Tags: seeking critique
Category: Fine Art
Author: Powers Amy
Gallery: Self Portrait NudesPublished:
triblett you inspire me to visit the torture garden (a bdsm club in london). except they might take exception to my camera peeking at their bits. i'll have to pretend i'm from some magazine or something equally sneaky. aah. such adventure. think amy will model for moi if i ask her nicely?
well.... I dunno... s'ok. Kinda unweildy with the composition. Not much balance to it. I think something, anything, should be emphasized... and it's prolly your form and muscles. I'm struggling to find a reason for this photo save some exhibitionistic bent you may be satisfying. I don't care for the rest of the nudes in the portfolio either. and mapplethorpe sux... p.s. hey... I just went to your site... don't worry too much about the crit above... I see your chosen profession is dominatrix and not photography... so I hope that the photo part overtakes your current career and quick before you catch something that won't scrape off with a credit card(hehehe, only half-kidding). No offense but you seem a bit too talented and smart for the sex trade. Knowing what I know now... I have to ask... why so tame? why so ummm... artsy? Are there "darker" or "harder" photos that you can't put on your webpage? S'just that your page looks like every other stripper/model page in the universe... pardon me... just trying to push you... good luck and work at mcdonalds if you have to...
Your portfolio makes me horny.
Zactly! I agree with Michael!! All this high level critique and analysis is all very interesting, but ultimately a photo like this should be summed up by the emotions it invokes in us......which in some cases is a little more physical than others. This particular shot I find both fascinating and disturbing in an unexplainable way. Perhaps it's the psuedo-religious nature of the shot, or maybe it's just that my local swimming pool NEVER has sights like that when I walk in! Either way... it's good. Be proud. People will write about you in the years to come. Believe in that.
Amy The caption states this was a self portrait with a timer so perhpas that is why you did not have a chance to look at the subject while you were shooting it. I think the pose is fine, but I think that whatever that thing is in the background really detracts from the photograph, as does the line on the floor seemingly coming right out of your head, as does whatever that dark thing is to your immediate left. Also, I would crop out that real brilliant highlight on the water, or tone it down with spot tone. Otherwise a nice effort. Kevin
Erotic. Alive. Mysterious. Wonderful.
from the photographer Guess I didn't give much info, hmm? Well, this was taken at the gym where I work out. Its open 24 hours and since I am a night person, I always go late. So its definitely not a "set-up" shot - rather a case of shoot quickly, and hope no one else comes into the poolroom while you are doing so!
That being said, I definitely should have moved the pool scooper-thing.
Nikon Coolpix 950, slow-sync flash plus ambient light, shot in b/w.
Thanks for your feedback! Amy
Self Portrait I agree about highlights in the pool being a bit too much, the pool pole and goggles by the right hand should be gone, and I hope the thing to your right in the water isn't breathing. With those nits, I think for one, the model (you) is/are fabuluous and I for one like the "crucifix pose". It is a highly staged pose, and yet very erotic, sort of an offering of self, which to me seems very pure, and in a way reinterprets the "sacrafice" christian religious theme in a way that many would call irreligious. Not of the spirit but of the beauty of spirit in flesh, yet still am I just raving or saying the obvious? Also the deck lines actually form a very handy cross on which to hang..visually, that is. Maybe a crop out of some the right side to emphasize that cross would be cool. Does that make sense? Like it.
I like this picture, notwithstanding the pole etc. which are easily removed with photoshop. I must say it wouldn't have occured to me to tell you why you take your photographs, rather than to ask... :-)
or.... it's another picture of a stripper in a pool.. one that likes showing herself off... maybe. I'm a basal kinda fellow so don't try to frost a turd with artspeak.... I've said this before... Mapplethorpe should have shot "WHIP" with the subject waddling into the emergency room entrance of Cedar Sinai....
" And Mapplethorpe sux."
Yes, I think he actually took pictures of himself doing that.
I'm kidding. But seriously, what is the reason for any photo? I have been fascinated by the interpretations of the posts here, because no one has mentioned any of the symbolism thats in my mind when I look at it.
This is a photo of a woman existing simultaneously in two separate elements: the water and the earth. (Concrete, really, but just he same.) Half of her is in one world, half another. There is a vulnerability to the backwards-curving pose, but it also suggests flexibility. So, to me, the photographer and the model, this is about the different worlds one person can live in.
Now, its educational to me that no one has seen that. I am too new a photographer to be able to make any major decisions based on this, but its definitely good information to have.
Thanks, everyone, for the thoughtful feedback.
Amy is awesome, the photo is great too.
906 crop The crucifixion theme seems so deliberate you could lose the life preserver and rope too unless you can figure out a way to weave that into the theme. As it is tho', the ring detracts from the formality while not adding anything. Anyway, it's not a landscape, sunset, or nude-as rock-formation, and worth praise for that too.
I like the 906 crop much better. Maybe crop a bit more at the bottom, possibly taking out the highlight on the water.
Please, let me remove the gun I have pointed to your head thats forcing you to look at this photo, or any of my photos. I have no wish to offend your clearly rareified sensibilities.
You never heard of Cindy Sherman?????? Get thee to a library! Your work is similar in many (though certainly not ALL) ways.
This particular photo needed more time for setup. I understand the difficulty given the circumstances it was shot in, but you might ask if it would be possible for you to reserve an hour at the pool. Be clear about your intentions so no one is caught off guard.
Amy I think it is great that you will go back and do these again. Do them with a B & W film camera as well. I wouldn't mind buying a few 8 x 10 prints while you are still up and coming and hopefully reasonably priced. I am sure there are others who would feel the same. kevin
it's just disheartening that's all, I mean here we have a lovely woman, one who clearly has the experience, wherewithal and talent to explore a new generation's sexual addiction (and gasp! from the first person perspective and through self portraiture!) and all we get is some half-considered, artspeaky justifications and more moldy T and A photography with too-tame and ancient fetishistic undertones. If you're gonna play with the archetypes of BDSM, do it right. Worship Klaw and Yeager... emulate them... Kill the seamless... go scout some locations. I see lots of promise in a few of your pics... replace the whips with rattraps.... do anything! The vanity photos on your site would be something grand to explore to it's darkest, farthest places, it's hot, just don't stop there. Axe the crappy window frame/blind shadow. Lose the trite props and shit... you know!~the cuffs and stuffs ... Go far! Go fast!!!! if you're gonna go.... that is. and good luck to you ...
Portraits are hard; self-timer self-portraits are VERY hard. I like the pose; it was muscular and appealing. The plant, the pole, and the pool steps are real distractions, however. Cropping in tighter might be an improvement. I appreciate the diagonals you have made of the lines in the picture; still, I wonder if the corner wouldn't have been a stronger spot from which to do this. I thought the "filtered nudes" portfolio was strong.
Very Nice Overall it is esthetically very pleasing. My attention was first drawn to the swim goggles and they do detract from the image somewhat. The background objects, although present and noticable do not take a great deal away from the image due to the camera angle that you have chosen. Lastly the highlights on the water are a bit bright. Too bad its digital, it would make a beautiful silver-based print. I would hang it on my wall.
more about the picture Wow - it is really fascinating to read what other people see in the photos I have posted. I appreciate all of you taking time to write comments.
I may try and re-shoot this, although its difficult to get away with. But I'd like to do more work with a water element.
Cosmo - I don't read your comments as negative - except, please don't compare me to Natacha Merrit! I have seen her book, and...well, I disliked it. I feel that the book is more about Eric Kroll than anyone else - one certainly gets more of his words than hers. Most of the work posted was done before I ever heard of her, and I am definitely not a fan.
Cindy Sherman I have never heard of. I do deeply admire the work of Robert Mapplethorpe, Sally Mann, and, to some degree, Jocke Sturges.
But the photos do have an erotic theme, yes. Most of my work does.
I attached a PhotoShopped version of the image I posted. To me, its a whole different image - but pleasing in its way...
Thank you for your constructive advice and encouragement.
I like your work, Amy - seems like you are experimenting, which since you are a new photographer is normal. Find your own way, don't let others tell you what you should do. Work on getting your exposures right, try bracketing more.
self portrait I think this is great work, and very original. If you do want to manipulate it, you may want to take the plant out of the background!
Sold it! Thanks for the feedback, gentlemen. I am pleased to say that I sold an 11x17 print of this today - the cropped and edited version. So be aware that your constructive input bore fruit... Amy
Reminds me of... Re: the comments -- well, I won't rehash the stuff about distracting elements or technique. But in a very tangential way the mood evokes some of Helmut Newton's voyeuristic experiments. The impression I have from this image is that of a tigress languidly stretching her supple, muscular form. Certainly the image is exhibitionistic, but that's unsurprising since most models (whether fashion, art, peelers, actors, etc.) have to want to show themselves off somehow (look at Elsa Benitez on the current cover of SI, Penelope Cruz on the cover of Vogue, or the March 2001 Elle feature on Rebecca Romjin-Stamos). Amy's just doing her thing her way, and we're just looking on, some with more prurient interest than others (schwing!). :-D
Get a clue, Thurd The Rant
Based on the numerous (and I do mean numerous) posts that you've made to Photo.net, you really seem to know your technique. However, you really need to learn how to critique a photo.
Someone once posted a letter to a photographer, written by Ansel Adams. It was a friendly critique of several of her works. For the most part they were short, and to the point. Then again, some were not. All however, contained suggestions for improving the exposure, composition, or a combination thereof. None contained ignorant insults to the photographer, as all of your posts to this one have. Though I did not agree with it, you review was great... right up to the middle of the second sentence. You then ceased to review and began to judge.
Where do you get off telling people how to run their lives? It's obvious that you know nothing about sex in the real world, much less the sex industry. This is not the place to educate you, nor do I believe that you would be interested. If I am mistaken, then by all means please email me. But do not use this forum as a place to enforce your beliefs on others.
Amy, I love the shot, sans the technical details listed above. The objects should be removed, as you did in the edited version. The highlight of the water is a big white blob that grabs my eye and doesn't want to let go. I think you should also remove the life ring. It says "this is a public swimming pool", rather than conveying the idea of solitude or emptiness that I assume you were trying to do.
Was the edited version that you posted of this photo the final product? (906crop.jpg) If so, I think you should go over it again, this time with more attention to detail. Make that wall molding straight, and get rid of that distracting reflection of the ceiling light. But don't get me wrong, I love this shot.
Of course, I'm a professional web designer; I've only been into photography for six months. So please receive this review accordingly. :>)
posts I think some of the comments from other people are from people who aren't very enlighted or educated as far as erotic, fetish or BDSM photography. Klaw and Yeager are not originators of the genre of BDSM or fetish photography. Diversity among fetish/BDSM photographers is what will keep this style of work palatable. Why does your profession matter? I don't see what it has to do with this picture. It's a very nice photo of your body halfway submerged in a pool. I could agree with the comments about the pole in the background but the edited version is a definite improvement. I'm glad to read that you sold a print (right on, score!)
NICE you are very sexy , you should take more nice pic to
You should be very proud of this. It's by far the best one you've posted. I think the lines on the concrete and the scooper pole all add rather than detract. Your body and the lines help me imagine a crucifix, or at least frame the body and lead the eye to the right place. That none of the lines or pole is horizontal or vertical helps lots...along with the placement of the body and non-straight on orientation of the whole image. The highlight near the edge doesn't bother me, because it can't distract me from the main center of attention, and it kinda creates a visual balance. Along with the plant, it creates interest...I don't like photos with "lazy space"...I like them best when every part of the image seems to be "doing something." Ellis's "mysterious" comment is good...I can imagine the half in, half out messages you noted, and the graphic appeal is great. Beautiful.
I aggree with somebody's former comment that the setup could have been done more carefull. There are some shadows I don't know where they are coming from and what they are for (eg left of the bush and the halfshadow of the bush's right side). The diagonal stick and the bush I don't know, one side they don't really contribute to the composition but without them something would be missing. The water shows a long exposure time, the background and the upper part of you body are well lit. The area right of the bush seems to be unnatural brighter than the area on the left part. The looking to the ceiling matches very well to tension of the body and the not seen face which I think make the strong expression of the picture Funny thing, the lines next to your head and the attitude of your body remind a little bit at the Cross (mental preparing of the graveyard folder ?).
You asked... Well the pose is kind of interesting but the stuff in the background is very distracting. I think, as wierd as it may sound, you'd have a better photo if you cropped at the neck and lost the head. ALso, the shot cold use a bit more contrast.
Good shot This is a real good shot considering the time frame you had. Very Good Shot.
It could be better It could be better without black bar at the left and the white cable at the right side.Overall fine work. :)
You're right, Ezra I just felt the same way with Thurds' comments...Your talent is promising Amy, do what u wanna do, and learn along the way..and you are pretty.
I'll keep my comments short Many have commented on this shot, so I'll keep my comments short. I agree that the pool scooper and plant are distracting, without them, I'd rate it a 9 in Aesthetics. Anyway, wonderful shot, glad you have the courage to take such a shot, and the vision to compose it.
I *like* the plant! I much prefer the plant included. The roughness of the plant in particular balances both the hardness of the wall/concrete/brick and the softness of the water and figure. The photoshopped version with bare wall is too barren for me. All the lines work, everything is connected, save for the rope in the top right of the frame, which has its own charm. I'd likely get rid of the pole - even though it connects to the base of the wall, plant, and your head, it leads the eye out of the frame. On the other hand, it *almost* works with the stripes at the bottom of the pool. The frame-in-frame is well executed here. I don't know how much control you had over the lighting but I love how it came out, including the definition of the brickwork and the reflections under your navel. I like the pose not because of the crucifixion thing, but because the water line is well placed, as is the left leg slightly forward and bent at the knee. If I were to attack this with photoshop I'd remove the goggle (glad that you did in the edited version) but by far the most distracting thing for me is the swim suit around your legs. I'm not a pro by any means, but after finding myself looking at this picture for so long, I needed to comment. There's much to look at here.
Beautiful Amy you have a beautiful body. Again only problem is the pool cleaning thing.
Good lighting and subject matter. Again a beautiful body wet and emerged from the water, for a viewer I feel rather voyeuristic in what appears to be a private moment for the woman seen here. I love it...:) Gianfranco
Amy, outstanding nude portfolio. Congrats.
Pool cleaning stuff: a must have :) In my oppinion even if that pool cleaning stuff made this picture a not perfect composition for some of us, that is an important part to show the atmosphere. I mean
a: It is a self portait
b: nude picture...
c: ... in a public place.
You can almost see she situation: Amy tryes the pose, sets the equipement, takes off all of her clothes, head back.... pofff.... the image is ready, clothes on, her pulse is at 90 or maybe more.
Amy is a good photographer, has a really beautifull body, but this situation made the picture one of my favourite on photo.net
I think the photo is quite nice, but with a bit of more preparation, it could've been really good. There's a couple of objects that distract the attention a bit. First is the ring you're holding. Second, and also quite obvious, is the black pole next to the plant. Last, there's a white cable running along the right side. As far as the composition is concerned, I really like the simplicity. Nice cropping, too. I would have put yourself just a more to the right, a bit out of the center, to balance the picture.
Self-awareness It has a strong feeling of physical self-awareness and is already an excellent self portrait. I shouldn't worry about the background details - just remove them for a cleaner composition.
Sexy yet tastefull, as usual. I agree the background is a little distracting, but another well done shot.
Amy - In a previous comment you mentioned the intended symbolism of being caught between two worlds by being in between water and earth. Since this work is digital have you thought about replacing the entire 'earth' part of the image with another scene thereby splicing an image together? I think that the pool setting works but to some it can remind them of other types of photography. Maybe replace the concrete with a shoreline from a natural water body - Photoshop is a great toy for completely replacing pieces of a scene...
Amy, probably had too many glasses of red, but my comments: I prefer the cropped version, becaus ethe original has too many irrelevant/distracting bits. As for cropping in to make a tighter pic, well maybe, (and if you try this, try turning the pic nito a negative - it looks stunning), but it makes a totally different pic, and the big problem with the tighter cropping is that it removes the model from the context and turns it into a side of meat (an effect doubled a hundredfold if you crop the head off), which is clearly not what yr after. Congrats on selling a print - wish I could. As I said, I have made these comments ex vino and shld probably shut up, as yr clearly a better photg than me, but I like yr work.
Aesthetics 7, Originality 9 Brilliant (apart from the mop)
I've looked at this picture several times and really like it except for that mop/plant in the background. Overall, I think your work is excellent and very creative.
Photo shop? I've just had a play with your photo to take out the rake, some of the detail floor joints and some of the reflections. It simplifies the photo, as well as making the water look clearer. email me if you would like me to send it to you. email@example.com
Luv it Amy, the nude self-portrait is great. I looked at the PS version as well.It gives a different message.I took the liberty of taken the original and removing the pool scooper, the rope and what ever is at your right hand. Perfect. At least for me. You should try it.
Great Body View Hmm... What a great curvature of human nature you really have. But, anyway, I still believe that we may talk & see each other again with regards to your photo arts. (Haven't you try visiting Asia already? You'll love the scenic views here, especially in some majestic beaches, & there you'll have your nudeworks! Don't 4get abt me also, alright?)
Eric H. Peterson
very nice photo, evern better if the hose on the right and pool net are removed.
Amy, I'm amazed at your boldness! You are a wonderful photographer, a beautiful and talented model, and an inspiration to all of us who take self-portraits.
Magnific Amy you're great, no better and beautiful body! The photo is great also, it is magic, I like the light position.
hot stuff if this is really you, damn, youre lucky to look that good, im sure its a turn on to every guy who sees it. it really enhances your picture. too bad we can't see your face. only thing is that in my opinion if you are trying to say a message in your pictures, its kinda distracting to be that attractive and that revealing because the vision gets lost on us all if there is one. i would categorize this as softcore... thats a good thing heheh. :-)
Wanted to explain something, but then decided to play with the image in Photoshop... Curious what you think... Best,
Water Nude: self portrait a very good shot. My compliments
My .02 cents Next time, go to the shallowest part of the pool or drain some water. Some may like to see other beautiful part hidden under water.
Wonderfull! Oh! Thats Like an ANGEL!
I have nothing intelligent to say. Just wanted to assign a couple of 7's. You're beautiful. Would you be willing to do some fairly straight-forward self-portraits of your face?
art As I said, you're great, Amy. This is not a "piece of art", this is Art itself. Beautiful! Best regards, Daniel
Amy's Picture I agree about the pool scooper and the plant. Move them both, out of the picture. The darkness of the pool water is good. Two different dark spots complicates "my" vision here. I think we should be looking at the subject (Amy?), and those dark spots don't allow my eyes concentrate on it. Other than that, I think the picture is pretty good, and the subject isn't too darn bad either. Good luck sneaking another pic... Mr. Pickles
Nice, but... I am sorry if I am repeating other peoples comments. I read the first few and felt I wanted to let you know what I think. I agree that the Pole and plant need to go. It looks like you are photographing it in a small area in a spa. Try not to center the subject, maybehold the same pose, but do it at the corner of the spa so all the lines will be drawn to you, the subject...lines being the corner of the spa, tiles, etc. Then crop it so your are in either the left or right third of the shot. The light is great, but if you were going to shot this with an elaborate set up I would just use a key light to light you up and gobo the rest and let it light the rest of the room up by feathering...only my opinion...
Desmond du Mont
I like how that guy cleaned up your shot... I of course love water shots... I am just so impressed how you do your own self portraits. It must take you forever to set them up. If you ever need someone to shoot some images of you, I would love to -- it may free you up to experiment even more having someone behind the camera while you are in front of it...
after all of that, Try this Hi Amy, I agree with the majority, the pool pole has to go. No need to reshoot though, try cropping instead. I took the liberty of doing a quick crop. Now the composition flows much easier, the eye is drawn towards the focal point more than being distracted by "too much information". Try croping at left fingertip, a fraction above the nose and again out to the right fingertip. Leave the bottom portion as is. Hope this helps, John
at first glance, I thought this was a good shot (except for, of course, the pool tool).... after reading the comments and your story that you had done it at a "public" pool in a hurry.... it significantly increases the electricity of the whole thing. Much more titillating with the story! Thanks for the additional information, it made the shot jump from "good" to "oooh!"
the pose is nice, the model is great, I like the water reflects, the light is good, BUT the background doesn't look good, maybe if the floor were larger (I mean, if there were no wall), it will give more importance to the subject and wil give an emptyness feeling to the picture... and I said MAYBE, but anyway, it is a nice shot
This picture speaks to me Dear Amy: This photo is great. At first glance it's a hot chick in a pool. Look again and it's Jesus on the cross. I'm not even religious and I noticed it, so that's saying something. Then I noted the rays from above illuminating your chest, shadows caressing your perfect figure, your outstretched arms are so lovely, uh, um, where was I? Oh, yes. I can understand how a photo like this could upset certain people with its mix of contexts, but not me, and the edited photo is great. Regards, Bill
An american piece of art Amy, this is the best photograph of your portfolio. Don't know why but it reminds me the best Edward Hopper paintings and Alan Rudoph first films. An american genuine piece of art. I love your work (not all, but most) very much. Go on working. (Excuse my bad english, I am from Spain)
A beautiful photograph. I don't think that removing the cleaning stick would have made this a better shot, as others had suggested. Somehow it balances things. (I almost had to vomit when I read that "triblett Lungre-Thurd"'s comments!! A bit of a warped fellow, he is.)
Mermaid wonder In a photo of this nature the tech should not be the turning point - in a pass or fail situation. I would rather focus on how well the subject has brought her own mood which should be remembered then the viewer's overlay of how it could or why it should be altered- like fine art an photojournalism it is mainly mood an what is being expressed - in all art it has to be accepted that a photographer is a artist in their own realm an we be simply the viewer . The subject in a self portrait is trying to say something very important about themselves - many may not hear - some catch the whisper an pause. This is what I did. Alright in being with the purist out there. I will add my two cents. The impact of this photo is what grabbed an held attention far longer then later hunting for the needed or not tweaks. I had found that the use of the pool an water on the body areas increased the texture values . Upon reviewing portfolio an the use of architecture with human form. I hope to see many more uses of water medium with human form in future projects. This photo is just a turning point in many great photos to come I think the photographer has much more to share with all. A old saying we are only as a good as our last photo - but I think in the photograph Olympics soon she will hold the gold with other great names of our time.
This whole folder is very original. The composition of all photos is just incredible. It's hard for many of us to achieve that while we behind camera, you managed to do that while being in front! If you could share your technic of self portraite with us-that would be great! Of course, very few of us would look as stunning in front of camera as you.
Very cool Amy... What would you do if someone had walked in?
Under Water Water complements the beauty of ur naked body. Why dont u try a shot under water. Get an under water case for yer cam and try it out... I bet it wud be another milestone. Hey... luck ppl at yer gym ;-)
nice work This just goes to show that good photography is not a book formula art form. Yes, you are very attractive. Yes this is a pleasing pose. But, the grainy available light and the self exposure qualities add an exciting dimesion that is very difficult to achive. That leaves us with the why and what else of how to marry your attractive form, your adventurous spirit and come up with another concept of a great element that gives us some interest that we do not find in the many other exposures to which we are exposed. Lacking a wonderful form of my own to expose at my age, gender and current physical condition, I wonder how to use what I like so much about your picture with some of my own stuff. I live on the river in California's Delta, where some nudity is normal, if not acceptible. Is it the danger element that works so well here? Or is it just the moment of comfort combined with the strectch relax pose and the truly facinating lighting. Could you do this in the sun with a 12 mega pixel and a $ 1200 lens? Have your raised the bar to try something elese since this. I am left to wonder and compliment the shot. Jack
Actually, the pool scooper is a nice touch. This is my favorite of the series. Why? It feels wonderfully unposed.
Available light nude I'd appreciate comments on thsi picture - composition, exposure, et cetra, and if anyone cares to review the other photos I have posted here on Photo.net, I'd be glad for opinions of them also. Thank you.