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Author Topic: Figure Work  (Read 74916 times)
jjj
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« Reply #20 on: May 18, 2008, 11:06:49 AM »
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Micek: the only expansion Iīd have thought one can make is to repeat that the pictures are nothing other than boring, ordinary photographs of VERY ordinary looking females and, as such, hardly worth the trouble of shooting.
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I'd say the plasticised, over photoshopped images of women caked in make up that you see all the time these days is to my mind, incredibly boring. These photos show women looking beautiful without resembling a blowup doll, as is sadly becoming the norm these days. But if your taste leans more towards women resembling mannikins, then these would be very boring indeed.  
 Some of the images are stunning, mixed in with the very good shots. And to get so much variety of images from such a simple set up is also a testament to the photographer's skill.
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« Reply #21 on: May 18, 2008, 11:16:36 AM »
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So, what part of glamour models ainīt real? Do you think they all need plastic boobs?

Bothering. To bother about something one has to care; to bother about beauty when it is so evidently missing is pointless. Beauty of body and/or face or its lack therein is ALL that a photo can show; to pretend otherwise is to engage with the mindset of the charlatan. Try to think of a SINGLE photograph where the magical mystery of character is revealed. You will be able to list countless where the ACT of pretending, of projecting an emotion hopefully defining character has been done with success - think the movies - but to see character in a photograph of an unknown person is a claim in the realm of the absurd: you just canīt know. Takes us neatly back to the thread elsewhere of the typical terrorist costume of beard and swarthy looks...

Rob C
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The part that "ain't" real about glamour models are the hours spent in make-up and with the hair stylists,  the powdering/coverup makeup for the shiny bits, the photoshop touchups for blemishes, eye-colour enhancement, teeth whitening, eye-whitening, slimming, lip widening and what-have-you.

As for the beauty comments again I'll say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and we have differing opinions on that one, but let me ask you this.  If you were hired for a set of products shots for a product that you don't believe in would you still do it?  If you were hired to take pictures of a gallery that you didn't find beautiful and photo-worth would you do it?  Lastly if you were hired to take pictures of a model that you didn't find beautiful would you do it?
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jjj
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« Reply #22 on: May 18, 2008, 11:21:14 AM »
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Just for fun, the fat girl in the pictures my wife? I canīt see that how my wife does or does not look has much to do with the photographs under review: she is not one of the ladies there. As I explain above, she would not put herself into such a silly position and if you refer to physical looks, then yes, she was beautiful when she was of an age that women can be beautiful in that specifically physical sense of the word. Only an idiot denies the reality of the ravages of time to either gender; the only difference is that some have more to lose in the first place. [a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=196368\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Not sure why being photographed in a way that makes you look good is silly. Just because it is not to your taste, doesn't make something bad. And when exactly does a female stop being beautiful as she is ravaged by time, when she is no longer a teenager, in her twenties, thirties.... You seem to have a very narrow minded view of how and when a woman can look good and it seems your wife has passed that stage as far as you are concerned.
I knew someone who adored fat women, so the fat girl mentioned above would be just his type. Just as some men like curvy girls and some like skinny girls, some will like plastic girls with fake boobs and others will hate them, some will like heavily made up girls and some will like those without makeup, each to his own. To my mind, it's a girl's personality that makes them attractive [as opposed to simple pretty/ugly judgements ] and where I think the photographer has suceeded, is in capturing their personalities.
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micek
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« Reply #23 on: May 18, 2008, 12:16:51 PM »
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"some of these images"? So you're saying you're just a degree or two away from Rob's opinion? If you agree why are you arguing?
Darkpenguin: I said I find beauty in some of these images, (not some of these women.Whether the women are beautiful or not is not my concern, what I am talking about is the photographs).
Rob has made it clear that he finds this series of  photographs boring and not worth bothering with.
Are you suggesting all 200+ photographs are beautiful?
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Rob C
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« Reply #24 on: May 18, 2008, 03:38:14 PM »
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Not sure why being photographed in a way that makes you look good is silly. Just because it is not to your taste, doesn't make something bad. And when exactly does a female stop being beautiful as she is ravaged by time, when she is no longer a teenager, in her twenties, thirties.... You seem to have a very narrow minded view of how and when a woman can look good and it seems your wife has passed that stage as far as you are concerned.
I knew someone who adored fat women, so the fat girl mentioned above would be just his type. Just as some men like curvy girls and some like skinny girls, some will like plastic girls with fake boobs and others will hate them, some will like heavily made up girls and some will like those without makeup, each to his own. To my mind, it's a girl's personality that makes them attractive [as opposed to simple pretty/ugly judgements ] and where I think the photographer has suceeded, is in capturing their personalities.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=196398\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

 JJJ

Beautiful, as in photogaphy of women, is a visual thing. There is no point in trying to add to that by bringing to the party diversions such as character, voice, sense of humour, kindnes, advanced maternal instincts or anything else other than the visual. Those other attributes, or lack of them, are to be found in both beautiful and not beautiful women. They do not constitute part of the definition of beautiful.

Of course, you are free to dispute the definition, but as I indicated somewhere here earlier, semantics plays no part in changing fundamental truth.

I am still unable to see how you are able to understand or grasp the quality of a personīs personality from a photograph; there must be a great job awaiting you at CSI! Or even a chair at some cutting edge university somewhere; what a rare no, unique talent that is!

My wife would laugh in your face if you were to try and snow her with notifications of beauty; she is a realist, has survived seven different, major operations in three-and-a-half years and has the strongest spirit I have met in anyone, man or woman. To bullshit her with psuedo charm and the chatlines of the idiot would not win you nor anyone else a grateful smile; more likely a derisive hoot of laughter. Perhaps, when life deals you a few rude shocks, the facile belief systems melt away and you see things as they really always are: harsh and totally unforgiving, with survival the best you can hope for (if I may end with a preposition and drive you nuts). But letīs lighten up: if your bulbs are turned on by those, to me, sad switches on that site, enjoy!

Rob C
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Rob C
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« Reply #25 on: May 18, 2008, 03:57:16 PM »
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I'd say the plasticised, over photoshopped images of women caked in make up that you see all the time these days is to my mind, incredibly boring. These photos show women looking beautiful without resembling a blowup doll, as is sadly becoming the norm these days. But if your taste leans more towards women resembling mannikins, then these would be very boring indeed.   
 Some of the images are stunning, mixed in with the very good shots. And to get so much variety of images from such a simple set up is also a testament to the photographer's skill.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=196396\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Yes, Dick Avedon tried the same thing earlier as he toured the States doing his latter day Diane Arbus. A roll of Colorama does not a masterpiece make!  Even for him. Trust me, I have toiled too many years on that sterile white paper, the reason I gave up my first studio, only to be forced to build another alongside my house as the bloody market demanded more of the same.

I do agree with you about todayīs version of what is passed off as beauty: even the beauty ads are sterile.  Worse the ladīs mags, but I seldom see them nowadays other than in passing.

There is a sense where I would argue that beauty in print died with the ending of the Shrimpton reign, to be replaced by androgynous inventions more in the realms of pain than joy. But, that is not to say that I believe beautiful photography of women is a thing of the past; look hard enough through a varity of photographersīagentsīsites and some remarkable stuff is still to be found. I have sometimes posted links on LuLa to these place; should anyone care, they are still to be found listed somewhere on the site.

Rob C
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Rob C
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« Reply #26 on: May 18, 2008, 04:01:23 PM »
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The part that "ain't" real about glamour models are the hours spent in make-up and with the hair stylists,  the powdering/coverup makeup for the shiny bits, the photoshop touchups for blemishes, eye-colour enhancement, teeth whitening, eye-whitening, slimming, lip widening and what-have-you.

As for the beauty comments again I'll say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and we have differing opinions on that one, but let me ask you this.  If you were hired for a set of products shots for a product that you don't believe in would you still do it?  If you were hired to take pictures of a gallery that you didn't find beautiful and photo-worth would you do it?  Lastly if you were hired to take pictures of a model that you didn't find beautiful would you do it?
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If, and when, I can work out the relevance to the discussion of your last few questions, I shall try to answer you truthfully as possible.

Edit: sorry, I went to the last part of your post first. Regarding your comments in the first paragraph, are you suggesting that makeup really does turn a sowīs ear into a silken purse? Further, are you of the belief that makeup, used by every woman I know, makes her less real than she was before she applied it? Isnīt that exactly what they are all trying to achieve? Would you deny them the belief that they have succeeded in making themselves look better, be closer to their personal ideal of beauty, if you will?

Rob C
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« Reply #27 on: May 18, 2008, 04:25:13 PM »
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If, and when, I can work out the relevance to the discussion of your last few questions, I shall try to answer you truthfully as possible.

Edit: sorry, I went to the last part of your post first. Regarding your comments in the first paragraph, are you suggesting that makeup really does turn a sowīs ear into a silken purse? Further, are you of the belief that makeup, used by every woman I know, makes her less real than she was before she applied it? Isnīt that exactly what they are all trying to achieve? Would you deny them the belief that they have succeeded in making themselves look better, be closer to their personal ideal of beauty, if you will?

Rob C
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No I don't believe makeup turns a sow's ear into a silken purse   Personally I find the overuse of makeup (such as almost always happens with glamour models in photoshoots) a large turnoff.  There's nothing appealing to me about a woman's face that has 1/8" of makeup on it.  Makeup, used sparingly is fine for me, but again each to their own.  I much prefer the natural look.  Does liberal amounts of makeup make a woman look better?  Hell no.  Alas, we're not talking about the women's feeling of themselves, we're talking about women looking beautiful for YOU as you were the one that stated that all those women were ugly and not worth the bother of photographing. Anyway we've strayed way OT here so I'll let things lie as they are, but you still didn't answer my questions regarding turning down work because you don't like the material/location/models.
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wolfnowl
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« Reply #28 on: May 18, 2008, 04:59:23 PM »
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Just curious... what do the women in these forums have to say?

Mike.
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micek
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« Reply #29 on: May 19, 2008, 12:44:12 AM »
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Oh well. There are obviously no answers to my questions.
Sorry to have bothered you Rob.
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jjj
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« Reply #30 on: May 19, 2008, 04:16:22 AM »
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Beautiful, as in photogaphy of women, is a visual thing. There is no point in trying to add to that by bringing to the party diversions such as character, voice, sense of humour, kindnes, advanced maternal instincts or anything else other than the visual. Those other attributes, or lack of them, are to be found in both beautiful and not beautiful women. They do not constitute part of the definition of beautiful.

Of course, you are free to dispute the definition, but as I indicated somewhere here earlier, semantics plays no part in changing fundamental truth.

I am still unable to see how you are able to understand or grasp the quality of a personīs personality from a photograph; there must be a great job awaiting you at CSI! Or even a chair at some cutting edge university somewhere; what a rare no, unique talent that is!
Being a bit literal here aren't we. You can take a picture of anyone, but a good photographer shows something about the sitter's personality. That doesn't mean you can tell what their favourite food is or whether they were bullied at school. A pretty woman with no personality doesn't photograph as well as a less attractive woman who loves to perform for the camera, so no beauty is not simply a visual thing, as otherwise Kate Moss would not be as rich as she is. And hence why the term photogenic is used, to differentiate from pretty/beautiful. Lots of beautiful women don't photograph well.  But then as you seem to believe nearly all women photographed  since Shrimpton are ugly then, you simply come across as a grumpy old codger who only likes girls [really the fashions] of his long past, younger days.
Do you also believe no good tunes have been written since the Beatles split up too?  

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My wife would laugh in your face if you were to try and snow her with notifications of beauty; she is a realist, has survived seven different, major operations in three-and-a-half years and has the strongest spirit I have met in anyone, man or woman. To bullshit her with psuedo charm and the chatlines of the idiot would not win you nor anyone else a grateful smile; more likely a derisive hoot of laughter. Perhaps, when life deals you a few rude shocks, the facile belief systems melt away and you see things as they really always are: harsh and totally unforgiving, with survival the best you can hope for (if I may end with a preposition and drive you nuts).
I'm not the language purist, so why should I care, [it's a stupid rule, introduced by stupid people anyway] and I'm certainly not trying to flattter your wife, I was just querying, when you think a woman passes her sell by date and stops being attractive.
 
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But letīs lighten up: if your bulbs are turned on by those, to me, sad switches on that site, enjoy!
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=196430\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Actually Rob, if the images also included men, I'd still appreciate the photos, so would that then make me gay? They are great pictures, that appeal to some people's tastes, but not others. The fact that the women are not clothed does not then make them porn.


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Yes, Dick Avedon tried the same thing earlier as he toured the States doing his latter day Diane Arbus. A roll of Colorama does not a masterpiece make! Even for him. Trust me, I have toiled too many years on that sterile white paper, the reason I gave up my first studio, only to be forced to build another alongside my house as the bloody market demanded more of the same.
Just because you don't like white backgrounds or don't like using them, doesn't mean great shots cannot be done with them. With most people, the shots may be dull, but in the right hands, a white background can make for great images.

You seem to be confusing your own very personal taste with what is right/attractive/good. Not the same thing, not even close. You quite rightly wouldn't take a daft comment like, "there were no decent images of women in print until the late 80s" seriously, would you?
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Rob C
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« Reply #31 on: May 19, 2008, 05:03:00 AM »
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Being a bit literal here aren't we. You can take a picture of anyone, but a good photographer shows something about the sitter's personality. That doesn't mean you can tell what their favourite food is or whether they were bullied at school. A pretty woman with no personality doesn't photograph as well as a less attractive woman who loves to perform for the camera, so no beauty is not simply a visual thing, as otherwise Kate Moss would not be as rich as she is. And hence why the term photogenic is used, to differentiate from pretty/beautiful. Lots of beautiful women don't photograph well.  But then as you seem to believe nearly all women photographed  since Shrimpton are ugly then, you simply come across as a grumpy old codger who only likes girls [really the fashions] of his long past, younger days.
Do you also believe no good tunes have been written since the Beatles split up too?  

 I'm not the language purist, so why should I care, [it's a stupid rule, introduced by stupid people anyway] and I'm certainly not trying to flattter your wife, I was just querying, when you think a woman passes her sell by date and stops being attractive.
 
Actually Rob, if the images also included men, I'd still appreciate the photos, so would that then make me gay? They are great pictures, that appeal to some people's tastes, but not others. The fact that the women are not clothed does not then make them porn.
Just because you don't like white backgrounds or don't like using them, doesn't mean great shots cannot be done with them. With most people, the shots may be dull, but in the right hands, a white background can make for great images.

You seem to be confusing your own very personal taste with what is right/attractive/good. Not the same thing, not even close. You quite rightly wouldn't take a daft comment like, "there were no decent images of women in print until the late 80s" seriously, would you?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=196513\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Happy to oblige as the siteīs grumpy old codger: somebody had to do it!

Now, itīs you making confusion or comparison between photogenic and beautiful, which I canīt find as part of the original argument (discussion has proven too generous a term). However, I do agree that the two are certainly different. As for the post-Shrimp lot, they have been created to deal with a different ethos altogether. Neither have I said that none of those newer girls have been attractive. As for music post-Beatles? Well, I was always more fond of the Stones and the Beachboys and certainly Chuck Berry before any of them (Beatles included) ripped off his sound in so many copies of his, Berryīs, material. Extrapolation doesnīt really extend argument, simply throws in a dollop of confusion.

As for your statement about the late 80s, I donīt think it was ever mine, so no, I wouldnīt take it seriously.

But on a wider point I do agree with you: all opinion has to be subjective because nothing else is truly available to any one of us. I said as much already.

With regard to porn, I did not raise it at any time; that was another posterīs confession that he enjoyed it as much as any other man. Sadly, I must be less of a man than the rest because I hate it; have never in my life shot a pornographic image and find them truly offensive. I did not find the original images we were chatting about pornographic, just unfortunate.

As for being a bit literate, one has to be when trying to explain meaning. As you have found yourself at times, there does come a stage when whipping the fog ceases to be fun and, of itself, enters the realm of the absurd.

Take care - Rob C
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Ray
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« Reply #32 on: May 20, 2008, 11:52:41 AM »
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Revelation of character. For me, this is nothing more than one of the hoariest claims known to photography. Character is never revealed in a single photograph or even a session. The claim that so many protraitists make about that very achievement makes me want to scream out loud in frustration. Bollocks! At best, you get a shot that either looks roughly like the person at some particular moment or, better, you transcend the person and create an imaginary being, one who is the product of the two skills - yours and the modelīs. But character?
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Rob,
You are really being controversial here. You might be right, but I suspect this is a jaundiced view based upon your own experiences of photographing models who are 'would be' actresses.

In connection with another thread about a recent Ken Rockwell article, I came across the following quote from a Google search on the technical details of Karsh's photo of Winston Churchill.

Karsh had something profound to say on the matter of portraiture. I quote:

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"Within every man and woman a secret is hidden, and as a photographer it is my task to reveal it if I can. The revelation, if it comes at all, will come in a small fraction of a second with an unconscious gesture, a gleam of the eye, a brief lifting of the mask that all humans wear to conceal their innermost selves from the world. In that fleeting interval of opportunity the photographer must act or lose his prize."
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Rob C
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« Reply #33 on: May 21, 2008, 03:30:02 AM »
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Rob,
You are really being controversial here. You might be right, but I suspect this is a jaundiced view based upon your own experiences of photographing models who are 'would be' actresses.

In connection with another thread about a recent Ken Rockwell article, I came across the following quote from a Google search on the technical details of Karsh's photo of Winston Churchill.

Karsh had something profound to say on the matter of portraiture. I quote:
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=196804\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Ray, Karsh was but borrowing the mantle of special genius which photogaphers are wont to claim in such moments of verbal  desriptions of their work; makes them sound, well, sort of specially gifted people, donīt you think?

Perhaps working with pro models has simply shown me that anybody can manufacture an expression which is MEANT to convey some quality, but is usually just an emotion. Iīm afraid that good models, poor ones, actresses or anybody else can switch on an expression that they consider representative of a characterisitic. Women do it all the time: itīs part of their way to open those doors of which I wrote a day or so ago. Funniest thing is to watch a couple out dining on what looks like their first date: she gazes in to his eyes, hangs on to his every world, smiles (unwisely) through the fish and he almost simpers in a sort of role reversal or, alternatively, does a lot of leaning back in his chair and looking cool. Thatīs one interesting thing about living in a tourist trap: you get to see a lot of very different people and have some laughs, even if being over-charged for the pleasure.

As nobody yet confronts a camera without putting on a face of sorts, I stand by my belief that all a photograph can show is an act, an expression meant to achieve a result, though I admit that that act might be confused with the real thing. It is no more revealing of character than the expression on a catīs face as it walks off with a bird in its mouth.

Rob C
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Ray
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« Reply #34 on: May 21, 2008, 04:30:19 AM »
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Ray, Karsh was but borrowing the mantle of special genius which photogaphers are wont to claim in such moments of verbal  desriptions of their work; makes them sound, well, sort of specially gifted people, donīt you think?

Perhaps working with pro models has simply shown me that anybody can manufacture an expression which is MEANT to convey some quality, but is usually just an emotion. Iīm afraid that good models, poor ones, actresses or anybody else can switch on an expression that they consider representative of a characterisitic. Women do it all the time: itīs part of their way to open those doors of which I wrote a day or so ago. Funniest thing is to watch a couple out dining on what looks like their first date: she gazes in to his eyes, hangs on to his every world, smiles (unwisely) through the fish and he almost simpers in a sort of role reversal or, alternatively, does a lot of leaning back in his chair and looking cool. Thatīs one interesting thing about living in a tourist trap: you get to see a lot of very different people and have some laughs, even if being over-charged for the pleasure.

As nobody yet confronts a camera without putting on a face of sorts, I stand by my belief that all a photograph can show is an act, an expression meant to achieve a result, though I admit that that act might be confused with the real thing. It is no more revealing of character than the expression on a catīs face as it walks off with a bird in its mouth.

Rob C
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=196967\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Rob,
I get a sense you are even more cyncial and skeptical than I am   . I recall I've sometimes got into trouble photographing 'important' people when they were not aware of being photographed. I got severely chastised for that once by the wife of a judge in the NT of Australia, during an excursion in Arnhem Land.

Generally, people don't like to be photographed unawares. You might catch someone picking their nose, for example. This fear or reluctance is connected to persona, or vanity.

Karsch might have borrowed his comment  to enhance his importance. But it seems nevertheless true that we are all in the game of pretending.

My favourite Shakespearean quotation is, "All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players". I'm playing a part on this forum, pretending I know something.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2008, 08:25:33 AM by Ray » Logged
blansky
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« Reply #35 on: May 21, 2008, 11:35:23 AM »
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RobC is seems to me that you have spent a great deal of your life photographing "models" who are after all, merely actresses for still cameras.

This prolonged activity is seems has jaded you a great deal and turned you into hopeless cynic. There comes a time when certain people have lived too long, experienced too much, witnessed too much and done too much. They become bored, cynical and grumpy.

I, on the other hand have spent my life photographing silly old ordinary people. While everyone wears a mask, ordinary people have a much harder time holding theirs on, compared to a pro.

For this reason, I think that pictures like the ones under discussion, are excellent, revealing and even the "fat girls" carry off a beauty that your "models" can never attain.

I sincerely hope I'm wrong about you, but I fear that boredom and grumpyness have burrowed deep into your soul. Or maybe you just need to get laid.


Michael
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Rob C
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« Reply #36 on: May 21, 2008, 11:59:11 AM »
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"Or maybe you just need to get laid."

Thank you, blansky, I shall advise my wife accordingly once she has learned to walk properly after her latest five-week stint in hospėtal.

Rob C
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Rob C
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« Reply #37 on: May 21, 2008, 12:01:45 PM »
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Rob,
I get a sense you are even more cyncial and skeptical than I am   . I recall I've sometimes got into trouble photographing 'important' people when they were not aware of being photographed. I got severely chastised for that once by the wife of a judge in the NT of Australia, during an excursion in Arnhem Land.

Generally, people don't like to be photographed unawares. You might catch someone picking their nose, for example. This fear or reluctance is connected to persona, or vanity.

Karsch might have borrowed his comment  to enhance his importance. But it seems nevertheless true that we are all in the game of pretending.

My favourite Shakespearean quotation is, "All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players". I'm playing a part on this forum, pretending I know something.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=196976\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Absolutely on the money, Ray, it is always an act. But then there are ever those who think it the real thing.

Rob C
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DarkPenguin
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« Reply #38 on: May 21, 2008, 12:07:14 PM »
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For this reason, I think that pictures like the ones under discussion, are excellent, revealing and even the "fat girls" carry off a beauty that your "models" can never attain.

Sooo...  What exactly is this fat broad beauty that models cannot attain?  Or it just models in full bulimic-heroin-revlon mode who cannot achieve it?
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LoisWakeman
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« Reply #39 on: May 21, 2008, 12:13:38 PM »
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Just curious... what do the women in these forums have to say? Mike.
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Well: having read this, I suspect I am not a real woman at all, and certainly unfit to be a model. I never wear makeup and am very plain to look at, as well as middle-aged, and not terribly concerned about fashion except for comfort.

So perhaps I shouldn't comment - but I do find some of the remarks in this thread patronising. I also find photos of surgically-enhanced and airbrushed bodies of either sex to be boring - but what do I know?
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