Friday, July 5, 2019

Lee Loo La

In the now nearly 200-year-old history of photography, there have been many different movements and genres, and while each successive one tended to try to invalidate previous ones, in the end, all of them are completely valid and still hold interest. They all figure into the history for good reason. Even the lowly selfie and amateur snapshots (whether from a Kodak Brownie or an iPhone) have and/or will get their own scholarly books to anoint their place in history. The lesson to be learned? If anyone tries too self-righteously tell you that whatever genre you're doing is rubbish, you can tell them where to stick it...





Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Ajaye

In a time where digital photography makes color ubiquitous, black & white photography seems like a curious anachronism. Yet black & white stays with us and remains relatively popular. Color film went mainstream in the 1930s with the introduction of Kodachrome & Technicolor, but black & white has stubbornly persisted not only in newspapers but also as an expressive outlet for many photographers who choose to shoot photojournalism, weddings, portraits and more by converting color digital files to black and white. But is black and white a gimmick? Given that humans see in color, is converting a photo to black and white an act of self-importance? A way to make an image appear to be more significant than it otherwise might be in color? To engage in a debate of whether black & white or color is better is probably a waste of time— both have their merits, and preference is ultimately subjective. Obviously, I wear my preference on my sleeve with my body of work here. I'm definitely not going to write a self-righteous manifesto on the superiority of monochrome, though. All I will say more on the matter is that it seems very appropriate for the work that I'm doing here.





Saturday, June 15, 2019

Izzy

"It is an illusion that photos are made with the camera... they are made with the eye, heart, and head." ~Henri Cartier-Bresson




Sunday, June 9, 2019

Sylvia

While I have always been mostly a perfectionist when it comes to many of the technical aspects of photography, I am typically not a pixel peeper (although, sometimes I am). A complimentary definition of a pixel peeper would be a digital photographer who magnifies images to critically evaluate image resolution at the pixel level. A pixel peeper could also very well be described in derogatory terms: a snobbish photographer who erroneously believes that the worth of a digital camera is determined solely by having the most megapixels, and/or the latest and greatest sensor. Pixel peeping has its place, but an image technically perfect down to the level of each individual pixel will still look terrible if it is poorly composed, or contains a boring and/or lifeless subject. It has its place, but it is the least important to me in the hierarchy of details. The majority of the work posted here is also represented by a portfolio of prints that are only 4 x 6 inches— at that size, it really wouldn't matter if I shot them on a half decent digital camera from 2004 vs a brand new 100 MP medium format camera. I feel that the smaller print size is a good size to intimately handle and view the work, and they are kept in a larger hand-crafted wooden box with a linen inset that makes them kind of jewel-like. The way that I arranged the lighting of these shots is something that, for instance, I value over the quality of the camera, since if the lighting was crappy you would easily note that even in a 4 x 6 print... everything is relative.






Li

This image is not new— I shot it about a dozen years ago, although I just tuned it up a tiny bit. This image was important to me personally, as it was a definitive turning point where I knew what I wanted to achieve in my aesthetic going forward. It ticked off all of the boxes... showing real skin texture with razor-sharp focus, yet depicting movement in the softer bokeh areas; detail in the lighter areas, but mystery in the darker ones; gripping, twisting and body tension as opposed to static posing (later adding facial tension and mood to that); realistic sexuality as opposed to romanticized; realistic messy hair as opposed to perfectly coiffed (later adding bruised, scratched or scarred skin as well); compositions that look like they want to bust out of the frame. I thought that this was one of the strongest images that I had shot so far. This is one of a handful of past images that I tend to think of when I'm shooting, as a guide to what I'm currently trying to achieve.






Monday, May 27, 2019

Tali De'Mar

"Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else."  ~Margaret Mead










Sunday, May 26, 2019

Ajaye

One of my favorite sources of lighting and shooting locations are windows. Window light is an excellent, free light source. As an indoor light source, it can achieve the same effects as much bigger, more expensive lighting equipment. A large window is essentially a huge softbox. The earliest photography studios didn’t use fancy electric lighting. They just used big windows.






Thursday, May 23, 2019

Freikörperkultur

The abbreviation FKK comes from the German word "Freik√∂rperkultur". It roughly translates to Free Body Culture. It endorses a natural approach to sports and community living. Behind that is the joy of the experience of nature or also of being nude itself, without a direct relationship to sexuality. The German nudist movement was the first worldwide and marked the start of an increased acceptance of public nudity in Germany. Some of the early pioneers of FKK were avant-garde intellectuals in the late 19th century who wanted to challenge the uptight Victorian morals of mainstream society, while other proponents advocated a more natural, healthier lifestyle, at a time when the syphilis-ridden working classes lived in cramped, squalid conditions.

FFK still very much exists, but these days anyone who runs around naked in public in Germany risks a fine because of the administrative offense "harassing the general public". At bathing lakes or beaches, however, nudity is now tolerated almost everywhere and has become the normal appearance. Nudity also occurs in places such as a closed off nudist campsite. Hence, there are signs posting "Naturist activities only in fenced terrain". So now you know what is going on in this particular diorama— enjoy!





Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Finger Self-Portrait with HO Scale Miniaturplastiken Nudist Figure

Accessories for HO scale train sets include figures of all kinds from railroad workers to nudists, because what train set would be complete without a nudist colony? I hid the face at the request of the model...





Friday, May 10, 2019

Ash

I'm a ridiculously harsh critic... of others work. Judging by how quickly I can dismiss work that is very similar to my own, I can only assume that if I came across all of my own work without knowing that it was mine (photographic amnesia?) I would probably only be drawn to a few images. I'm pretty sure that I only like my own work as much as I do because it's a form of navel-gazing. I often feel that I'm pursuing styles that I'm going to really dislike in the future. I say this for a few good reasons. When I come across someone working in a rather similar vein I'll say to myself things like "it's too much HDR... too much Photoshop... too much re-touching"— even though I'm perhaps utilizing the same amount. Ouch. It's probably the psychological effect not being able to objectively look at yourself or your own work. I often wish that I could step outside of myself, temporarily possessing an analogous but different mind that could be more objective. If everybody could do that, it would most likely have an amazing effect on humanity...






Sonia

"I like myself better naked. I don't mean that in a vain way... When you put clothes on, you immediately put a character on. Clothes are adjectives, they are indicators. When you don't have any clothes on, it's just you, raw, and you can't hide." ~Padma Lakshmi











Ajaye

I've always been fascinated with the idea of creating a large body of work dedicated to just close-ups of O-faces. The idea that of representing something very intimate, yet not really explicit at all, yet at the same time very genuine & erotic is an appealing challenge to me. The range of expressions that one sees in O-faces is compelling as well– everything from serene, to sexy, to even grotesque. It's a psychological smorgasbord!





Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Ajaye

I love the simplicity of this— it took about a minute to do this rope tie.











Sunday, May 5, 2019

Ajaye

"I think a scarf is the most versatile item. It's good to wrap around yourself when you're cold or have someone tie you up with it. I love scarves." ~Martha Stewart








Saturday, May 4, 2019

Izzy

Izzy is a photographer who happens to model for me on occasion. Izzy is her nickname. All of her work is erotic, and she is very good at it. We share a strong affinity for photography, which certainly helps with shooting together. Or perhaps it's just that she likes to take her clothes off. Seriously. She even likes to be undressed when behind the camera.

These two images show a shibari rope bra, a bit tight. I've noticed from some commentary that people either love this image, or they are upset by it. Those upset seem to feel that it disturbing to treat someone's breasts like this. While I admit that it is an extreme use of rope work, the fact is that this was her idea and she apparently enjoyed every minute of it. She certainly does not have a look of anguish in her facial expression. I think this may be a good example of how something comes across versus reality can be two very different things...





 






Li & Carl

"What I have tried to do is involve the people I was photographing... if they were willing to give, I was willing to photograph." ~Eve Arnold











Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Jade Vixen

$20 IKEA rug paired with very expensive 1940's vintage lingerie.






Sunday, April 28, 2019

Nancy

"Blinding ignorance does mislead us. Wretched mortals, open your eyes!"  ~Leonardo da Vinci