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Thread: Nudes...?

  1. #1
    Randy's Avatar
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    Nudes...?

    Perhaps I am to critical, perhaps my tastes have changed over the years (duh), but I find that I am rather disappointed with the majority of the large format photographs of nude women that I come across. Of course, as long as the photographer is satisfied I guess that is what really counts, and I never offer an unsolicited critique. The problem I have is that the attempts are seldom inspiring (to me). Rather than try to describe what I find un inspiring, let me just say that so often it seems to me that, if the subject had of been fully clothed it would have been a mediocre portrait at best, and the fact that the subject is undressed does not make it any better. Nothing magical happens by being nude.
    Let me admit that I do not photograph nudes, and never have.
    Am I alone? Am I being to critical? Is it just like any other photographic subject, landscapes, trees, close-ups, there will be some that just don't do it for me...?
    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/52893762/bigger4b.jpg

  2. #2
    Nodda Duma's Avatar
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    Nudes...?

    The way shadows and highlights play on bare skin make nudes a different subject than the fully clothed.

  3. #3
    8x10, 5x7, 4x5, et al Leigh's Avatar
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    Re: Nudes...?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nodda Duma View Post
    The way shadows and highlights play on bare skin make nudes a different subject than the fully clothed.
    Exactly.

    - Leigh
    If you believe you can, or you believe you can't... you're right.

  4. #4

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    Re: Nudes...?

    I don't think that you are being too critical. Over the years have tried photographing nudes many times. I would think my resulting images were very good until I looked at them next to some of the nude photographs made by Wynn Bullock. "so often it seems to me that, if the subject had of been fully clothed it would have been a mediocre portrait at best" My images had always fitted that description.... they just didn't possess that magic element which I hope someone will attempt to describe in this thread.

  5. #5
    Jac@stafford.net's Avatar
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    Re: Nudes...?

    A photograph of a beautiful woman is not necessarily a beautiful photograph. A photograph of a landscape is far more challenging in many more regards. The sun and moon do not pass over studio nudes until the light is right. The landscapes we see are usually better in every way from the nudes. I remember back to the nudes of some guy named Frank who just pushed his models into a corner of a room with white walls and snapped. It was all utter crap.
    .

  6. #6

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    Re: Nudes...?

    Quote Originally Posted by Randy View Post
    Perhaps I am to critical, perhaps my tastes have changed over the years (duh), but I find that I am rather disappointed with the majority of the large format photographs of nude women that I come across. Of course, as long as the photographer is satisfied I guess that is what really counts, and I never offer an unsolicited critique. The problem I have is that the attempts are seldom inspiring (to me). Rather than try to describe what I find un inspiring, let me just say that so often it seems to me that, if the subject had of been fully clothed it would have been a mediocre portrait at best, and the fact that the subject is undressed does not make it any better. Nothing magical happens by being nude.
    Let me admit that I do not photograph nudes, and never have.
    Am I alone? Am I being to critical? Is it just like any other photographic subject, landscapes, trees, close-ups, there will be some that just don't do it for me...?
    I shot a few nudes 25 years ago. No more.

    I no longer need to, or want to and my problem is 'Political'.

    There I put it in writing. Which nearly guarantees somebody is going to want me to shoot nudes shortly.

  7. #7

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    Re: Nudes...?

    Quote Originally Posted by Randy View Post
    Am I being to critical?
    I am not sure you can ever be to critical.

  8. #8
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: Nudes...?

    I photographed the nude in the landscape between 20 to 30 years ago, and not many sessions, perhaps a half-dozen. For the most part, the figure was small in the background. Traditional 1800's photographs in the redwoods either showed everyone, including women and children, all in the Sunday best, or showed just men with axes, over-sized cross-cut saws and half-cut trees. To counter those images, I thought a female, resting nude comfortably in the background would certainly do that. It was a good experience and I made some nice images. However, reading feminist writings and trying to understand the point of view concerning men's gaze, I did/do not wish to continue that small series.

    I was able to take the experience of working with the figure in the landscape and create a series of my triplet boys in the landscape over a span 15 years or so. It has been very rewarding.
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  9. #9

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    Re: Nudes...?

    Quote Originally Posted by faberryman View Post
    I am not sure you can ever be to critical.
    In 1981 Harry Casimir de Rham wrote me in longhand!!! "to try to develop an attitude of tolerance and cheerfulness, and to remember the ironic fact that the perfection which can be drawn from within the depths of the human being can never be found in a machine."

  10. #10

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    Re: Nudes...?

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg View Post
    In 1981 Harry Casimir de Rham wrote me in longhand!!! "to try to develop an attitude of tolerance and cheerfulness, and to remember the ironic fact that the perfection which can be drawn from within the depths of the human being can never be found in a machine."
    While the perfect may be the enemy of the good, so too is the good enough.

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