Author: Powers Amy
Gallery: Self Portrait NudesPublished:
jigsaw Hallo Amy, you are a very interesting photographer, not afraid to do some experiments. Regards, Henk van Looy (Dutch photographic organisation)
The Watcher Watched Who is looking at whom? This is the question that comes to mind. Here is a lovely young woman. She looks in a mirror? Or at us? The fact that the nude is in color (appealing to our senses), while the rest is in B&W (appealing to our minds) highlights the ambiguity. But the nude is in the mirror. Shades of Velasquez! Which is real? In what sense? And the B&W woman is looking straight at us, implying the question: "Who are you looking at, me or her?" We are forced to question our own motives in looking. As a male, I am drawn to the nude. But I cannot get past that direct eye. What a wonderful device to capture my attention and yet force it into a division. This image is the moral equivalent of poing the ancient problem of looking at a woman's face or her physical attributes. This woman is telling us we will not be allowed to ignore her face. And, in a deeper sense, her mind. She may be nude and on dispaly, but she in in control of what we see -- even of what we want to see. That the image is a rectangle on end and not a square on end (no ordinary artist this!) adds to the dynamism. The entire image as image threatens to fall over. This impression is incresed when we realize that the verticals inside the image are tilted. I begin to ask whether this artist has studied Cezanne's composition. This image moves me in a profound way. It works on a variety of levels: compositionally, morally, sensually...And the strength is in the fact that all these levels are designed to work in conjunction toward the same end.
The Watcher Watched Who is looking at whom? That is the question that comes to mind. That the nude is in color (appealing to our senses)and the rest in B&W (appealing to our minds) adds to the ambiguious nature of the question. The woman is looking straight at us and poses the question: "Who are you looking at, her or me?" And, by implication, what are you looking at, the body or the face. This is the moral equivalent of the ancient problem men have: looking at a woman's face and thus acknowledging her existence as a person and thinking being or looking at her physical attributes and seeing her as a thing. The woman here controls our attention, directs it, and, at the same time, divides it. We want to look at the body of the lovely young woman in the mirror, but cannot get past the direct eye. And, afterall, what is she looking at? She is looking at us looking at her. The closer eye demands recognition while the body behind calls us with a siren song. What man has the courage to look beyond that strong eye? The split color, verticals within the image tilting over to the left (pulling us toward the nude), the framed nude and the unframed image, the rectangle on end (not a square on end -- brilliant stoke this), the close face, the nude beyond -- these all work to enhance the tension, dynamic and moral. This is powerful work.
A bit of a juxtapose At first the image looks like two different images put together, but I see that it's really one image. Definetly voyeuristic. Nice use of DOF
Eye Several variations come to mind which you might try: (1) Make the cropping area more trapezoidal or more rectangular, rather than the not-quite-either current shape. The next two have to do with the eye. On my monitor the right part of the eye shows up completely black. Because of that lost detail, and the absence of the other eye, there's an illusion that she's looking out of the frame. Can the gaze be made more striking? Here are some thoughts: (2) Dodge to bring out more detail in the eye. (3) If you are open to re-taking that part of the picture, you could use a low-intensity flash or reflector to create a head-on catchlight, rather than the current off-center reflection. (4) Include just a little more of the face in the cropping? The picture is already great. For a 1024x768 display, it looks best at the largest size here, because of all the blank space.
Love the surreal aspect of this shot Amy, I love the surrealism in this shot, I admit my exposure to other photographers outside of a forum like this is limited, but to me, this is quite original and very visually pleasing. Makes me wonder, are you looking at us...looking in the mirror at yourself, reflecting upon yourself...all these questions and more come to mind when I look at this.
Aesthetics 7, Originality 10 Clever to put a colour picture in a B&W scene rather than the other way round.
I love this very creative photo! That eye staring right back at me gets me every time. Keep up the good work!
This is probably my favourite of your images so far, although many of you nudes are very interesting, this one provokes more thought. Thought for the viewer not photographer, as it is visable that a lot of thought goes into all your work. Well composed, and nice twist.
Next time: You have abeautiful face. Next time please allow us to view that beauty. I kinda like that look in your face.
Pink on Gray Congratulations Amy! For the originality, the aesthetics, and the atmosphere of oriental mistery you have criated. Joaquim H
Absolutely beautiful photograph; stunning composition.
Wonderful Very imaginative Amy! I must admit what caught my eye and drew me to your folder was the fact that you look strikingly like my wife! I had to take two looks to make sure. Concrats on some very nice shots here. P.S. I must say you are a very beautiful lady! Jerry.
Stewart Power Love this photo best, but because, to me, it is a great capturing of the moment we see when we are not looking. TOTALLY opposing the above view which claims it is 'definitely voyeuristic'. To me that kind of view kills REAL skill dead. (And besides, if it is DEFINITELY voyeuristic, well why the need to say that? Implication that the rest of us are not capable of seeing something which is definite?). Only joined up here because I felt this shot deserved much better comments than it has been given. (As for all that 'who is looking at whom' stuff! Please!! You dear writer are looking at a photograph. Don't turn it into an ego trip please.) There are those fleeting moments when we see something/someone quite everyday in a way that leaps beyond the usual. A loved one or lover in a moment that makes them seem different to usual. That how the moment of first seeing this photo struck me. Excellent photograph.
We are allowed to see, but we are then reproached when we look.
We are, that is, caught looking.
I am not sure which image is more compelling. Both are believable. One sees a beautiful woman naked in her bath. One then gets a reproachful look for looking at her--from the same woman. Genius!
We have all seen that view, and we have all seen that look--and both indeed often from the same woman!