What drives a Photographer of the nude ?

Discussion in 'Philosophy' started by bluphoto, Feb 9, 2007.

  1. I would like to take on some work in the realm of the fine art nude, but am
    asking myself why I want to do this.

    Is it to progress tchnically on my photographic skills? I don't think so as
    surely lighting the clothed and the nude are very similar in that respect.

    Is it to create more commercially saleable work (which I'm sure nudes would
    be)? I don't think so as I am an enthusiast with a day job (albeit an active
    club member) and have never sold an image in my life - and am not particularly
    worried about doing so in the future, although I would like to take up the work
    full time sometime in later life.

    Is it simply about surrounding myself with beautiful unclothed women? Who
    knows - I don't for sure. How do pro photographers feel about this part? Are
    there any personal feelings which you have to push aside during a pro nude
    shoot? Never having tried it I would imagine that there might be, although
    obviously we would remain professional to the end, but I wonder what thoughts
    are in the back of a photographers mind during shoots.

    For me all of the above might apply to some degree or other, but I wonder which
    of these - or others - drives the pro photographer, and what drove them to
    undertake their first nude shoot when starting out. What were the photographers
    thoughts AFTER their first nude shoot - was it releif, terror, fulfilment,
    commercial acheivement, etc? Did this change with subsequent shoots.

    What were friends and families opinions of photographers starting out in the
    field of fine art nude - were any concerns overcome after a while?

    many thanks for your thoughts.
    Guy
     
  2. "lighting" 101: start with an egg. if you can photograph that to satisfaction.....ok.....you can go on to nudes.
    a clothe body is very much simpler, in a real art world, then a nude or an egg. a photographer in this case is like a doctor. if your concentrating on creating the best picture you feel then it should not affect you or the model. you two are both professionals. now, rephrase the question and ask it to doctors and you'll get the same answer. the doc may say that i am here to give care to the client. if you are getting emotionally involved with the subject matter, then perhaps you could do better photography if you did not.
    like an egg, the body (animals are nude too) has infinite number of subtle forms only the photographers mind can interpret for the world to enjoy.......after the photograph is completed.
    now ask yourself.....is the model a subject or an object? if IT is a subject to photograph than you gotta be objective. if object than you gotta be subjective.
    just look at nearly any TV drama and script is always written to show the Pro the manner of subjectivity to his job or else he off the job.
    finally, if you used your lover as a model and years later you looked at it after you broke up, will you say to yourself: 'gee i miss him/her' or will you say to yourself 'gee i took a great picture'.

    of course this is ALL me. suggestion: take a course in a fine art school.

    of course if commercial saleability is what drives you then just go straight to porn and don't look back.
     
  3. For me it would be to surround myself with beautiful, nekked women. And since I'm married, that's why I don't shoot nudes, lol.

    All kidding aside, I would say that the driver for most is simply a love of the human form, male or female. And I don't mean in a lustful way, just as an appreciation of the beauty of human life and the shape it has taken.

    Though I think most (though certainly NOT all) agree that a nude male form is not as lovely as a nude female form, which is why you see so many more photos of females.
     
  4. Thanks for the tips, but when I look at fine art nude work, porn is the last thing on my mind - and I'm sure the difference has been discussed to death in other posts etc so I won't even go there. That said, I agree that Hustler probably sells far more copies than err... okay I can't think of a fine art nude periodical but I'm sure you get my drift. So it can't all be about commercial saleability.

    I like the idea of photographing the egg and can see how it would relate to the subject matter - I'll give that a go for sure, eggs don't tend to charge ?40ph plus release so that's an added bonus! I guess you can tell that I've had no formal photo training.

    Guy
     
  5. periodicals: British Journal of Photography from the 1930s are packed with nudes and printed well and is art.
     
  6. For myself (who has worked primarily with the nude for the past 18 years), I work with the nude as a subject because of its challenges, and its universality.

    By universality, I mean that the body is something people can relate to. Whether people are comfortable with it or not, the nude is a body, and everyone has one of those. When I photograph flowers, or architecture, or whatever, there is always going to be a segment of the viewing public who don't connect - they don't get it, as they have no relationship with the subject. But the body, there is always a connection, however comfortable, or uncomfortable that is for the viewer.

    Then there is the challenge. Every model is different, and brings something new to a session. Even modesl with whom I have worked with for 8 years or more, each session is a new discovery, filled with unrealized potential. This I am sure exists with other subjects (flowers, landscapes, bugs), but then you get back to the relationship between the subject/photographer and the viewer, and the question of the connection between the two parts, and it all makes things work.

    A chaotic rambling of sorts, but sill, my ideas in a nutshell!
     
  7. I would look more towards your spiritual side for answers, rather than your intellectual/
    aesthetic side. What does an image of the nude suggest you to you as a tangible
    manifestation of spirit?

    We all have spiritual backgrounding, unless you are a sociopath there's always some sense
    of wondering how we connect with the universe. Skin is our most basic sheath, the thing
    thing that both seperates and connects us to the rest of the physical world.

    Needless to say, I think the nudes we relate to most strongly are those which somehow
    connect with one's individual consciousness of themselves and place in the grand order of
    things. So maybe that is another way of seeing who connects with you, sees the world and
    life the way you do -- and who doesn't. Even if that connection is only primal.

    Why not start slowly: a nude arm or foot or leg or neck, and see what you can do with that?

    and check out these two photographs (and the accompanying text) by Duane Michals:

    "The Most Beautiful Part of a Man's Body"

    http://www.pacemacgill.com/duanemichals.php?offset=3&keyword=Duane%20Michals

    and "The Most Beautiful Part of a Woman's Body"

    http://www.pacemacgill.com/duanemichals.php?offset=4&keyword=Duane%20Michals
     
  8. You'll have to forgive my jadedness.

    Oh goodie, another naked lady thread. :)

    Can we say "cliche?"

    When is a cliche, not a cliche? When it's a picture of a naked lady.

    Do what you will, but at least admit to yourself what you're doing, before you do it.
     
  9. I apologise if my post was considered a cliche at all. I guess this is just the subject which, for me at least, I am most hesitant with.

    Of course I understand if some people find talking about this subject mildly titillating but that isn't going to stop me from asking questions when I have a genuine concern.

    rgds,
    Guy
     
  10. "What drives a Photographer of the nude ?"

    Hormones.
     
  11. For myself (who has worked primarily with the nude for the past 18 years), I work with the nude as a subject because of its challenges, and its universality.
    Exactly my take, too. While the choice of the nude's build usually does change to accommodate certain fashion, the rest is universal and almost neutral; there is no clothing to date the image. What comes from it is stark evidence of the photographic qualities, which do change except in certain rigid schools of classic photography.
     
  12. I think some photographs of nudes are great because they are created with the "artistic
    distance" that's talked about above, in terms of approaching it like a doctor or treating the
    nude as you would an egg. I'd hate, though, to think that's all there is to it. There are
    many photographers who have dealt with their nudes from a very personal, subjective, and
    even sexually-charged perspective and gotten very evocative, creative, and "artistic"
    results. There are probably almost as many ways to approach photographing nudes as
    their are photographers.

    And, Gary, I think you are right that many would agree with your take on the beauty of the
    female vs. the male body, but I hope you will consider that that might be due to no
    objective facts about human bodies, but more to societal norms, taboos, male-dominated
    modes of judgment, and cultural biases.
     
  13. great discussion. it is that "universality" and bridge between subjective and objective imagery that the seasoned artist finally achieves, i believe, Style. sometimes sex has something to do with it and sometimes just lust, but always the expectation that there is something new (as said above), and that no two eggs are the same.

    nice thread
     
  14. hormones, smelly business... oh the sterotypes. you all assume that men are the only
    photographers who shoot fine art nudes. well, that's just not a fair assessment. and it's a
    bit juvenile. many women have succeeded in creating a name for themselves purely on
    their nude work... Imogen Cunningham, Anne Brigman, Joyce Tenneson, etc. I don't have
    the time to name all the women out there who photograph the nude, just to say that I'm
    one who photographs fine art nudes too.

    I don't photograph the nude to improve my technical side of photography, i don't even do
    it to have "nekkid" women around me all the time (i'm very hetro), and i don't do it to sell
    images or for a commercial aspect. i do it to COMMUNICATE. I do it to convey something
    that would be lost with clothing. As soon as clothes come into the photograph it screams
    fashion to me. It doesn't convey a timeless photograph that transcends through
    generations. I like to also make fine art nudes to counter act the pornography that is so
    rampant in this world. To feature women as powerful and confident and in control of their
    bodies.

    Sorry, for the intrusion into the locker room... I'll leave you guys to it now.

    *eye roll*
     
  15. With all due respect, Zoe, I understand what you find distasteful among the posts here and
    agree with some of your assessment, but if you'll read each post individually instead of
    lumping together all the men that have contributed, I think you'll find the lack of a locker
    room mentality is prevalent and some true questioning going on. One or two "smelly" apples
    does not a barrel make.
     
  16. To pick up where I got into trouble in another thread, contemporary French photo magazines still have lots of nude photography (and of occasionally both genders, I might add). When I was a kid, of course, the photo magazines shared with National Geographic the honor of being banned from the school library. The last time I saw nudes in a contemporary Anglo-Saxon chronicle, they generated angry letters from parents preserving the innocence of their children.
     
  17. i was really only speaking to those who suggested those things. didn't mean to sound like i
    was lumping every single man who responded here in with my post. i just don't like the
    juvenile giggling syndrome that sometimes permeates around here when the subject of
    nudes in photography pops up. nudes are completely a part of photography just like
    photographs of flowers or landscapes. accept it and move on.
     
  18. "they generated angry letters from parents preserving the innocence of their children."

    I never understood this kind of mentality. You can't walk into a museum of art and not see
    nudity. What do these parents tell their children when they look into a mirror and see
    themselves nude? Preserving innocence, that to me would be allowing the body to be
    viewed in a context where sex wasn't part of the equation to let children know that it's ok
    to look the way they do. It's natural for children to be interested, it is afterall HUMAN
    NATURE. The US is so hung up with nudity. It's really an unhealthy way to teach children to
    tell them they should never see nudity and that they should be ashamed for it when they
    do. But... violence is A-OK, honorable even. Don't you think that's weird?

    France isn't the only country that routinely has nudity as a part of publication. There's
    Mexico, Canada, Italy, Greece, Germany, and basically every other free country in the
    world, even tiny little Luxemburg.

    I urge people to bring their minds back up to at least to an eighteenth-century stage of
    development.
     
  19. "I never understood this kind of mentality."

    What difference does it matter what anybody thinks? Why is it such a bad thing that parents wish their children to have their more's. Why is offense at nudity considered to be such a sin? If some dude wants his kids shielded from nudity, then let him. Tain't no thang unless one has a hidden agendo. It seems others are all about parading about naked and taking naked lady pics. So what's wrong with folks being offended by this sort of behavior; why the offense when they meet up with equal and opposite? After all, it's the differences that make the world go around, isn't it? :) I notice "free thinkers" have only room for themselves in their understanding. :)

    You see your values as valid, why can't the opposing view receive similar respect of validity?

    I notice slippery slopes only apply to those who wish to ride them. :)
     
  20. I remember when the book "Show Me" came out and was praised in the photography press and discussed at the Wilson Hicks Photojournalism Conference at the University of Miami. It was a beautiful book with beautiful photographs. Here, read all about it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Show_Me!
     
  21. "Why is offense at nudity considered to be such a sin?"

    Should one shun God's creation? If you would like to talk about sin I can go there too.
    Would these parents sheild their children's eyes from looking at the Sistine Chapel inside
    the Vatican itself? Ever been there? You can't look anywhere without seeing nudity.

    Nudity isn't the problem, the context of the nudity is. And what the poster I replied to
    described inside National Geographic magazines is nothing to sheild from the eyes of a
    child. That's just FREAKY! It says more about the parent's misgivings than it does about
    National Geographic.
     
  22. and one more thing,

    "If some dude wants his kids shielded from nudity, then let him. Tain't no thang unless
    one has a hidden agendo."

    Because someone wishes to shield thier childs eyes from National Geographic magazines
    inside a LIBRARY, then they should tell their children that they aren't allowed to view those
    magazines. But, because these QUAKERS complained about nudity inside the magazines
    which were a documentation of tribal life (EDUCATIONAL), other children were prevented
    from LEARNING about tribal life in Africa or South America... where ever the locale was
    that was documented inside National Geographic.

    And if parents want their children to learn about healthy nudity concerning nudity in the
    ARTS in a classroom situation then those kids ought to be able to learn and study this
    without fear from some closed minded individual. Imagine a class about ART that couldn't
    show the Statue of David. Travesdy.
     
  23. The part of the question nobody answered: "Is it simply about surrounding myself with beautiful unclothed women? Who knows - I don't for sure. How do pro photographers feel about this part? Are there any personal feelings which you have to push aside during a pro nude shoot? Never having tried it I would imagine that there might be, although obviously we would remain professional to the end, but I wonder what thoughts are in the back of a photographers mind during shoots."

    Having shot nudes a load of times let me take a shot at this. Shooting nudes is really quite hard. Concern for the picture and sensitivity to my model(s) makes me work very hard indeed. As there has been so much nude work around I find myself working doubly hard to not to be the guy who shoots one more grimacing girl smoking a cigarette in an abandoned building with blood on her. (Apologies if I just offended someone.)

    I usually appreciate the beauty of my models or I would not choose them. Sometimes they are hot as hell and for me to maintain that I look at them in totally scientific way would be a lie. Sometimes it is this sexual tension that leads me to the better picture. Sometimes it deters me from my goal. I have never come-on to a model and won't. To me it is just as unprofessional as if a doctor did it. I have had models come-on to me and I remained polite and professional. I have dated a couple of my models in the past but then I am not married and neither were they. I did not hire them because I was looking for a date. A photographer, like any person working with the public, meets plenty of people. We just have a license to stare for a bit. Peter Hegre, Richard Avedon, Stieglitz all married women who modeled nude for them. So much for clinical disinterest in the model.

    You ask - "What were friends and families opinions of photographers starting out in the field of fine art nude - were any concerns overcome after a while?"

    Some of my friends disapprove of my nude work. Some are offended by nudity period. I consider this attitude narrow-minded and illogical but they are entitled to it. If you have a wife, she should probably be involved in the process until you are absolutely sure she is comfortable with it. As to my friends...Most of the men are envious and the women intrigued, if the questions they ask are any indication of their true feelings about this work. I do not try and explain to the men that this is hard work and I find most people think photography is easy anyway. I am certainly not going to feed them some line like I heard one photographer say. When asked about the nudity he said "All I see is the light. I don't even see the model as nude." I won?t call him a liar but if this is true he could use some sensitivity training. I think someone should have hit him with a wet sock.

    I very much appreciate what Zoe said about clothing. All clothing is a uniform. It speaks of a place in time, status, attitude, you name it. It acts as a modifier of facial expression, pose, set and light. There is an aspect of the nude that is, as she suggests, timeless.

    ....." and what drove them to undertake their first nude shoot when starting out."

    Just do it. Three times. Then ask yourself why (if) you want to continue. It will be a far better question.
     
  24. Well for sure this has generated a lot more response than I had expected. Many thanks to you all for your help.

    I especially appreciate Zoe's opinions from a female photographers point of view. I do realise that of all the differences between figure photographers around the world the last thing that makes any difference to their photo's is their sex. Interestingly, though, I'd like to ask if she finds it easier to photograph female models being of the same sex. Does she believe that her models are more accepting and less sceptical of the photgrapher having a "hidden agenda" which I would believe some models may suffer from - in one or two cases quite justifiably I would think.

    Personally, I also feel that clothes just make a shot look more complicated than it needs to be. One of my favourite images is the male and female torso shot by Andreas Bitesnich for his "nudes" publication. I love his "glossy" style and even being a hetero guy I feel his male nudes are exceptional.

    When I look at a nude - male or female - I find myself looking through the picture and trying to work out what the subject is thinking and feeling - or at least what the photographer is trying to pretend that they're thinking or feeling! I feel that it's aleays far easier to "connect" in this way with a nude (of whichever sex) and that clothes make this practically impossible, distracting the eye from the interface between the viewer and the subject.

    This is the challenge that I think I want to take on - building an image that the viewer can "connect" to. I think that this is what some of the replies above were suggesting, and as these suggestions confirm what has been going on in my head already I think I'm making the move for the right reasons.

    I'm just a guy who worries too much about what other people think and don't want to be looked upon as a guy with questionable morals who likes taking "girly" pics. I'm sure that once I've been doing it for a while I'll get better at it and as you guys say, develop my own "style" by which time I'm sure those around me will accept that I am indeed doing this for the right reasons - until then I'll probably shoot a load of trash if I even get one good image from a whole shoot. I just hope that during my "trash" period, I don't develop the reputation for being a trash photographer who just does it to get girls out of their clothes - I have a young family so that would be the last thing on my mind. I wonder if it wold make sense to start out by shooting only male nudes for a year or so to "ease" myself into the genre.

    I guess that no matter what the pictures turn out like, as long as I'm professional, respectful, sensitive - perhaps a little humorous and have some of my other portrait, clothed and male nude figure work to show the models, I should come out the other end "smelling" okay.

    Thanks again guys (and girls)

    Guy
     
  25. "I especially appreciate Zoe's opinions from a female photographers point of view. I do
    realise that of all the differences between figure photographers around the world the last
    thing that makes any difference to their photo's is their sex. Interestingly, though, I'd like
    to ask if she finds it easier to photograph female models being of the same sex. Does she
    believe that her models are more accepting and less sceptical of the photgrapher having a
    "hidden agenda" which I would believe some models may suffer from - in one or two cases
    quite justifiably I would think"

    Thanks. Although sometimes the photographer's sex does play a big role on how the
    photo looks. I think women photograph women differently than men photograph women...
    and men photograph men differently than women photograph men... not all the time, but
    most.

    I have worked with only one woman photographer in my life as a model. It was definitely
    more relaxed for me. Although I can only speak for myself. Models do end up staying in
    my guest room all the time though when they visit LA. So, I guess they are a little more
    comfortable with me. It's a good question. One to ask my models I guess.

    I do find it easier to photograph women than men. Mainly because it's damn hard to find a
    male model! Men are way too shy about their bodies. I can get a female model every day of
    the week if I had that much energy... but a male model, almost non-existant. I have
    worked with ONE male model and I thought I was going to be completely nervous, and I
    was at first, but once I started working it was just like photographing any of the female
    models I've worked with. It might be a good idea for you to start by photographing men
    first. It might be a bit more comfortable. But, that's up to you to judge how comfortable
    you are. Good question. I also photograph women more because I know all about female
    bodies, right? Seeing how I'm a woman.

    I liked what Lee said about a "doctor / patient" relationship. Good analogy! And one that
    certainly builds trust. Trust is the most important trait you can have when diving into this
    genre. And that includes being able to tell a model when a pose isn't looking right so that
    she doesn't see bad photographs of herself... like side rolls and butt dimples and stuff like
    that, just choose your words wisely! lol. But, most of all, just so that the model doesn't
    think you're a slimeball or something. ;-)
     
  26. "Should one shun God's creation?"

    That's not what I asked. I'm asking, why should anybody care if someone is offended by nudity, irrespective of the rational of their thought. Where's the sin in finding nudity offensive. The Sistine Chapel and it's adornments are a creation of mankind, not a creation of God.

    The truth of the matter, this is the pushing of a one way agenda. And anybody who thinks differently will be condemned for their thought by those who push this behavior. Very "unliberalized" thinking, wouldn't you say?

    "Nudity isn't the problem, the context of the nudity is."

    (snip)

    "That's just FREAKY!"

    I think people who "push" nudity are equally FREAKY. But I don't condemn anybody for their "need" to involve themselves in this behavior. I'm a dude, I got no problem with naked lady pics. But I do see an obsession with naked lady pics which should cause everyone pause.

    Do you respect the above thoughts as valid, invalid, or do you see these thoughts as thoughts which should be condemned and banished from the face of civilized society because somehow you find these thoughts threatening, FREAKY or otherwise? Are you a truly an open minded thinker or just another one way, do it my way or the highway kinda thinker?

    "Would these parents sheild their children's eyes from looking at the Sistine Chapel inside the Vatican itself? Ever been there? You can't look anywhere without seeing nudity."

    Sorry, I don't have the time, money or desire to visit shrines of hypocrisy, such as is the Sistine Chapel. There's nothing in Vatican City which represents the teachings of Christ so why would I be compelled to go there?

    If someone is hung up on taking their clothes off in public, that's their cross to bear, not mine. And if someone wants to keep their clothes on, same thing, that's their cross, not mine. But what I'm asking for everybody to explore; why this "need" to condemn those who aren't into nudity? Where's the sin?
     
  27. I find a couple of things interesting. I'm a gay guy and recently posted a question about
    male nude photography, getting very little response. What responses I did get
    overwhelmingly kept suggesting that females were more "beautiful" forms so that's why
    they were represented more in photographs and that women were "less visual" so were
    less inclined to want to see male nudes. Both of those reasons, I think, have little objective
    truth to them and are laden with cultural biases and misunderstandings. Judging by the
    types of photos found daily in the nudes section of PN, there most definitely IS a sexual
    component to many (certainly not all) nudes no matter how "high-brow" the
    photographers pretend to be about their treatment of the subject (of course I realize these
    are not professional shots). My experience, in shooting both straight and gay men, is that
    they have similar preconceived notions of how the male body is supposed to be held and
    displayed and I have a hard time dispelling them of that notion, but when I do the results
    are overall better. Many assume that they will and want to pose in classical athletic or
    greek poses and also seem more accustomed to active poses. Since I am always looking
    for something new, I try to work against type and all the men seem to respond to that. I
    find the men I work with to be very comfortable with me and with their bodies. That MAY
    say, I'm really not sure (in regards to what Zoe says above about men being shy about
    their bodies), that men are less shy about their bodies with other men, even gay men, than
    they are with women. I'd be a little surprised about that, because I would think there would
    be as much discomfort (if there is discomfort) on the part of straight men with either
    women or gay men equally. But maybe not. In any case, and this may again be the
    difference between a professional and an amateur shoot, and I'm not sure if we're talking
    about commercial vs. art photography, but the doctor/patient relationship that's been
    mentioned here seems way too sterile to me. While I remain respectful of all my models, in
    my mind and heart and emotions and instincts, the last thing I want to do is be so
    distanced from my subject. My appreciation of the male figure in so many ways goes into
    my shoots. That appreciation, however, does not necessarily affect my behavior, which
    does remain distanced.
     
  28. "But, because these QUAKERS complained about nudity inside the magazines which were a documentation of tribal life (EDUCATIONAL), other children were prevented from LEARNING about tribal life in Africa or South America... where ever the locale was that was documented inside National Geographic."

    Let the Quakers determine their societal morals and you determine yours. Different strokes. Do you think for a minute, the folks who the pics were made of, care what you or I think about what the Quakers think?

    "And if parents want their children to learn about healthy nudity..."

    And who says it's "healthy" nudity as that's a value judgment on your part.

    "...concerning nudity in the ARTS in a classroom situation then those kids ought to be able to learn and study this without fear from some closed minded individual."

    And why the need to condemn those who don't see things as you do? What about the kids who don't feel comfortable with nudity? Who's going care about their feelings? What about those who don't see it as healthy and don't want this art taught? Why aren't their values considered with the same respect you give your own?

    "Imagine a class about ART that couldn't show the Statue of David. Travesdy."

    In truth, if the statue of David fell off the face of the earth (not condemning the stature in any way shape or form), other than being a pretty good sculpture (hands are a bit misproportioned, supposedly belying the youthfulness of the subject) the art world would not be any different then it is today. Sometimes icons are icons because they make for good press. So yes, it's easy to imagine an art class sans David and any pseudo travesty would be trumped up in nature, at best.

    I find that it's easy for Progressives to condemn those who don't think like they do. Funny how one way this slippery slope really is.

    Think about it, if just for a bit more, before you decide to condemn this countering thought some more.
     
  29. About three years ago I got a call from a younger photographer friend who wanted me to come to his studio and help him with the lighting on a shoot. He'd grown up in the era of umbrellas and soft boxes but said the had a client, an entertainer, who wanted some photos lit in the dramatic style of 1940's movie star photos. A few days later I showed up at his studio a few hours before the shoot with gaffer tape, some black mat board to use for barn doors, and a couple of coffee cans with both ends removed that I'd spray painted black on the inside to use as snoots. He's already taken the soft boxes of his strobe heads. I brought a couple of my monolights and light stands just in case. As I was setting up and getting ready for the arrival of the client he told me that she might want some nude shots also.

    Right on time a gorgeous sexy looking young black woman showed up wearing high heels and a short mini-dress, low cut in front so she nearly spilled out of it. Introductions were made as she checked her shoulder length hair and make-up. We shot a couple of rolls of 120, and another roll or two after she changed into another sexy outfit. Then she asked me if I'd feel comfortable shooting a few nudes. As she disrobed my friend whispered in my ear "Don't act shocked when you see that she's probably hung better than you are".

    Sure enough this beautiful female body also had a full set of male genatalia! We shot another few rolls, also with the same dramatic lighting style.

    A couple of weeks later I was at the mall. I'd run into some friends and we were standing around chatting when I heard the distinctive clicking sound of a woman trying to run in high heels on the ceramic tile floor. There was the same sexy looking woman, and se said "Oh Al, I'm so glad to run into you!" she said. "I wanted to tell you how much I love the photos. They're exactly what I wanted!" Then she threw her arms around me and gave me a big kiss full on the lips. "I'd love to stay and chat but I'm running late" she said as she dissapeared into the just before Christmas crowd. My friends were impressed! I didn't tell them that I'd just been kissed by a man.

    I thought I'd throw that story into the thread to show that male nudes and female nudes aren't the only choices...LOL...and no, I didn't feel any sexual tension during the shoot.
     
  30. I can't help myself, although it's a minor point, but "Quaker" is a bad choice for characterizing what is really Puritan or Evangelical fervor over this issue of nudity. While not libertines, the Quakers were and are rarely obsessed with this topic.
    Of course the answer to what do these people do when they go to museums is fairly straight forward--until they "reclaim them for Christ," (their phrase) they won't go to them at all.

    It's funny, but have I have missed it, or is there no reference to Robert Mapplethorpe in this thread? Surely the biggest outcry against nudity in photography in recent years is in reaction to his pictures.
     
  31. I don't think the controversy over Mapplethorpe's work was regarding nudity. A self portrait with a bullwhip in his anus and his frank sado-masochistic photos go beyond what most people think of when we discuss nudity. If we were discussing pornography we might have mentioned him. He was a pretty good photographer but a better self promoter. The controversy surrounding his work more stemmed from public funding of what many saw as pornography.

    Mapplethorpe was a good photographer but so are hundreds who post here. Separate him from his controversial subject matter and public personna and he is a face in the crowd. And he knew this. Here are some quotes from this ledgend in his own mind:

    "Beauty and the devil are the same thing."

    "Children are sexual beings, but it's an area that makes most people feel uncomfortable."

    "My theory about creativity is that the more money one has, the more creative one can be."

    "Whether it's an orgy or a cocktail party, I know how to do it."

    Calculated, cunning or froshman philosophy major. Take your pick.

    Pretty flowers though.
     
  32. Thomas,

    You are of the thought that I'm "pushing" nudity. I'm not, I'm responding to a query from
    the OP. I haven't started ANY discussions on PN about fine art nude photography, I've just
    popped in when someone else does and answer questions. Usually late at night when I'm
    getting ready to go to bed. It's nice to get all the frustrations out before one hits the hay.
    Thanks for being my punching bag. *kidding*

    Secondly, I have a problem with people creating MORAL boundaries that are so strict and
    rigid that the rest of the world suffers for it. Fine, if someone doesn't want their kid seeing
    nudity, then don't let them see it. But if other parents don't mind or are of the opinion that
    there isn't anything wrong with it, then why when a teacher takes children to an art
    museum is she fired for it because the museum had art pieces which had nudity in them?
    Yes, this happened recently. This is the kind of mentality I have a problem with. The kind
    of mentality that I feel is absolutely FREAKY.

    And, you're the one who brought up the word SIN not I. So just relax. I'm actually agnostic
    so it really doesn't matter to me one way or the other. You just sounded like you were on a
    pulpit so I thought I'd humor you.

    And yes, I still think it's FREAKY! very FREAKY!
     
  33. Let's not be diverted from the subject which is The Nude, and not "nuditiy".


    TIA

    Don E
     
  34. I'm with you there, Zoe. Some people are wound up so tight about the silliest of things. I'm agnostic too, but no need to get into that discussion here. :)

    The point of the question is that the human form is obviously going to be the most aesthetic thing to our eyes, because every part of our brain is wired to seek healthy, attractive humans -- whether for survival or procreation.

    The perfect human form has resonated since the dawn of humankind, perhaps never so worshipped as in Greek and Roman times, made lovely and romantically real by Renaissance painters, and revisited in the Body Culture of the early twentieth century. A sunset is lovely, but the human form speaks to something deeper in us, on many levels: aesthetic, sexual, geometric, dark-light sensing, tactile, survival-of-the-pack, existentially....

    And we shouldn't feel bad about any of them in the least.
     
  35. For benefit of the forum, I'll touch only on this one point, for purpose of clarification.

    "And, you're the one who brought up the word SIN not I."

    Please reread my comment as you're taking my usage of the word out of context. I used sin (small letters) in the context of "problem." "Where's the problem." "Where's the sin."

    "But what I'm asking for everybody to explore; why this "need" to condemn those who aren't into nudity? Where's the sin?"

    I find most are only willing to see things their way as they demand I agree to see things their way and condemn me should I see things through any other prism than the one they provide.

    Hope the above clarifies any misunderstanding on the above point in regard to how I used the word "sin."
     
  36. I think there is an unresolvable divide between those who find the subject of a fine art nude to be nakedness or "nudity", and those who find it to be something else.


    --

    Don E
     
  37. ..."Is it to create more commercially saleable work (which I'm sure nudes would be)?"
    If you're considering fine art nudes as a money making venture... guess again. Especially if porn is not an option for you. You can make a ton of money producing porn, but fine art nudes is what professionals do for free, after the client has what they need and there's a beautiful model hanging around the studio. It adds some wow to the on-line portfolio, but rarely generates any considerable income (until your old and retired and can pull out those vintage shots of the famous models from back at the turn of the century).
    Rethink your business model... t
     
  38. Tom, is 2007 too late to be considered a turn of the century? I'll print up a mess of lightly selenium toned double weight fiber prints and my great grandchildren will be rich!
     
  39. "If you're considering fine art nudes as a money making venture... guess again". Tom

    A churn through Google images indicates that the term "Fine Art Nude" nowadays applies to rejects from Playboy-type magazines.

    A simple "Don't stare into the camera, Hon.", would help.

    --

    Don E
     
  40. thomas,
    i just did a drive by of your album. you have some really interesting work. i liked it a lot.
    i didn't see many people though, so maybe you're just one of those photographers who
    doesn't enjoy photographing people so much. so i can understand why venturing into fine
    art nudes might be a huge leap for you. not a big deal. just psychology. you don't have to
    get it. in fact, why not just ignore those who talk about fine art nudes and stick with
    people who talk about buildings, flowers and landscapes? might cut the arguing down a
    tad.

    Al, I loved your story!
    zoe
     
  41. oh and i hope that Thomas Andrew Hall doesn't think that last one was directed to him... it
    was for Thomas Gardner. ;)
     
  42. Heh, for a second, I did.
     
  43. Zoe

    Thanks for your kind words. (Warning, overly wordy response ahead)

    "...you don't have to get it."

    I "get it" more than most here are willing to accept. I see things in a bit of a different perspective as to nudes, art, photography, morals and cliche as I'd like to see a bit of acceptance on the part of the art community, those who are comfortable with nudes, to be more accepting of those in the art community, who aren't. There seems to be little acceptance of conservative or traditional thought in the art world and it's been this way, that I'm personally aware of, since the 70's and of course this lack of acceptance goes back further in art history, to the beginning I'm sure.

    I see nudity in art as a person's artistic right to promote their agenda's (political or otherwise) but on an equal, 2-way street basis. Myself, I could give a rat's patootie about nudes in art as much of what has been discussed, as to it's genesis, I agree but what I don't agree with are two points. One, the lack of acceptance of those who are not willing to find a place for nudity in art. Why can't artists be offended by what they see in the art world and challenge the status quo. Why shouldn't artists be challenged in their thinking just as they feel compelled to shove their finger in the eye of society's status quo. A bit of turn around is fair play after all. It seems vogue to condemn non-progressive thinkers but the act of giving equal and opposite philosophically seems to be an act of artistic heresy. Hmmmmmm! One must honestly confront their own artistic bigotry on both fronts.

    If a community doesn't wish for nudity in "their" museum galleries, bless them and move on to a more accepting community; one shouldn't feign shock when it's patently clear the offense was artistically intentional. Not everybody wants a museum or school next to their house and not everybody wants to look at body parts when cruising an art museum. Let them have their game, tain't no thang, as there's plenty of venues who are accepting of nudity in art. Second, the holding out of nude photography to be something that it's not, fresh and alive when it's, to me, old and stale because there's only so many ways you can photograph a mountain stream and there's only so many ways to light and photograph the human body, cliche. And yes, it does take "real" work to keep it "all" fresh and alive on any facet of the artistic diamond.

    "...why not just ignore those who talk about fine art nudes and stick with people who talk about buildings, flowers and landscapes?"

    Maybe it's jadedness on my part, maybe it's my old school value system at work as I haven't seen it all but I have seen too much. Most of these threads in regard to nudity I stay out of for the reason you mention in your above; a valid point. Usually where I'll step in is either to help the OP with their inner personal conflict, in a neutral way (I see a conflict that only you can resolve) or challenging, in a same said similarly neutral manner, those who like to "bash" (a popular term of the day) those who think differently then they; why the need to condemn? I find many here to be more closed minded in their thinking then they realize and sometimes a descenting voice of reason (and yes I do consider myself to be a countering voice of thoughtful reasoning) is a good thing so as to help keep things on a philosophically even keel.

    Repeating my above:

    "But what I'm asking for everybody to explore; why this "need" to condemn those who aren't into nudity? Where's the sin?"

    "I find most are only willing to see things their way as they demand I agree to see things their way and condemn me should I see things through any other prism than the one they provide."

    When I speak to folks who are uncomfortable with nudity in art, I don't just lay down and become their ottoman, I ask similar questions, such as where's the harm. Where's the injury? (Issues of pornography and sex slavery aside.) And yes they'll light off ballistically because they don't have a rational answer and they too will ask me to either sit down and shut up, or leave. :) And if you should wonder why no people in my pics....? :)

    The art world needs to be a bit more sensitive towards others, who's money are being stolen, via taxation, to unwillingly "support" public museums. After all, aren't artists the "enlightened" ones; the seeing leading the blind?" If it's a completely private institution, the artists and curators can set, one hundred percent, their own standards but when support monies come from the general welfare, then the values of the general community equally and reasonably have to be considered, without prejudice of favor towards the artist, as it then becomes about community values first, artist's sensibilities second.

    Nobody is stopping anybody from creating or displaying art. So where's the foul? The community is just limiting venues according to community standards; XXX movies Vs GP, prostitution Vs dating, illicit drug use Vs prescription based drug sales.

    What's the big deal, unless there's an ulterior motive in which to "force" moral values (reeducation camp mentality/take the children from the parents while in school) on to an uncooperative general public? One really does need to question the motives of the supplier. I really do believe there's unexplored undercurrents which are not being fully explored in open conversations in regard to matters of this nature which should be discussed in an open, mature, philosophical nature which to me is what this forum is about.

    Thanks again for your kind words as I too am locked (like many here, I'm sure), in an ever present and overly conscious struggle between the two worlds of cliche and content and to whom do I give my dues.
     
  44. "You can make a ton of money producing porn"

    You can also lose your shirt and much worse, depending on who you are doing business
    with. I know because I saw it happen to a friend of mine whose studio I used to rent back
    when I lived in Houston.
     
  45. You can also lose your shirt and much worse, depending on who you are doing business with.
    Sounds like an interesting story lurking in there. Can you expand on it?
     
  46. "Where's the sin?"

    In the clueless irrationality. In the hubristic presumption that they are the expression of community standards. In an 'esthetic' that can't distinguish between a beaver shot in the pink and an art nude, but can between a Weston art nude and a Weston bell pepper, because, you know, one has naked body parts in it.

    And in the notion that it is the emotionally hysterical who get to stay in their homes, while the rest should vote with their feet.


    --

    Don E
     
  47. "In the clueless irrationality."

    That was good Don, you made my point well. "Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead."

    LOL

    Rational; the uncommon sense. Who'd figure.

    This has been an (I won't say enlightening thread) illuminating thread.

    Thank-you.

    ---------------------------------

    "What were the photographers thoughts AFTER their first nude shoot - was it releif, terror, fulfilment, commercial acheivement, etc?"

    Guy, wishing you well as you sift through your concerns. Do what you feel comfortable with and at least take a moment or three to retrospect so as to better understand the underlying principals which have created the need/desire to create this genre of imagery.

    Only with this understanding will you be able to comfortably move forward, what ever tact (as opposed to tack) you choose.
     
  48. "...you made my point well" --Thomas

    Yes. It cuts both ways.

    --

    Don E
     
  49. Guy,

    I can't answer your questions as some others here can. I have not photographed nudes, but I have drawn and painted them, male and female. There was no tete a tete with the model. These were classes with 4 to 8 others plus an instructor, so there was an objective distance between myself and the model.

    You might as well assume some bad manners in gawking at a stranger's private parts. It passes. Time is money and there is work to do. You are going to become very familiar with the surfaces of that body, and acutely aware of the lighting, props, and pose. They will fill the time and your thoughts.

    Here's a suggestion. Find a drawing class and join up if (usually somewhere towards the end of the course) it includes life drawing.

    There are no doubt photography clubs for that, too (wasn't that why they came into existence?).

    This will give you the cover of an objective space between you and the models. You can analyze your reactions and decide whether you want to pursue nude photography.


    Good Luck,

    Don E
     
  50. "And in the notion that it is the emotionally hysterical who get to stay in their homes, while the rest should vote with their feet."

    "Yes. It cuts both ways."

    Yes, yes the childish conversation of; "Is too," "Is not" comes forth because I have the temerity to suggest respecting opposing views outside the status quo; art think; how open minded of you. :)

    I really do fall on my face in my continued misconception in regard to Progressives having a lock on open thought. One day I'll disappoint my eternal hope and realize that the bigotry...

    "1. stubborn and complete intolerance of any creed, belief, or opinion that differs from one's own."

    ... which abounds in the art world is not the exclusive domain of the ignorant.
     
  51. Remember: tolerance is a two way street.

    "1. a fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward those whose opinions, practices, race, religion, nationality, etc., differ from one's own; freedom from bigotry."
     
  52. ...is 2007 too late to be considered a turn of the century? That's the century I was alluding to... the previous "turn" is an illustration of my point. Plus, remember those photos of Madonna made 30 years ago (ish)? Worthless then... Gold (Platinum) now.
    Porn has a risk/reward ratio that is too high for me. I'll stick with the occasional nude that opportunity grants... t
     
  53. Some may find this an entertaining read, in regard to porn's profitability.

    http://news.aol.com/topnews/articles/_a/porn-maker-in-historic-building-draws/20070212095909990001?ncid=NWS00010000000001
     
  54. As a fairly new photographer, and one that is just starting to shoot nude/semi nude photo's, I thought this would be a good forum to check out... And it was, there is alot of info from alot of people with experience in photographing the nude here, so to you people, I say thank you for the info.

    To Thomas Gardner: After reading your comments, I decided to give your page the once over, and let me say, that you are an amazing photographer, with an interesting back story. (Yes, I took the time to read the Biography). I will not bash you for your choices of things to photograph, if you will not bash me on my choices...

    We are all entitled to our own opinions, and yours is obviously that art nude is over done and unnecessary.

    That is your choice, and doesn?t affect me at all, unless you start a petition to have all nude photo?s taken off of PN. (Which there are those out there that would try to have this done)

    I think the reason photographers like Zoe get upset when someone comes onto these boards and starts talking negatively about nude art, is that we are all very tired of the people who feel it is their ?god given right? to be the moral spokes person for society. Zoe lives in the USA (I think) and not unlike Canada, it is easier to just ban anything that may offend people, then to educate the public about it.

    Your points are valid, and are taken as your view point. I respect that, now please respect others points of view, and let us have our discussion about nude art, and getting started in it.

    Thank You.
     
  55. One of these days it would be nice to have a discussion here about fine art nude photography. One that doesn't instantly segue into discussions of porn and "nudity".

    --

    Don E
     
  56. "Your points are valid, and are taken as your view point. I respect that, now please respect others points of view, and let us have our discussion about nude art, and getting started in it."

    Darren, thanks for your thoughtful thoughts. You might want to reread my comments as I could care less about nudity in art, and I am being respectful of other's points of view but I do, and will continue to take umbrage when folks decide to come out of the trenches and "bash" those who don't feel comfortable with or decide to decry folks who have a differing moral take on art, nudity and what constitutes a cliche. Folks have a God given right, not a government given right, to control their community morals and if they don't want nudity in "their" museums, what's the big deal, unless one is "forcing" a minority agenda; tyranny of the few. These points need to be "openly" discussed when brought up in an online forum such as this forum. Otherwise you have preaching to the choir, everybody agreeing and no "real" intellectual conversation; growth.

    Most nude threads, as I stated earlier, I stay out of for the reasons you, Zoe and others have mentioned. How about folks here show folks of a different feather, the same respect; stay away from the condemnation (ad hominem) as you wish of others critiquing your philosophical position; a two way street, and I'll be happy to bugger off cause I'll have nothing of usefulness to add. :)

    Feel comfortable with what you photograph and this comfort will show through and work hard at making it fresh and original or you'll fall into the trap of the cliche.

    As a compromise, I'll promise to rein in my need to yell; "Warning!" "Cliche in the making!" Can't help myself on that one but I do promise to stop. :)
     
  57. And one that doesn't segue into discussions of community standards for the public display of images displaying "nudity".


    --

    Don E
     
  58. what drives me is the unmistakeable beauty of human skin, the texture light gives at different angle and intensities. One can take a picture of a naked person but not everyone has the eye for given life to a nude.
    the subject mater also has a way of encouraging the photographer to push the boundaries of what the basic elements of dark room photography can accomplish.
     
  59. Tristine, I'd go further and say that the art nude can be as much a tactile as a visual experience. It is not easy to achieve that in any sort of photography. Weston did it with bell peppers.

    Your mention of the darkroom reminds me to mention that b&w is the traditional medium for fine art nudes, not perhaps a limitation, but the tradition. It's much the same in painting, where in fact the common examples of the art nude genre are drawings, not paintings.

    --

    Don E
     
  60. Well. Well. These sensual beings. What are you going to do with them?

    How about this one.

    An unrealised subconscious efford to get rid of inborn sense of shame on the base of common sexual attraction?

    A scrounge?

    A ridiculous variation on basic screwing undercovered as bussiness behind a steamy window?

    A bacteial infection in certain parts?

    A bussiness? Some may simply be good at it.

    A human compassion from whatever side of camera?

    A transportation?

    A perverted or underdeveloped sexuality jammed into the frame of aesthetics?

    A combination of all these or whatever else?

    Well. Basically there is nothing wrong about it as long as one do not want to be free off, IMO it first get interesting then one actually trys to get out of it. Inside - every cubic inch of it is done.

    Why dont we ask Mr John Peri to tell us his opinion? Being the great master of the genre and a man fine articulation he must be able to enlightn us on this matter. Regards. Ilia.
     
  61. I'm sorry but I guess I may be a little behind in this discussion. I have photographed a lot of nudes but I never could develop the hubris to refer to any of my photos as "fine art". I prefer to leave that to others. I guess some of my earlier B/W photos might fit the cliche.

    So why photograph nudes? The reason I suggested that Guy do it three times or more was to allow him the self-discovery time. Not technique. The mind-time necessary to understand the emotions that swirl around one when he/she steps over the line most people never cross. Rather than answering questions like how do I light this subject nude photography - first- deals with more important questions, such as; how do I deal with intimacy. What are my views on respect. What is my intimate story and can I script it on film. What does this model want to say and can I help her/him say it. Who is my audience and how will they deal with my product. As with a portrait I want to collaborate with the model not just pose them. And I want to tell my story. It should be a good story.

    There have been a lot of great reasons for shooting nudes here. One I don't hear enough is to turn people on. I am not talking about hardcore porn. I am talking about what, for lack of a better term, we might call erotic photography. A photo that teams up with the viewer's imagination to create a pleasurable experience. Sometimes I want to use nude photography to present an image that I believe will titulate. Is this valid? I did a calendar shoot (nudes) for some clients awhile back and noticed something odd. In going through the shots they all gravitated toward the shots in which the model was relaxed and showing some emotion. They thought these shots were "sexier" than the highly contrived and carefully posed lighting exercizes.

    So Guy needs to shoot a bunch of nudes to learn about all of this stuff. And the answer to why to do it will lie in his understanding why he returns to some of the photos he took and enjoys looking at them.
     
  62. "I never could develop the hubris to refer to any of my photos as "fine art"." Lee


    See the Wikipedia entry on Fine Art.

    "The word "fine" does not so much denote the quality of the artwork in question, but the purity of the discipline."

    The fine art nude is a specific discipline. Not all photographs of naked people or of "nudity" are fine art nudes.

    --

    Don E
     
  63. "Not all photographs of naked people or of "nudity" are fine art nudes."

    Which begs the question of "What is art?"

    Porn qualifies as fine art as it's a skill set that has, over the millennia, been refined as a skill set. Now it's working on the acceptance factor, which will come, for obvious reasoning.

    Sans a definition, everything is art to nothing's exclusion. :)

    Postmodernism is a terrible thing to waste. :)
     
  64. Okay, suffice to say that I'm going to take Dons advice and try out a couple of sessions at least. I've never had to hire a model before for this (or any) studio shoot, so of course it's going to be a bit strange for me. You guys are right in that the challenge for me is not going to be technical (although that of course will come into it), but emotional.


    A few days ago I was very hesitant and thought that I'd be better out starting by photographing guys, but now I realise that intimacy and a prescribed amount of sexual tension is what makes a good photograph into a great one. It's this "prescription" that makes all the difference - do not exceed the staed dose!


    As it turns out, the very reason I was considering taking shots of guys for a start(ie to make me feel more comfortable) would be the exact thing which would work most against me! Who would have thought it!


    Although it was recommended to me that I take a few life drawing classes to give me experience in dealing with the intimacy of working with an unclothed model, I am now of the opinion that there is far more distance between the subject and artist when doing life drawing than there is when photographing. I think life drawing is more about recording anatomy, whereas fine art photography is far more about capturing the passion / serenity / sensuality / aggression / innocence etc of the scene. The wierd thing is that this would imply that the Photography is more "art" than the charcoal and chalk - completely the opposite of what I would have imagined!


    The other point is that there is often appears far more to a fine art image than the nude. Although very often the nude is the only subject of the scene (such as in the work of Andreas Bitesnich) I am seeing more and more "environmental" nudes, where the model may only occupy a tiny corner of the image, overshadowed by a huge tree, or waterfall, or wheatfield etc. Perhaps this isn't the same genre - can someone enlighten me? I would imagine that intimacy is far less of a concern during these environmental shoots. More of a concern would be keeping the situation private! I would guess that both model and photographer would undertake these more through a "work" ethos, where any sexual tension would be pretty minimal - if it existed at all.


    I guess that these environmental nudes would be exceptionally difficult to stay clear from the calendar glamour field, which is exactly the thing I most want to avoid.


    Would I be right in saying that for every fine art image which makes it into the pages of this gallery, there are a dozen (or more) others which didn't quite make the grade, but might be considered as glamour - or even stronger? You know the sort of thing, those shots which mistakenly show a little too much or are a little too provocative. What I'm trying to ask is this. While I'm striving to reach the fine art "grade" will I inevitably produce a lot of "trashy glamour" results along the way? Personally I can't stand the vast majority of glamour work and I'd like to avoid it if at all possible. Maybe it's just not possible.


    I remember seeing an image somewhere on PN of a girl apparently climbing into a washing machine. This shot left nothing to the imagination but was very artistically done and I can see how different views of this one image could be considered fine art, glamour, or stronger. I always thought that fine art should try to keep certain things under wraps, but this image couldn't be more revealing - although the model face was obscured with hear head being in the drum! I wish I could link it for you but I can't find it right now. That said, many fine art images consist almost of macro work on the models most private parts (male or female), yet they wouldn't look out of place hanging in a gallery.


    Don't worry, my first few sessions will definately not go down this road - I'd have to save up for a macro lens first - and a ring flash, if you'll pardon the pun;)


    I just want to thank all involved for giving me the confidence to try out this genre. I'll be sure to post some of the results in the gallery - if any of them "make the grade".


    best regards

    Guy
     
  65. "Not all photographs of naked people or of "nudity" are fine art nudes."

    Which begs the question of "What is art?" Thomas

    No it does not, dammit.

    --

    Don E
     
  66. "Not all photographs of naked people or of "nudity" are fine art nudes."

    Which begs the question of "What is art?" Thomas

    No it does not, dammit.

    ---------------------------------

    Sans a definition of "What's art?" one can't define the genre; "Fine art."

    It's the Catch-22 of the art world that we all have to live with.

    -----------------

    Yes it is.

    No it isn't.

    Yes it is.

    No it isn't.

    :)
     
  67. "The other point is that there is often appears far more to a fine art image than the nude." Guy

    Here's an example of a fine art nude photo. Although I haven't seen a print, it strikes me as a excellent example. It is also "environmental" (thanks, Zoe).

    http://zoewiseman.com/index2.htm

    "Would I be right in saying that for every fine art image which makes it into the pages of this gallery, there are a dozen (or more) others which didn't quite make the grade, but might be considered as glamour - or even stronger?"

    Yes. You can google image "fine are nude" and pull up many many Playboy rejects. Glamour, commercial or advertising photography have their own standards and styles. What makes a fine beauty photograph is not what makes a fine art nude photograph. I enjoy cheesecake. They aren't fine art nudes, either.

    Here are some fine art nudes by Edward Weston:


    http://www.artnet.com/artist/17760/edward-weston.html

    These are not fine art nudes:

    http://www.domai.com/unique/printsized/dariya.html

    --

    Don E
     
  68. Don, you're presenting what called "opinion."

    Dictionary.com: opinion

    1. a belief or judgment that rests on grounds insufficient to produce complete certainty.

    2. a personal view, attitude, or appraisal.

    It's like the porn definition; "I know it when I see it."

    Subjective at best.
     
  69. Thomas, it seems one of your goals on pnet is to hijack discussions of nude photography and turn them into something -- anything -- else.


    --

    Don E
     
  70. Mapplethorpe was wide raging in his use of the term. :)

    As one conjures up the name "Weston," one must also place art in the historical context of past Vs contemporary times.
     
  71. "it seems one of your goals on pnet is to hijack discussions of nude photography and turn them into something -- anything -- else."

    What I'm doing is expanding on the nature of the process, no hijacking going on.

    You're posting your thoughts and to me, they're incomplete, misguiding thoughts. So I'm expanding on them so as to cast light on your comments.

    You post examples of what is "Fine Art" as if it's the definitive nature of the genre yet the genre, in real terms can't be defined. You post samples representative of opinion as fact yet they're in truth only opinion. You post samples of a past era as if it's contemporary, losing context with historical present and how the steps showing how photographic art got where it is today as if nothing has happened in between contemporary times and by-gone eras changing the definition of Weston's efforts in the process.

    I feel at times as if time has stood still and the ghost of Stieglitz has entered the room. If you want to discuss "fine art nude," do so but do so in contemporary terms, not terms from a distant past and the way "you" want things to be.
     
  72. An 18th century nude by Boucher, a 19th century nude by David, a 20th century nude by Weston, a 21st century nude by Wiseman are of the same genre.

    A 16th century portrait by Titian, a 17th century portrait by Rembrandt, an 18th century portrait by Gainsborough, a 19th century portrait by Dauguerre, a 20th century portrait by Avedon, a 21st century portrait by Leibovitz are of the same genre.

    And so on.

    --

    Don E
     
  73. A rough preliminary charcoal sketch on a scrap of paper authenticated to have been done by Rembrandt would be worth a fortune today but that doesn't make it "great art".
     
  74. Don, you misuse words to your convenience.

    Dictionary.com: genre:

    "1. a class or category of artistic endeavor having a particular form, content, technique, or the like: the genre of epic poetry; the genre of symphonic music."

    Please make note of the two words, "particular form." To compare Titian (who's work I admire for it's social complexity) to Avedon (who's work is laughably - no disrespect intended - simplistic by comparison) is like comparing the trunk of a car to the box of a fifty-two footer. They both have the capability of carrying commercial goods but clearly do not employ the same "form" or "technique," therefore, they're not of the same "genre."

    "You post examples of what is "Fine Art" as if it's the definitive nature of the genre yet the genre, in real terms can't be defined."

    Please make note of the context in which I use the word "genre." "Fine Art" has no "real" (nailable) definition; borders. Just as nude photography is a style without borders and to try and ascribe a term of egocentric convenience, "Fine Art," to a simplistic concept or style (nude) is self-serving at best.

    Who holds the definition of what constitutes "Fine Art" in their hands? On who's stone tablet, have these words been inscribed?

    A suggestion to the OP, cruise the erotic folder on photosig.com, as others have suggested. You'll find a wide range of nudes in which to give you guidance in regard to the gamut of what might be called "nude" photography and these images will give you insight as to who and what you are and what road you'll want to go down; comfort index. Here's an interesting folder.

    Warning: nude images inside this folder which feature S&M and may not be appropriate for the weak of mind.

    http://www.photosig.com/go/users/viewportfolio?id=20872
     
  75. "Don, you misuse words to your convenience.

    Dictionary.com: genre:"

    Thomas, "genre" has several specific meanings regarding the visual arts. A common dictionary definition is not useful.

    "Please make note of the two words, "particular form." To compare Titian (who's work I admire for it's social complexity) to Avedon (who's work is laughably - no disrespect intended - simplistic by comparison) is like comparing the trunk of a car to the box of a fifty-two footer."

    You have confused genre with style and talent or skill.

    Let's try this again:

    Boucher drew nudes in a different style than David, who drew nudes in a different style than Weston, who's photographs are of a different style than Wiseman's, but they are of the same genre.

    You seem to think the nude is some kind of outrider of the western tradition, when in fact it *is* the western tradition. No nude, no art, no western tradition.

    --

    Don E
     
  76. "A common dictionary definition is not useful."

    Especially if it gets in the way. :)
     
  77. "You seem to think the nude is some kind of outrider of the western tradition,..."

    Not at all. Considering nudity goes all the way back to the beginning of time, in all cultures, of all times. Nudity is a ubiquitous condition.

    "a class or category of artistic endeavor having a particular form, content, technique,..."

    I'll refer back to the definition as I don't see doffing one's clothing to be a genre as you can do portraiture (genre) with clothes on or off in pen, paint or photograph. Therefore, nudity becomes a sub-class to the genre (category) portraiture, as opposed to the other way around, where nude becomes the state of being.
     
  78. "I don't see doffing one's clothing to be a genre as you can do portraiture "

    Well, there you go. Again your intense need to equate "nudity" with the nude. How do you define the nude? A work that displays tits, ass, or pubes?

    The Athenians created the first genre, the nude, the Romans, the portrait, the Dutch, the landscape and still life. The genres were recognized and codified, became the subject of (often heated) debate, spawned refusals and movements. They are at the core of the dynamic of western art. We see today the development of new genres in photography, photojournalism for example. Is photojournalism fine art, that is, a genre? What about street? The snapshot esthetic?

    You are refusing to even consider this dynamic, the life's blood of visual arts, accepting its history which makes the reality that you think you see in the viewfinder and hope to capture.

    Do you consider yourself to be an artist by profession or avocation? If you don't, then there is no reason for you to be concerned about all this. If you do, you need to study up on your chosen endevor.

    --

    Don E
     
  79. "I don't see doffing one's clothing to be a genre as you can do portraiture "

    "Well, there you go. Again your intense need to equate "nudity" with the nude. How do you define the nude? A work that displays tits, ass, or pubes?"

    Don, you have such a grasp on reality. LOL

    Nude/nudity, sans outer clothing. I don't sub-define as it's all the same; walking around Yoda butt naked. What one's intent, is the deciding factor as to how's it's perceived which requires the addition of another descriptor.

    Nude: 1. naked or unclothed, as a person or the body.

    Nudity: 1. the state or fact of being nude; nakedness.

    You really do need to work on this overt need to twist the English language as a language serves all (commonality/universality), not just the needs of one.

    -----------------------------

    "The Athenians created the first genre, the nude, the Romans, the portrait, the Dutch, the landscape and still life."

    The Chinese and those from India and Africa might take issue with your Eurocentric ideologies. :)

    "You are refusing to even consider this dynamic, the life's blood of visual arts, accepting its history which makes the reality that you think you see in the viewfinder and hope to capture."

    Huh! Yeah! That's it, I'm a country bumpkin, without a historical clue. :)

    "Do you consider yourself to be an artist by profession or avocation?"

    Advocation? Hmmmmmmm! :)

    Neither, I wanted to be a photographer and ended up a "reluctant" artist cause I got no other place to go. :)

    "If you don't, then there is no reason for you to be concerned about all this. If you do, you need to study up on your chosen endevor."

    You funny and entertainingly arrogant person. :)

    "I'm too stupid, stupid, stupid." :)

    Now that you've thoughtfully informed me how I'm too stupid/ignorant/detached or uninvolved to be aware, moving forward, how does this notification process apply to the OP's question?
     
  80. "The Chinese and those from India and Africa might take issue with your Eurocentric ideologies. :)"

    I suspect they would understand what is meant by the western tradition, even if you do not.

    "You really do need to work on this overt need to twist the English language as a language serves all (commonality/universality), not just the needs of one."

    The language I have used is "technical" not "common". It is not pitched to the common. You may need examples: "dodge and burn", "toning", "circle of confusion".

    "Now that you've thoughtfully informed me how I'm too stupid/ignorant/detached or uninvolved to be aware, moving forward, how does this notification process apply to the OP's question?"

    I have informed you of no such thing. I asked do you consider your occupation or your avocation (a subordinate occupation pursued in addition to one's vocation especially for enjoyment) to be art. Do you consider yourself an artist?

    If so, then you face a difficulty if you work in the western tradition, if you disparage the nude, seeing it as a collage of tits, ass, and pubes.

    I consider myself an artist in the western tradition, practicing several disciplines, none of which involves the nude at this time, and may not again.

    Except for you, there are many replies to the OP's question, including mine. He writes he is interested in "the realm of the fine art nude", further on he writes he is especially interested in the "environmental" in regard to fine art nudes. I refer him to Zoe's website where there is a nice display of 'environmental nudes', and definitely they are fine art nudes; some may be definitive of that "realm".

    Although I don't do nude work, I have a tribal fusion dance group, Desert Veils, as a client. Much of the photography involved takes place in "the environment", the desert, and I am extremely interested in the human figure in that context. Thus, I am very interested in Zoe's work, and in Weston's (because he could manage to photograph deserts and nudes with the same eye and esthetic).

    I can appreciate your 'refusal'. The history of western art is full of refusals. What I do not care for is your dismissal of western art as nothing more than bare-assed nakedness. Refusal can be motivating and intense. Mere dismissal is simply a bland sluggishness.

    --

    Don E
     
  81. "Except for you,"

    Then you need to reread my comments as your myopia is getting in your way. :)
     
  82. Replies that "apply to the OP's question" which were about:

    "the realm of the fine art nude", environmental nudes, and about the psychology of the photographer shooting nude sessions.



    --

    Don E
     
  83. "Mere dismissal is simply a bland sluggishness."

    Yes, "dolt" or "doltish" might be a better choice of wording.

    "a dull, stupid person; blockhead."

    Cyrano de Bergerac was an entertaining read, for his rapier like wit, not to mention his fine command of the rapier.

    I'm secure in my understanding as it's neither couched in ignorance nor egocentricity.

    I must amend as I unintentionally left the Assyrian's off my list of those predating Greek contributions whom might take umbrage with your Eurocentric thinking as in; life before Hellenic culture.

    You keep trying to "nit" everything as if there's the only one venue of articulated thought.

    Wishing you well in this matter. I'll reiterate perusing the erotic folders of photosig.com to get a better idea what the OP feels comfortable with. Comfort first, historical perspective second and yes, I agree, it never hurts to have context of history in your creative mind.
     
  84. "Replies that "apply to the OP's question" which were about:"

    That's because I was responding to his last.

    "What were friends and families opinions of photographers starting out in the field of fine art nude - were any concerns overcome after a while?"

    His reasonable concerns. :)

    You really do need to stop parsing this stuff as you're missing the bigger picture, the OP's concerns as you try to personalize your responses towards me and take away from the OP's question.

    Shame on "both" of us.
     
  85. "a dull, stupid person; blockhead."

    That might be a good description if you are simply dismissive of the issues. I obviously prefer bland and sluggish. If the shoe don't fit, don't wear it.

    'Refusal' is another matter. It implies motivation and alternatives working within the genre or against it. Energy. 'Refusal' is another technical term, btw (Salon des Refusés), 'secessionist', as in Photo-Secession, might do as well.

    It is not necessary to think with these terms at all. Many fine painters and photographers do not, not only non-Europeans but Europeans who are not interested enough to even be dismissive, but simply work their art.

    However, the OP wrote "the realm of the fine art nude" and that realm is the western tradtion, bred in the bone. Thus what I've written above is relevant.

    The OP likely used the term not in that way at all. Now he knows better and can find out more, or not if he pleases. If he aims for a career, it will serve him well to at least know that "Fine Art Nude" has a specific meaning, and not just good non-porn photos of naked people.

    --

    Don E
     
  86. " The OP likely used the term not in that way at all."

    Not sure what you're going on about as maybe you missed his point. Here's what he wrote further down the thread.

    "I'm just a guy who worries too much about what other people think and don't want to be looked upon as a guy with questionable morals who likes taking "girly" pics."

    Wishing you, Don, well as I'm going drop out for I've addressed the issue of concern and now wish Guy well,with his efforts. :)
     
  87. "I'm just a guy who worries too much about what other people think and don't want to be looked upon as a guy with questionable morals who likes taking "girly" pics." "

    Well, "the realm of fine art nudes" is not the realm of girly pics. It is a well-respected profession in the arts. There is nothing to be done about what other people think of anything. Afaict, the only place to make a career photographing nudes that is not commercial photography, is the fine art nude. There has always been a market for high quality porn (or there once was), but I am not familiar with it.

    --

    Don E
     
  88. Wow, those photosig images are certainly err... interesting. Don't quite think I should be looking at that on my work computer! Time to delete those temporary internet files before the next IT audit!

    That said, I'm getting the idea that the subject will, more often than not, see undertaking such work purely as a job, and will have little involvement on an emotional level - likely less even than the photographer - do we find that to be the case? And if someone can spread their legs and attach clothes pegs to their labia for "work" then I see no reason why another (or the same) professional model would worry too much about "merely" disrobing in front of the camera.

    I think I have therefore got it straight in my mind that it is indeed about two parties working together to produce the image that the photographer has in mind, rather than having a naked girl squirming around on set while a guy behind a camera takes photographs.

    It's almost as if we maybe even need to ADD a little "artificial" sexual tension to the situation to come out with the goods, as I would imagine that often it can be TOO MUCH like a "business" - both treating it solely as a job. I was at a friends stag night a few weeks ago when we ended up in a table dancing club. The girls were gorgeous for sure, and you pays your money and gets your dance, but the complete disinterest in their face speaks volumes.

    Now I have the exact opposite problem than when I started this thread! Instead of being worried that I might have "inappropriate thoughts" for want of a better phrase, I'm now worried that my shoot might be more "hello, kit off, pose please, three rolls of film, kit back on, shake hands, thank you, door closed".

    I need to just get a grip and get on with it. You guys have taught me two very important lessons...

    1. Don't worry about your emotions too much in Photography, whether shooting portraits - an apparent subset of which is shooting nudes - or landscapes, or macro, or product or whatever. My emotions are what they are and it is these very emotions that I am trying to capture on film, so that my audience can feel them too when viewing the images.

    2. Don't ever post anything on Photo.Net again with the word "nude" in the subject line. The damn thing will go on for weeks!

    all the best.

    Guy
     
  89. "Wow, those photosig images are certainly err... interesting. Don't quite think I should be looking at that on my work computer! Time to delete those temporary internet files before the next IT audit!"

    Never thought of work when I posted the link but links of that nature are deserving of a warning; online protocol. Do get the cache flushed as one doesn't need troubles on this nature, work related.

    "The girls were gorgeous for sure, and you pays your money and gets your dance, but the complete disinterest in their face speaks volumes."

    It will be up to you, to establish the connection, to overcome this "professional" distance.

    "Now I have the exact opposite problem than when I started this thread! Instead of being worried that I might have "inappropriate thoughts" for want of a better phrase, I'm now worried that my shoot might be more "hello, kit off, pose please, three rolls of film, kit back on, shake hands, thank you, door closed"."

    The mechanical nature of it all.

    "2. Don't ever post anything on Photo.Net again with the word "nude" in the subject line. The damn thing will go on for weeks!"

    All in the name of entertainment. :)

    Look forward to you posting your thoughts, after your first three shoots.

    First being the "shocker." Second, reliving the past. And the third, getting into the groove in regard to the mechanical nature of it all.
     
  90. I've never been really driven to shoot nudes, although I have done it.

    I was on the phone last night with a woman I've known for nearly forty years, going back to when she was my best friend's landlady. She loves dogs and he had a dog also who got along with her dogs. She sold the house here a few years ago and moved to St. Petersburg, but for some reason she calls me every few months, always asking how my kids are doing. She never had children.

    At 67 she's a few years older than I am. When I first met her she was still in her around thirty and working on Miami Beach as a high priced call girl. One of her regular haunts back then was the exclusive Palm Bay Club, which was also one of my photography clients. I've never been to bed with her. I couldn't afford her rates anyway...LOL...nor did I ever photograph her nude, although I've got some shots of her clothed and playing with her dogs. We've been good friends over the years. She's no longer a "working girl". She'd invested her money wisely during her high earning years. She still has dogs.

    When she called last night I thought of this discussion and mentioned that it might make for an interesting series of photographs to not only shoot some nudes of her at 67, but also of any of the "girls" she may still be in touch with after all these years. She declined my offer.
     
  91. I have been photographing the nude for 41 years. To me it is the ultimate subject. Why? Hard to say but here are some possibilities:
    1)It is the most difficult subject. Much harder than clothed pictures. 90% of the nudes published are terrible. But it takes a developed eye to see the difference.2) I like the subject more than, say, buildings, children, or animals. To me the only subject as interesting is landscape. By the way after a few years the situation of being aroused by the model goes away. 3)I am lazy and prefer the subject to come to me. Also I use ULF cameras. It is hard to drag around an 11x14 or 16x20. The model comes to the studio. 4)"the proper study of mankind is man" And this is accomplishable through nude and portrait photography.
    Additional thoughts: Try not to use a flash. Daylight or tungsten is much better. 1 light is preferable. Large format is far better. You have to do more than stand the average model in front of a camera. Use your brain--this is the challenge. So many thousands of serious nudes have been done, do some that are different. Check my site, www.brucescameras.com, the photo page for some good nudes.
     
  92. "But it takes a developed eye to see the difference."

    Not trying to trap you, but what you wrote above is bias thinking. If it takes a "developed" eye, on what bases do you consider this eye developed? By who's standards do you evaluate in order to see this "difference?"

    I'm always wary of showing my work in that one is welcome to view my efforts but I'm not concerned how their bias influences their think; critique.

    Don't misunderstand the intent of my thinking in that I feel an honest person, being honest with themselves, will "automatically" work on "improving" (giving emotional depth and working on technicalities) their efforts. What ever improving might mean; more bias?

    Maybe you can expand on your comment above. That would be kind.
     
  93. Thomas said: "That's not what I asked. I'm asking, why should anybody care if someone is offended by nudity, irrespective of the rational of their thought."

    Thomas's question suggests that we ought not care about the offense a person takes to nudity. My sense of offense (he seems to think) is mine, it's personal, it's often a result of my closely-held beliefs -- surely it's no skin off your ass if I take offense (and suffer quietly)? I take this to (roughly) be the meaning of his "irrespective of the rational of their thought" qualifier.

    >>Why should anybody care if someone is offended by nudity?<<

    Because, subjectively, offending or being offended are less desirable states than not offending and not being offended. The reasoning goes something like: desirable states are better enjoyed than undesirable ones.

    Being offended entails an offender. But in the case of the photographer of nudes, the offender has done nothing to offend. So what "we" get is some poor soul suffering (existing in a state of offense to something) due to beliefs that he or she is powerless to justify (except to the like-minded faithful, and only within the boundaries of that symbol system), but quite willing to Rationalize.

    It's really quite nuts; it creates two victims where none before existed: the suffering victim who must endure the fruit of his or her borrowed beliefs, and the person being accused (without justification) of being an agent of harm, the photographer of nudes, who must now endure the irrational fruits of victim 1's belief system.

    The problem can be solved, it would seem, without either agent abandoning his or her beliefs. The solution lies in the would-be victim decreasing the territory within which his or her faith is brought to bear.

    You can believe anything on faith you wish, you just aren't allowed to extend them, through action, into the public sphere and across it to the personal spheres of others, realizing harm, in the service of doing justice to your god myth.
     
  94. "It's really quite nuts; it creates two victims where none before existed: the suffering victim who must endure the fruit of his or her borrowed beliefs, and the person being accused (without justification) of being an agent of harm, the photographer of nudes, who must now endure the irrational fruits of victim 1's belief system."

    "The problem can be solved, it would seem, without either agent abandoning his or her beliefs. The solution lies in the would-be victim decreasing the territory within which his or her faith is brought to bear."

    Note in pre-school development jacket:

    Does not play well with others. Thinks the playground is his exclusive domain and lacks public tolerance for ideas different from his own.
     
  95. Thomas, how should the playground be shared?


    --

    Don E
     
  96. "Thomas, how should the playground be shared?"

    According to the values of the regional ruling junta; the moral and ethics of the prevailing general public.

    Let those in San Francisco, set their standards. And let those in New York, Berlin, Moscow, Tokyo, Mexico City, there's of their choosing. Let those in the Backwaters set their moral tone and let those in Cosmopolitan urban environments, set their's.

    By doing this, much to many's chagrin, it allows for a more natural artistic expression where Dogma is given an eclectic chance. When one value dominates another, you don't have representation. But where you have regional representation, of values, then you have "real" artistic expression not a pseudo, forced upon the local unwilling (oppression), standard.

    If textiles is the dominant force, then let this force dominate the local display halls; museums. If religious fervor is the dominating force, then so be it, let this artistic expression dominate the local venues. Let the general will of the people be dominate as opposed to pandering to the few and if Postmodern is the dominant thought, majority, then let the hallow halls of exhibition (museums) put on their grandest displays.

    The above which I responded to is an example of a what happens when insecurity demands things be only one way at the intentional exclusion of others as opposed to sharing the artistic environment with many differing views; moral or otherwise. This cry of slippery sloped threats to artistic freedom is conveniently specious at best because these criers of artistic Armageddon intentionally and overtly exclude (segregate) those who have religion at their moral base so they will be the final victor for self-serving egocentric purposes.

    Why should Progressives have a lock on art as if it's their exclusive domain? Nobody is stopping art from being created as what I suggest only temporarily limits, regionally, that what local sensibilities "allow," in their venues. What, you think Progressives are any more secure in their behavior than Modernists/Traditionalists and only Progressives should have the final word? Sharing is the ultimate act of trust/faith. :)

    I'd like to see venues representing "all" forms of thought, not just one side of the self-serving coin or another; balance. I'd like to see respect for differing points of view, representing all artistic persuasions from the level of the curator on down. But I also live with PollyAnna pricipals where things work, people think and we can all get along and no, I'm not naive so I do push for inclusive behavior, on all sides. :)
     
  97. "Thomas, how should the playground be shared?"

    "According to the values of the regional ruling junta; the moral and ethics of the prevailing general public.

    Let those in San Francisco, set their standards. And let those in New York, Berlin, Moscow, Tokyo, Mexico City, there's of their choosing. Let those in the Backwaters set their moral tone and let those in Cosmopolitan urban environments, set their's."

    So, your answer is: we can't, or we won't, so let's adjourn each to our own (apparently designated by someone or something) playground.

    --

    Don E
     
  98. "So, your answer is: we can't, or we won't, so let's adjourn each to our own (apparently designated by someone or something) playground."

    "(apparently designated by someone or something)"

    Interesting, as in cute. Why? Your above is being stated as if governing bodies and regional sensibilities don't exist. This "someone or something" is a very visible governing body held sway to the electorate; very non-enigmatic.

    Simply put, let regional majorities decide their artistic fate. Why should this be upsetting; besides the obvious refrains of the egocentric artistic sky is falling? This regional majority is an underlying societal principal in all we do (law; codification of ethics and morality) so why do those of the art world hold themselves out to lesser expectations as if somehow their sensibilities are superior to others? If one region wants, let them and if one region doesn't, so be it. Why this need to shove it down people's throats to the point of, we're taking over here and if you don't like it, don't come; marginalization. Pretty militaristic, selfish and self-centered (egocentric) behavior at the least. Very one way. One country, one playground, many different facets.

    Locally, there are several open basketball courts for everybody's use in the community. During the evening hours, the better players come out, play ball and take over the courts for their enjoyment. Should these players be required to pick up all who come along or should they be able to represent regional talent; free choice? Society sets the playing standards as to what behavior they'll allow; city code. state/federal law. If you don't like the above basketball behavior, take time to grieve at the next city council meeting. And if the city council fails to respond, organize and vote the uncooperative council members out of office and install your power base, having the miscreants thrown off the basketball courts due to changes in city park usage codes you've championed. And if you don't get your way, get over it and get on with it, or become a better basketball player but the public sphere has decided.

    For all the photographically restricted behavior which is terrorist related, I've not been stopped once. Why? Instead of whining, I find non-controversial things to quietly go about photographing, without incident. When you come to realize that none of this is going keep you from dying, you'll relax and put forth effort towards that which is important.
     
  99. The issue is sharing the playground (you brought it up, not me), not conceding it to the local bullies and going away over to some other playground. The playgrounds in your examples are cities, although you only named those presumably of one kind. We don't have your list of examples of other kinds of 'playgrounds'. You also refer to regions, another geographical unit.

    Your bias here appears to be that artists are a class of "rootless cosmopolites", who can vote with their feet and move to San Francisco if they don't like it in <insert name of city>. They aren't members of the community, they don't have roots, they don't have families, they don't have traditions. So, it is not really bullying if the social power makes life difficult for them. They're just mean spirited for not getting out now, so you gotta apply some pressure.

    Where does this end, this kind of "sharing"?

    I understood the original you replied to with the playground sharing, to mean, don't go looking for an excuse to cause grief. If you don't like what is exhibited, don't enter the gallery, the exhibition, nor prevent others from entering. At the present time, the gallery, the exhibition site, has another game being played. Wait til its over, if you don't want to play.

    That is, we go about our business. We wait our turn and don't play through another's game. We are civil to each other. We share.

    --

    Don E
     
  100. Thomas we have tried for generations to maintain local control, free of federal intervention. What did it get us? Creationism taught as science in public schools. Separate but equal racial laws. Felony arrests for homosexual behaviors. Banned films and censored artwork. All examples of "enacting local standards into law". Nevertheless I can sympathize with your concern about where to put the bar when public money is at stake. I think that common sense can prevail even in the most conservative communities. Artwork with limited public interest should be assigned limited resources. Not banned but rather assigned its place relative to the mission of the public venue. The homoerotic photos of Mapplethorpe should and will get far more square feet in San Francisco than it warrants in South Dakota. Warnings are appropriate. Patrons should be able to visit a museum without accidentally having their 8 year old daughter see sex acts.

    I am a Christian and therefore sensitive to your position regarding nudity. I photograph nudity from time to time and am generally not offended by it. I believe we would benefit from a more liberal view of the subject. I think most Europeans have it about right in that regard.

    I am also sensitive to your concern that the position of religious people is under assault today. (Well, some of them anyway.) Tolerance, as taught by the far left, ends at Christianity. That is the one unprotected belief system in the eyes of many of my fellow liberals. I find it comical that many of my friends on the left decry Christian values but support radical Islamic states. They ignore the open hostility toward women displayed as public policy by some of their sweetheart Muslim states.

    This kind of hypocrisy on both sides leads us to embrace a system of governance that defers to the Constitution as interpreted by the federal courts to ensure that minority views are respected. Yours and mine as religious people and others who embrace a more secular value system.

    Religious people like us are free to express our displeasure with any artwork. We can withhold our support for institutions that offend us. We can teach our children and fellow religious people not to support offensive art. There are a lot of us. People, institutions and governments will pay attention when we speak as a body. But it is our responsibility to scrupulously protect and respect the rights of the minority.
     
  101. You would have done well to skip your third paragraph. I wonder if you personally know anyone on the left who really holds the beliefs you describe. From where I'm standing, it sounds like scare tactics that apparently come from the pulpits of some churches or other sources of propaganda designed to reinforce an us-vs-them mentality.
     
  102. Don and Lee.

    I appreciate your thoughts but your comments do not reflect what I've written. Either of two situations exist, my words are not being read in their entirety as context is clearly being lost, or what I'm writing is not being understood, for what ever reason. To me, it's better I should withdraw from the thread.

    Wishing all well in these matters.
     
  103. "I appreciate your thoughts but your comments do not reflect what I've written." Thomas

    Been here and done that before, I think.

    "Man is the measure of all things" is a pagan concept.


    --

    Don E
     
  104. ""Man is the measure of all things" is a pagan concept."

    Don, your above is exactly what I was writing about as what I wrote had nothing to do with measuring man (people), being judgmental or delving into pagan concepts..

    Since you're not able to understand (respond to) what I'm writing, then it's incumbent upon me to quit trying as at this point, no disrespect intended, I figure you have to be trolling cause your responses are so far off mark that I have no other conclusion to come to.
     
  105. In the perfection of naked youth, man is physically beautiful, intellectually beautiful, and beautiful of purpose. Man measures The Divine. He is the measure of all things.

    In its origin "man" was gender-specific.

    --

    Don E
     
  106. Odd, isn't it, when you think about it. Western art can be traced back to a statue of a naked boy.

    I'll leave it at that.

    --

    Don E
     
  107. "To me, it's better I should withdraw from the thread."

    Thomas, if it helps, I understood what you said in response to my post. However, it did not address any of the post's content.
     
  108. I must say I'm a beginner at nudes, but if there is any category of photography I wish to be specialised in it is the (fine art) nude photography. Only I want to get to it in as small steps as possible. For instance, first trying to get better when it comes to technique, photographing someone you know, without some clothes, without all clothes, photographing someone you don't know that well, etc... At the moment I don't have anyone I could photograph nude I know, so I think I'll wait. I don't want to mess up...

    But what drives me to it? First of all, I 'discovered' photography thanks to a nude photograph I accidentally saw on the internet that gave me the 'WOW'-feeling and made me search for more. Nude made me find out about photography.

    Secondly, it is a big challenge, because you don't only have to deal with the picture, you have to deal with human feelings, more than with portraits, because people are vulnerable nude and there are many who are insecure about their bodies or don't really dare to be there. It is a challenge in itself to make them feel comfortable and let them know that they can express themselves freely.

    Thirdly, I like purity and realness. Clothes can make me 'itch'. Photographing someone 'stripped from clothes' makes themselves more pure to me. That also makes me want to show both the positives and the negatives, not only the positives. I want to show someone as he/she is, and I'll only edit pictures in Photoshop when something 'bothers' the photo. (don't know the right word in English). That of course is a challenge again, because people want you to change their breasts and whatever, and I'm not into that. I want to show them the way they are. BTW. Of course I do want to show the person in a beautiful way, but that doesn't mean they should be thin or they can't have 'imperfections'.

    Fourthly...something that has to do with the purity thing is also that I think that I can make a difference with my photographs when it comes to realness/purity. I see many pictures of real skinny models, or 'ideal' people, people changed/edited in Photoshop or the models look very 'posed'. I want to show that one can make good photographs, even better photographs with models that don't look like the average model and that have their imperfections, that actually make them more perfect. Photoshop sometimes strips them from character and I want the character brought back in the photo. For instance, not so long ago two girls asked me to make a remake of the famous 'kiss' photo of Tanya Chalkin. Now I only have a camera, no light equipment or moorings (don't know if it's the right word in English, dictionary says so) so that I can hang above them totally straight, so the photo didn't turn out perfect but definitely real. (they were not nude btw, but it was quite intimate) Both of them have done automutilation and when you take a close look to the picture you can see the scars on their arms. Now that I wouldn't want to delete at all, because it belongs to them and therefore belongs to the picture.

    And finally, another reason. It may be a controversial one, but I think photographing nude people can make them more comfortable and secure about themselves. I modelled myself and I noticed that the modelling as well as the results made me more self confident about my body. If it goes well, it can be even considered some sort of 'therapy'. :p Just from my own experience.
     
  109. Well, all I can say is if people were meant to be photographed (or painted or sculpted) naked, they would have been born that way.

    Since my spirituality says God created mankind in His image, then it seems we should celebrate ourselves, as well as our ability to procreate. If nudity sometimes produces sexual tension, so what...maybe it's supposed to in some cases. That's probably why photographers don't seem to strive to shoot 300 pound bearded ladies (apologies in advance to all the 300 pound bearded lady nude models).

    To me, it's also about curves, lines, shading, and texture. Easier, I think, to get that from the human body with one-stop shopping. Like so many have said, if it's tastefully done, or makes an artistic or social statement without hurting anyone (especially kids), it ought to be ok. If it's vulgar or common, it oughtn't to be ok.
     
  110. Guy, I will try to get back at your questions, with my humble point of view.

    Why have I started doing nude photography... First of all after trying many fields in
    phootgraphy, I have come to the conclusion I was always drawn back to taking photos of
    people... I then began with portraits for several months, trying to capture the model's
    beauty and soul. And I had a num feeling I was only scratching the surface, that the
    models were not revealing their soul to me...
    One day, I came across a model I immediately felt had something special, and after the
    session I asked her if she would come back for some nude photos. She agreed. I must
    admit I was pretty nervous before that shoot. I had noticed she had high standards and I
    didn't want to disappoint her with poor photos. On the day of the shoot however,
    everything went well, very relaxed, friendly and professional. I can assure you that during
    the shoot all my attention was on the light, the set, the props, also making sure the model
    was confortable.
    Do I have to push personal feelings aside ? Yes and no ! Those that need to be pushed
    aside do so by themselves, I still have " feelings ", those that allow me to look at the
    model, see her beauty, see how to enhance it further. I am exclusively concentrated on the
    model, her soul, her "aura". Because the model drives the shoot as much as I do, and
    different models want to put different things in a shoot. It all comes naturally with respect
    and thankfulness for the model.
    Friends and family ? I have nothing to hide, I am not ashamed of what I am doing. This is
    not to say that I go and publicize it to those who'd rather not know about it. If asked I am
    frank, open and honest about it. My wife and kids of course know what I am doing and
    know I'd rather not be disturbed when in a shoot, so they always know when one is in
    progress.
    My thoughts during the shoot ? It's excitement of creating nice images, shooting digital, I
    show the model images I am particularly happy about, show hem how they look, so as to
    involve her even more in the shoot. Sometimes, if I am really happy about the shoot, I give
    the model a quick hug or a peck on the cheek, childishly, to show my joy. After the shoot
    however, it is important for me to allow for some time with the model, discussing the
    shoot, usually going out for a coffee or driving the model home. I call it " landing ". I have
    noticed on a few occasion I wasn't able to do it that I felt bad for days... God knows why.
    Having a daughter about the age of the first model I photographed nude, I obviously went
    through a lot of self questioning. Until the day I met the mother of that model and she told
    me she loved the photos I made of her daughter... From that day I knew I was on the right
    path.
    Just my experience. Hope it helps.
     
  111. And to think that all of this will be archived on the world wide web until the end of time (or the end of the
    internet, whichever comes first).

    Sorta makes you proud, doesn't it? :p
     

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