Published: Friday 29th of December 2006 01:57:20 PM
Ralton, wine need not be abused anymore than the freedom to express oneself in art. In moderation, champagne is a drink that portrays joy and festivity, and only rarely any excess. This photo has every intention to provoke reaction, and I'm glad to see it does. My premise is that as in this picture, one can show a lot without really showing anything, not that there is any shame in the beauty of the female form, which there is not. The pose is suggestive, the expresion too, but the young ladies' offering is mild and sincere in comparison with some of the more blatant sexually and artificially provocative images that one encounters elsewhere in every day life. Eroticism surely is to offer what incites desire but does not satisfy it. In this image, it's all in the mind. The model knows and understands it, and that is why she posed.
Her eyes are saying, "Again?" Good eyes!
The good thing about champagne Robert is that you can drink a lot of it without getting tipsy, a headache or a hangover. It also helps sometimes in alllowing one to see the world with less prejudice.
Alex Lee Alex I don't get the meaning of your message. I did use digital here? And of course you are right, it's never easy. The most difficult of all I think is to respect the integrity of our models. A pose can be much less evident than this one, and still demean the model, whereas the opposite as above is also true. I am truly flattered to imagine that anyone may think so, but personally I do not "pose" my models, as all those among them that follow my pages including this one already know. I capture what they give me. It is wrong also to underestimate the intelligence of these girls that pose for us. If they do this, it is not because they are tricked into it, time after time again, it is because a longstanding relationship of trust is built up with them and a common goal attained. They understand the beauty of what we seek or they wouldn't be there. The support extended on this page is not by seedy dirty old men, or women either come to that. It is by photographers such as you and I that appreciate our love of form and grace, and the profound affection and respect that we feel for our models. Anyone that thinks the opposite is shortsighted and unimaginative. You don't get images like the one above by telling a girl to sit down and spread her legs. Apart from the fact that I would die of embarrassment, I would probably get my face slapped!
Style You have Style John - A Style of your very own. keep up the good work.
Perfect work! Love the finess of the glass and his posture.
John, normally your photos are among my favorite on Photo.net; I just don't feel that this one lives up to the typical quality you produce. To me, the pose seems a bit "cheap" -- much more suited for a different kind of web page. Now, I'm not suggesting that this is a porn image --the lighting (the fact it's B&W) the technical quality of the photo, and the setting all make it clear it's not. but the pose just doesn't work for me in this one. JMHO, and I realize--of course--that you are a much better photographer than I am!
The wine glass, suggesting an alcohol induced state, and that look on her face. Good grief, it is very sexy, too sexy for this site? Cheers and compliments of the season to you!
Nice light, excellent control of contrast and tone. Great pose and look from the model. Very provocative but still with taste IMHO.
Wonderful . Wish you a great creative 2007 :)
Hello John, I think th model, setting and lighting are all wonderful, but find the pose perhaps a little robust. Best wishes for 2007 Peter
Thank you Peter. It is an attempt to move beyond the classic glamour scene and see if it can be done with taste. In all cases, the illusion will be at least as great as the allusion, and much will remain unsaid. A very Happy New Year to you too, John
Wow, John, the both are great to me,like Ken says: fine art and penthouse, the both are fantastic. Alberto
"I think photographs should be provocative and not tell you what you already know. It takes no great powers or magic to reproduce somebody's face in a photograph" Duane Michals
In black and white, it's fine art. In color, call Penthouse! Nicely done!
Great shot, John. The open legs really work here to create the mood of the image. Taking the "safe" route would have lead to a much different image. Well done as per usual, John.
Alan, I appreciate yout comment and your point of view, though I do not share it on this ocassion. I am not seeking to push the envelope. I am enquiring to others and myself how far one can go without crossing over the border. Though I understand the audacity and the provocation of the pose above, I do not feel that this model could in any circumstance look cheap, on the contrary, I think she pulls it off very well and I am relieved to see that others share this view. What I have omitted to add previously is that the choice of model, her physical expression and demeanour are also vital to the result that one wants to obtain in glamour and nude work. It is even more so in any attempt to portray eroticism in which the threshold is so easily passed. This and another model I have worked with and posted recently look exquisitely dignified, whatever the pose. Many thanks for expressing your views so candidly. It is essential in order to get a balanced view. Happy New Year, John
Thanks Ralton. Good ocassion to bring across the message regarding Champagne! Happy New Year, John
John I hope you haven't misunderstood me? I love this photo and am in no way offended by it. I have commented on the feeling it brought to me, one of a naughty, slightly tipsy, sexy woman teasing... Cheers
John, I follow your photos regularly as I consider you a very fine photographer. I don't comment very often because I have never shot any nudes myself. But...(here it comes) I DO consider this a very artistic work. As you say it is an illusion. It IS erotic and somewhat suggestive. The B&W work is excellent. Wonderful tones and perfect contrast. My only negative comment (you KNEW that was coming) is the door frame by the model's left elbow. Either a very poor carpenter or some suspect photo shop work. I find it a tad distracting.-Best Regards and Happy New Year, Marty
Thanks Marty. I'm quite sure the carpenter was excellent. I am hopelessly careless and lazy at PS. A very Happy New Year to you.
Great photo John..........people see what they want to see
A lack of imagination ? Thanks for your comment Sally. Several of the ladies that visited this page see it differently, another not. Everyone has their opinion. That's why we post our photos. Happy New Year, John
Thank you very much Sharon. I am not seeking praise for good work. I am doing it for the artistic freedom to express oneself within the realms of good taste. I feel it is wrong to assimilate this with the vulgarity that one encounters ocassionally, because then when we really wish to draw a line, the arguments lose credibility. A very happy New Year to you.
Bill Foster Bill, thank you for taking so much trouble to comment on this photo. I'm glad this picture provoked some thought and such a divergence of opinions. Quite obviously, that is why I posted it. I only regret when people cannot express their points of view without becoming passionate, personal and sometimes rude. It denotes a certain level of immaturity and there is nothing to be gained through controversy. We are fellow artists and are here to exchange our views. Thank goodness that they differ. What a bore it would be if not. Let me run through your comments and try to be brief: 1. The photo is not explicit by choice. If it was, I would not have posted it, but you already know that. Those that take the pose as a pretext to say otherwise are not being objective. The whole purpose of the caption and what followed was to underline the differences between what is suggestive and what is blatantly provocative, irrespective of the definition given to the word erotic. It either shows or it does not. In this case, it does not, Period. Whether it could or should not show in a photo posted on PN is an entirely different debate. This is a gorgeous young lady, with a wonderful figure and an adorable look in her eye. Anyone that misinterprets her charm and the frankness of her pose is unable to identify with what is beautiful, sensual and romantic in the female form. There is no vulgarity in the human body. It is we that render it vulgar through our portrayal of it. In both shots I placed the flash to the right to cover the model as much as possible with shadow. It worked better in the colour photo, because of the pose, but in neither case was it totally sufficient. For the purposes of the picture, I burned out any areas that could be more apparent. No degree of enlargement or change of contrast will change that. I am not a prude. I preserve the integrity of my models. That is why they pose for me. 2. Most certainly there is a greater tendency to open up thumbnails of girls than some other types of photo. However, there are an equal number of persons that downrate a photo, out of principle, just because it's nude. I would not say on average that nudes reach the prominence that other subjects do on the most critiqued/most rated photo lists. People are rightly selective when it comes to quality. That being said, a nude, alike any subject can reach the required standard, and occasionally it does. 3.. Humans are not easy to photograph and nudes are even less so. Whoever says the opposite is either ignorant, naive or dishonest. The difficulty is not in finding poses, they are infinite in number, and contrary to the last posting, even a single pose can lead to unlimited interpretation. Nudity is more difficult to capture because the body expresses much more feelings than do clothes, and it reacts differently also to light. 4. The water sports comment was a slip for which the author apologized graciously, both in public and in private. Those that take it up again under the pretext that it was already said are guilty of premeditation. May I add inelegance? 5. An interesting comment regarding props and champagne. Let me start by the champagne, which is a means to an end and not finality in itself. I serve champagne, put on music, and discuss other topics, in order to create a bond with my model other than through photography. The glasses are there, we drink. They appear often in my photos. In one sense, even a white wall is a prop, but I do not set up the conditions in which I take my photos, nor do I pose my models for the most part. Don't ask me what I do, I don't really know. I take photographs. The fact that I do not know is because we are united in the act. I'm with my model and she with me, that's it, we talk we move, we take photographs. Oh, we laugh a lot too! Others have wonderful techniques that I admire. I'm too clumsy, too scatterbrained, too impatient and too forgetful to make them work for me. Helmut Newton, one of the geniuses of our times, irrespective of whether we like his work or not, most often used a "team" to photograph with. He had stylists, hairdressers, maquilleurs, light mechanics and all kinds of set out surroundings in order to prepare his shots. Most often he visited them beforehand and had the necessary changes made. I know of one case in which a building was painted for a night shoot. Oh yes, and there is always a half or full bottle of champagne in the fridge and I do serve guests a drink whether they are models or otherwise. Come and visit ...... :-) Finally, the analysis of these two photos: Thank you so much for expressing which you like or not and for what reason. If only people did that more often rather than to just express their distaste for the picture, the author or the model, sometimes all three. I too prefer the original coloured version. My rendering here in black and white of another in the series was to reduce the aggressive impact of the pose. In reality, it does work better in colour but it is also more graphic and provocative, which would not fulfil the purpose of this posting, nor what I accept to communicate publicly of my model. Bill, I really appreciated this. Have a simply wonderful New Year and don't take my offer of a glass of champagne too lightly. Others like Bill Rogers, Chris Nies, Robert Farnham and more have already taken up the invitation...
Wow, it's taken me ten minutes to read through all the comments generated by this one rather sexy photo of yours. Of course by my standards I consider this a very tame and artfully mastered imaged. I think Eva really described the connection between you and your art very well, the embodiment of trust. And in rebuttal to a comment made above about your "directing" the model into this pose, we both know that is not the case. Having established the trust and comfort between the two of you, she herself poised in this very relaxed position knowing full well of her vulnerabilities. Hear the tune playing? Same old song throughout the ages of mankind. :-)
I've admired your portfolio for a long time although I don't comment often upon it because I don't know how qualified I am to judge such a fine photographer. I particularly admire the long conversations your work always seems to inspire; that shows you are definitely doing something right! As I read all this long string of comments, a few things occur to me. Some may refer to the color photo of this same model as I just read both strings and don't really recall which comment was attached to which photo... 1. I love the pose and how you managed to make it erotic without crossing the line into explicit. Did you strategically dodge/burn or use blur to erase details or is it all done with lighting? 2. I get Helga's point about only shooting beautiful model; people do naturally tend to appreciate a beautiful model more and this will perhaps affect how the photo is critiqued. On the other hand, does she direct the same criticism to someone who shoots only sunsets or mountains? In addition, there are several photographers - Jim Adams springs to mind - here on PN who shoot all types of models and generate similar levels of interest and rating. 3. Her comment that "with today's cameras anyone can do this" is simplistic and uninformed. There is so much involved in posing and lighting shots like this and I admire your skill. I've experimented a bit with people shots and - as you can tell by the complete absence of them in my portfolio - have found them extremely difficult to carry out. One of the best things about your portfolio is the variety of natural and interesting poses one sees. 4. The "water sports" comment sure came out of the blue. That never would have occurred to me at all but now, it's there and influences how I see this one even though I don't agree with the comment or believe it occurred to you either. 5. You say that Helmut Newton used props but you "shoot what is there"? However, isn't this a prop shot? I don't think she sits around the house drinking champagne like this normally. Finally, I just have to say that I LOVE the color shot with this model. It is so natural looking and sensual; it may be the finest shot in your portfolio. This one however, just doesn'tt do it for me and I can't figure out why. I think it has to do with the pose. It seems as if maybe you shot this from a lower angle and, as a result, her legs look a little too elongated compared to her torso. There is also something distracting about the background, although I don't understand why I like it in the other picture. Also, there are places, her right foot in particular, where it looks too artificial and plastic. I love her facial expression though and the tones are really nice. Nevertheless, it doesn't compare to the color shot. Thanks for reading the longest comment I've ever written and keep up the good work.
My Grandmother taught me that "you can't learn with your mouth open" and so I am a silent admirer of you, often checking the website for not only your latest work, but also the work of others that you comment on, as I feel that I have much to learn from you, photographically speaking. Reading through the discussion of this photograph, I am learning something entirely new. For some reason people are "piling on" in their comments about what is an absolutely stunning photograph. The fact that you are able to respond with grace and dignity says a lot about how you treat people. So many people post comments asking how you are able to find these women and get them to show you their beautiful side (that I'm sure many of them don't know they have). THIS IS THE REASON!
Now! Now! NOTHING FOR THE IMAGINATION... STRAIGHT FORWARD FEMALE ANATOMY...,John HAPPY 2007!!!.
light, tone, model, idea...concept....everything is perfect..... happy 2007
John, Thanks for the kind words. Recently a friend requested that I do a shoot for her that she intended to give her husband as a gift. She was nervous - primarily because she was worried about what my wife would think. We shot for over 3 hours and after about 45 minutes she really began to feel the moment. When she saw the first set of finished photos she nearly came to tears and said over and over that she never knew she could look like that. Although I'm making only a small portion of my living with a camera, it's being able to participate in moments like that make me pick up the camera as much as I possibly can, either for a friend for free, or a bride for pay. Incidentally my wife not only approves, but participates in a photo shoot whenever she can.
XXXX (since removed), thank you very much for expressing your opinion regarding this picture, in particular the lighting, the unnatural central position of the model and what you alone on this page call the porn nature of the image. You are fully entitled to express your opinion and I appreciate it, thank you. That's what we post them for. What I do not agree with however is personal remarks regarding your likes and dislikes concerning the grooming habits of our models, or their relations with those close to them. That is no concern of yours, it is discourteous, ungentlemanly and has no place in a photo discussion group such as this. You made your criticism regarding the photo and I thanked you, now I made mine.
John, I do agree, All one would have to do is look over your port to see that your works capture not only the beauty but the personalities of you models. Something that would be hard to do in a pre-posed shot. As an artist I would think this to be an important element to have in the works, if not then the image becomes a pre -set vision, not capturing the personality of the model. Again a beautiful shot. A celebration of what is a normal part of life.
Bill, a misunderstanding here. Someone used it in the core of their message to me, repeating once again the word in description of the drink. But let's leave things lie now. Hopefully, it's over. Many thanks again.
Thank you Cliff. It's people like you that make it all worthwhile. Not because of the compliments extended but because of your compassion and feeling towards others. If only more people understood how much pleasure it gives to give happiness to others, rather than the contrary. Have a wonderful New Year, John
John: As an aspiring nude photographer myself,the first thing I see in a shot like this is a bond of trust between the model and photographer. I have yet to find this bond, at least so far as this kind of bold pose is concerned, but the minute I do you will find her picture posted in Pnet for critique. With admiration and a touch of envy, Robert
Wonderful to get such support from yet another lady. Many thanks Eva and thank you also for understanding what it's all about.
Dear John I write to you not for your photo but for one of my photos. I would like some comments for this photo from you ( I do not care about ratings ) because I believe in your high artistic point of view. http://www.photo.net/photodb/photo?photo_id=5388312 Thanks in advance. Michael.
Hi John, Thanks for your gracious response. I hope you also have a wonderful new year. I'll be happy to take you up on your offer if I am ever in your area (wherever that is). As for the one comment, I had no intention of bringing up a subject again to belabor the point or be impolite and I did see his gracious comment. I merely wished to comment that one's interpretation of a photograph is not just a product of what is there, but also of the other opinions one reads, whether comments here on PN or magazine reviews or books in the wider world. For instance, there was a book that I loved and read three or four times. When a movie was eventually made of it, it featured a lot of fascist imagary and ideas. It never would have occured to me but now I can't read the book without those ideas popping into my head. Thus, the way I view that peice of art is not just between me and the author, but is also mediated by a the ideas of a third party, the film director. In the same way, the comments that we read here about a photograph can influence how one views a picture and change how one sees a given piece. Sometimes it helps one understand and sometimes it just confuses things, but there is always an effect.
A couple of days ago, I looked at a beautiful picture produced by FRAN GARCIA. http://www.photo.net/photodb/photo?photo_id=5346058 Some lady wrote under his photo that it's all porn, including Michaelangelo's nude marble statues !!
John... this is the opposite of obscene, miles from lewd, light years from tawdry and leaves EVERYTHING to the imagination. The innocence of this photo is the sexy part, she is not trying to look suggestive or provocative, she is not fabricating a "sexy" pose, no need for spike heels or props, just legs and eyes. Congratulations John, on your choice of models, what a gorgeous girl! You are the best, the very best! Happy New Year! Admiringly, Sharon
Tanya, thank you. It touches me that you will have chosen this photo to comment under. It takes courage to take up a position over an image like this one, especially for a woman. I do understand and respect anyone that might not identify with it. However, in an age of pronouced tolerance and many excesses in the art world, I think that the two or three images that I chose to portray my understanding of eroticism were relatively mild. There is an old saying to the effect that "you cannot be more Royalist than the King". and If a model finds a work acceptable, there is little room left for anyone else to moralize regarding her. Neverthless, we must accomodate on the net to a lowest common denominator and I will therefore limit showing what else I do in this area. Big kiss for 2007 Tanya, John
Hmmm! ...seems like all are said. A glass of champagne from me to your models and photography, John ;o). One of the most erotic and elegant photos i've ever seen. I love that sensual connection in her eyes.... Please send my admiration to your "girl next door" ;o). Wish i could do something like that...of course...on both sides of the camera :o). A glass of champagne to the most creative and prosperous 2007 for you John.
Ok John here is my unqualified opinion and observations on this photograph. As I look at it it is obviously erotic and suggestive, but here is my take on it. I get the sense of a momentary moral decision, do I take advantage of this woman or not. Is she emotionally vulnerable or truly wanting? Is she more intoxicated then sensible, do I or don't I? This of course coming from the perspective of the person standing there looking at her. The lens being their eyes and we took a privileged moment of being there at that moment and can only guess the circumstances surrounding the moment. Beside the doorframe, the B/W is perfect. The model must have been really comfortable with you to be so open and vulnerable and she has a confident look to pull it off. Why did I go into so much detail? To show a picture can illicit strong responses. Otherwise it's just a nude photograph. So well done and keep finding the limits of art verses ... well you get the point. Very well done! Sorry to be long winded. <>< Sonny <><
A very interesting comment Sonny, thank you. There is a strange relation between a photographer and his model. He must ellicit total trust or he will not capture any image worth the while. However, at the same time there must also be provocation, or otherwise, all he will get is just a happy, self content look. There is a fine balance to be drawn and a certain element of risk involved, the risk of being misunderstood or underestimated. Neither of these two will give the result above. Thank you very much for passing by.
as always I will just state that for the past 5 months i have worked my way up to doing 600 crunches every day in lue of my 40th birthday ... after seeing this picture i am going to do another 600 today ......THANKS JOHN!!! :o) or maybe i should say that to the model???? AWOLF
Alessandro Della Casa
Well, this is a serious photo discussion group and not Playboy Magazine, but you mean well of course, so thank you.
Thoughtful... The arms above the head, the piano bench? she's sitting on, the wine glass placed in open front view are all amazing parts to this photograph. It doesn't hurt that she is my favorite of all of your models. Not sure if she is a regular model of yours but I look forward to more shots of her (including non nudes). Kudos John...
Strong, provocative, feminine, sexy a lot of words race through my head when seeing your photo very nice work... !
This is pretty close to perfect. I can appreciate the feelings of others that it is almost too suggestive, but I actually think the pubic hair does quite a good job of toning down the pure lewd sex and makes you instead look at her body, not just at her vagina. Without the pubic hair I feel like this would be a very different photo. Someone above said that her face says 'again?' but instead I think it says, 'You think you can handle me?' She is very powerful, very sexy, and very woman. I honestly think one of my favorite shots of a woman. Well done.
Excellent use of light, composition and colour tones. Regarding the content I believe it all depends on the viewer's calture. Thanks for sharing.
Erotic Art with grace and poise ...