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Thread: Nudes...?

  1. #51
    Drew Bedo's Avatar
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    Re: Nudes...?

    Isn't there about a 500 page thread on Nudes in the Imag Sharig forum?
    Drew Bedo
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    There are only three types of mounting flanges; too big, too small and wrong thread!

  2. #52
    Old School Wayne
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    Re: Nudes...?

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Bedo View Post
    Isn't there about a 500 page thread on Nudes in the Imag Sharig forum?
    yes, but that's an image sharing thread. When comments like these come up in it posters are maligned for expressing their opinions. Which may be appropriate, since it is an image sharing thread.

  3. #53

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    Re: Nudes...?

    Quote Originally Posted by ValoPeikko View Post
    If you photograph a nude human form, you're photographing human form. When you add clothes you add message to your work. I'm not saying all nudes are good or even remotely so. But it's not about undressing, it's about not dressing up to a role in the first place.
    Well stated, I think. Thanks.

  4. #54

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    Re: Nudes...?

    We speak of nude photography in glorified terms of seeing how light falls on, and brings out the forms of the body, etc. But to those who do a lot of this work, just how much of its reward is outright, sexual titillation? This is a question with good intent. In spite of our Puritan heritage, I'm not suggesting necessarily that there's anything wrong with sexual titillation.

    It seems like this must be a significant part of it. As some (male) photographers point out with seeming political correctness earlier in this thread, they photograph nude women. Of course, light can fall just as nicely on male forms, as on female. If titillation weren't part of it, the subject's sex, logically, wouldn't matter.

    Certainly, viewing nude photography is a combination of seeing beautiful forms and sexual response.

    Like others, I would point out, perhaps also with seeming political correctness, that I've photographed nudes in past workshops. But outside that venue, I don't take photographs of nudes. For some reason, I would be quite reluctant to do this. Hmm. Makes me wonder about myself; is there some impractical barrier that I face?

    Just some meanderings. Things can become very complicated, when we inject sexual feelings into daily dealings. Perhaps rhetorically though, I do wonder about the original question. And if so, is there anything wrong with this?

  5. #55
    New Orleans, LA
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    Re: Nudes...?

    as Elaine Benes said: "The female body is a work of art. The male body is utilitarian, it's for getting around. Like a Jeep."

  6. #56

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    Re: Nudes...?

    A lot of women drive Jeeps.

  7. #57
    Old School Wayne
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    Re: Nudes...?

    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Moe View Post
    A lot of women drive Jeeps.
    Yup. I've seen pictures.

  8. #58
    ipso facto photo Roberto Rico's Avatar
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    Re: Nudes...?

    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.

    Regarding the original comment- From your perspective, perhaps. Many images fail when stripped to their bear elements. Itís the dynamic of the individual elements that matter to me. The interplay. I place strong values on composition, light, texture and the skills employed. Sometimes the subject is incidental. I look at nudes the same way. For me, morality seldom figures into the equation, though there is often an emotional element to a truly dynamic image.

    Too often, we try to read into it (the image), something thatís not there. We often project our own values onto the subject before us. Itís unavoidable. On the extreme, itís like looking at a pure abstraction and trying to make sense of it. Thatís when Art Critics and Art Historians step in and try to put a Ďspin on ití for us (they have credentials, I donít).

    Sometimes Art is just what it isÖ nothing more. To be taken at face value. If I donít like it, itís strictly personal. That happens a lot. Especially when looking at what passes íFine Art Photographyí over the last few decades. I simply donít get the majority of it. Much of it is lifeless, has no sense of composition, or created from hacked up images of other peopleís work, But may possess some social message. Does a Ďmessageí make it art? So thatís where I end- Does it stand on itís own as art or not? Is it original art? As an artist/photographer, thatís my call, not the critics. I did read the entire thread before commenting.

    Regarding exploitation of women in photography- I see my role as a photographer, as one who can leverage this bad stereotype for something more respectful, more artistic and less exploitive (though as photographers, thatís what we do, we exploit opportunities for images). We can be a positive force for change or not. Art has a long history of dealing with social issues. As mentioned above, more so now, than ever before. We could or should do the same.

  9. #59

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    Re: Nudes...?

    I've done a bit of nude art. Mostly paintings. I generally tend to avoid them anymore. The genre is a hard one to do well. There's only so many ways to pose and light a body, and most of the good ways have been done to death. So it's hard not to look like a derivative of another artist, or a complete hack. With other forms of portraiture, you're able to bring a lot more of the subject's personality into the picture. With a nude, it's really hard NOT to objectify the model. Of course it can be done, but usually the point of a nude photograph is to explore the light, form, general concept of being nude, or expression of sexuality. And all of those tend to treat the body as an object rather than a person. Usually, when trying to express a personality, and thus not objectify the person but celebrate their individuality, clothing and other props become more relevant in order to help to reinforce these personality traits. Plus, as others have mentioned, there's the sexual gratification crowd and the sexually deviant crowd that love to dip into the nude art scene. And there's nothing wrong with that. Robert Mapplethorpe was a genius at blurring those lines and exploring the world of pornography without leaving the art world. They can exist in harmony. But it can put a bit of a stain on the integrity of nude art at the point where it shares that border with pornography if not done with a deft hand. Those dividing lines can become blurred when approached from either direction, which may or may not be a bad thing. But I think most would agree that there's a difference between pure art and pure pornography and on certain levels, they're not equal.

    It's also kind of the low hanging fruit for the budding artist. I definitely notice a lot of people who think it must be art simply because it's got a nude in it. And it must be good because it's technically well executed. Therefore it's seen as an easy entrance into creating good art if you haven't developed an eye for what actual good art is. So the nude art market is flooded with novices, poorly skilled veterans, pornographers, and deviants. Which is cool. There's room enough for everyone. But if you're coming at it from the perspective of looking for good art, it's going to take a bit more work than it would in most other genres for the viewer to find it.

  10. #60
    ipso facto photo Roberto Rico's Avatar
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    Re: Nudes...?

    “The market is flooded… but there is room enough for everybody”

    What does that mean exactly? That there is so much work on nudes out there (poor or not), that there is little hope of generating income from it? Or that there are still more buyers looking for ‘works of art’, if you know how to reach them? Those with money for fine art (and I’m not talking about machine prints made to cover bear walls for interior decorators), seldom have time to do their own ‘searching’. They pay middlemen to bring them work to consider. Hence the use of galleries and art reps. But the middlemen always extract their pound of flesh.

    Or something else?

    I’m not sure Mapplethorpe is the exception, but the type of artist who knows how to break out from the rest of the humdrum. Much like Andy Warhol did. Pushing social limits has always been a way to gain exposure and notoriety in the ‘Art Press’. Some of us abhor the ‘fame’, but you seldom get to ‘fortune’ without it. Fortunately, my own ambitions are a lot less grandiose.

    Much of this discussion is outside the concerns of Large Format Photography. By it’s very nature, it is hard to create images that don’t look deliberate, contrived. That seldom meshes with shooting contemporary nudes where some connection with the subject, at the point of tripping the shutter, is concerned. But then ALL of those very early nudes were formally posed. Exposures were in the realm of a few seconds to as much as a minute. Bellocq in New Orleans was busy pushing those limits. Nor was all his effort aimed at shooting nudes, but that is what he will be remembered for. Were his images art? Or simply social commentary? I can’t speak to his motives, but I admire his dedication.

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