sale in galleries and publishing on the web - you have a better chance of a simple and easy life away from the computer. I also tried to indicate that a gallery ambience is one thing but a web presence is quite another. And not an improvement, in my opinion, and not a million miles removed from flogging prints in a flea market.
Not at all snobbish are we? A gallery can be seedier than the web as it's all to do with context and presentation.

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Paparazzi photos are something quite else: sometimes those people do get sued or worse; at others they can claim to have photographed in the public domain whilst on yet other occassions they are simply reacting to information fed them by the PR people behind the very idiots they pursue. I wouldnīt take any of that sort of work too seriously, but your mileage may vary somewhat.
I don't like pap work, but the point that you missed was that model releases are not necessary as if they were, unflattering pap work would disappear immediately.

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On the topic of political correctness, I never did claim it a reason not to put stuff of mine on  the web; I used it to indicate why so much of the pin-up work that flourished from the sixties to the early eighties has gone with the dodo.
Most of the lads mags around now, have even more pin up work than then, in case you hadn't noticed and have had for a long time.
Personally a topless women posing on a car bonnet against a plain background is about the most boring, unimaginative  photography I can think of. Tackier than porn as it pretends to be better, when it's exactly the same. It's making money from sexualisng people.
 



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You asked another, somewhat disingenuous question: do they sell cameras in Spain?
Not disengenuous, it was a rhetorical question.  
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Yes, and they also have model agencies too. But to employ a model you need a client or a damn good belief that your work has a market. I do not believe that there is a market today that pays for stock photography at the level required to employ models of any value and to employ lesser ones is an exercise in self-defeat, as where we came in with the original point to this thread. If you want to photograph girls without much clothing because it just turns you on and it doesnīt matter how they look, go ahead and buy or con your way into their pants; if you are seriously concerned with the market and your bank balance, then think with your brain, for a change; how else should a pro ever do it?
I've done male nudes as well as female, does that mean I'm bisexual now? Wahey! Twice the choice, though better not tell the girlfriend.  
Psst Rob, I'll let you into a secret, some, probably nearly all professional photographers like to take photographs, even if they are not being paid. It's not as if photography is like working in a slaughterhouse and probably why so many people do it by choice, as a hobby.

And back to the main point, you claim to have been a successful commercial professional photography for many years and yet you seem to find reason after reason as to why you have no photos at all of any kind to show anyone online.
That's very odd behaviour for a photographer.  Especially on here.
Title: Figure Work
Post by: jjj on May 30, 2008, 10:58:42 am
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Samuel Johnson, that ripe bastard, once said that he "would
rather be attacked than unnoticed. For the worst thing you
can do to an author is to be silent as to his works."  So I am
grateful to all of the people here who have taken the time
and trouble to engage in this discussion.
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Stimulation is far better a response than indifference and with any creative endeavour it will appeal to some and not others.
A very foolish and arrogant assumption is to believe one's own taste is somehow definitive and better than anyone else's.

I thought your work was great, other hated it, but then I may dislike what they love. Either way, it's not the end of the world, and it's a very good thing we have varied tastes, it makes for a less boring world.