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Author Topic: Figure Work  (Read 74918 times)
wolfnowl
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« on: May 16, 2008, 11:04:33 AM »
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From 'The Online Photographer':
http://theonlinephotographer.typepad.com/t...m-excellen.html


"Sanders McNew explores the tension between the concepts of "portraits" and "nudes" in flattering but unretouched photographs of real women.

Mostly nude portraits (not workplace/school friendly)

A very short article about the work"
« Last Edit: May 16, 2008, 11:05:16 AM by wolfnowl » Logged

If your mind is attuned to beauty, you find beauty in everything.
~ Jean Cooke ~


My Flickr site / Random Thoughts and Other Meanderings at M&M's Musings
gerk
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« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2008, 11:41:49 AM »
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Love his T Shirt in that article
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Rob C
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« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2008, 03:08:32 PM »
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Dear God, why bother?

Rob C
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DarkPenguin
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« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2008, 03:30:11 PM »
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For some reason the Glen Quagmire quote "Fat chicks need love too... but they got to pay." comes to mind.
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blansky
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« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2008, 09:34:06 AM »
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I like them.

They try neither to be overly sexual, pornographic or even erotic. They are just a celebration of the beauty of the female body in all its shapes and sizes in an unembarrassed, unashamed, uncoy, unphoney ( I made those words up) manner.

Actually they are very refreshing pictures of real people.

What a concept.


Michael
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Rob C
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« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2008, 09:47:17 AM »
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I like them.

They try neither to be overly sexual, pornographic or even erotic. They are just a celebration of the beauty of the female body in all its shapes and sizes in an unembarrassed, unashamed, uncoy, unphoney ( I made those words up) manner.

Actually they are very refreshing pictures of real people.

What a concept.
Michael
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=196243\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Absolutely, Michael, and thatīs why they fall flat in their asses (the pic, at least) because the underlying assumption to support that concept has to be that ALL bodies (female) are beautiful when that is evidently, clearly and in most peoplesīexperiences not the case. As proven. And as the majority of "real" women that I know would vouch. Why ever do you think there is such an enormous beauty industry if all women were created equal and beautiful?

But you are just being controversial; please, tell me itīs so!

Rob C
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Dale_Cotton
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« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2008, 11:19:59 AM »
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Rob: it sounds to me as though when you say "beauty" you mean what I mean when I say "pretty". A pet bulldog may be beautiful to its owner but homely to a stranger.

Sanders has got each of these women to vividly reveal a persona, some of which I find attractive, some not - making the photos more character studies than pin-ups. Using greyscale instead of colour further de-eroticizes them. I see the stress of posing naked as having put each woman into self-conscious mode, which in turn amplified her self-expression. If Sanders had managed to evoke the same intensity from the women while having them pose in swimsuits or underwear, nothing artistic would have been lost, at least to my eye.
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micek
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« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2008, 11:55:13 AM »
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As Dale says, these are character studies. I am not sure the subjects' nudity adds anything to the work, but I find some of them very successful.

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Dear God, why bother?

Rob C

Could you please expand on this, Rob?

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Why ever do you think there is such an enormous beauty industry if all women were created equal and beautiful?

Perhaps one of the reasons this work is worth looking at is precisely the fact that the women are not portrayed as objects of (any) industry, but as people.
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Rob C
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« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2008, 01:36:04 PM »
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Two answers for the price of one!

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. Of course, the photographer might have personal reasons for photographing these people, but that has zilch to do with the images and their relevance to the public display of naked flesh as being discussed in this thread.

The beauty industry. The industry does not do so well because women think of themselves as "object"; if you really really believe that women are so insecure then you should meet a few more of them. The greatest insult that women perceive is when somebody suggests that they dress to please men; the contention is that they buy what they damn well like for themselves.  This very thing has cropped up repeatedly in rape/harassment cases when males have attempted to claim that women have īled them onī by dressing provocatively with the resulting reply that they (the women) reserve the right to dress as they please without that granting any imaginary rights to the male species, which, I think, confirms what I have written about the objectification of the fair sex.

I believe, by dint of experience, that the whole busines of women as object is a fabrication, a plot devised by the ugly sisters and the politically correct school of charmless idiocy. Women are far more self-possessed in public situation, in interpersonal exchanges and fare far better in almost any media event you care to think about. Why? Because from early childhood they are brighter intellectually, are far more self-aware and self-assured and have a much deeper understanding of how to open doors.  Doormats? Objects? You have got to be joking! They know how to do what it takes.

Dale: If I  may refer to your bulldog analogy, then it explains why you donīt get my point: a bulldog is ugly under any circumstances. It might well be lovable, as indeed might all the ladies in the photographs, but there is no semantic trick which can convert either them or the bulldog into beauty!

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?

I take issue with the point you make about b/w de-eroticising bodies. With respect, good b/w makes for far stronger erotic imagery than colour! Check out Waclaw Wantuchīs eponymous site and compare both media. I do agree about the swimsuits in that nothing would have been lost, but then, neither do I think anything would have been gained in this particular context.

Thus, my "why bother" remark. All personal opinion, of course, so hardly important.

Rob C
« Last Edit: May 17, 2008, 01:38:36 PM by Rob C » Logged

micek
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« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2008, 02:26:22 PM »
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Rob: thank you for enlightening me on the nature of women. I happen to live with four of them, but perhaps I should follow your advice and go out and meet a few more.

I have some further doubts, though.

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photographs of VERY ordinary looking females and, as such, hardly worth the trouble of shooting

Would you kindly explain at what stage females become worth shooting? When they are SLIGHTLY ordinary, or perhaps only ORDINARY? Should we refrain from doing so until they are remotely ATTRACTIVE or only when they are STUNNING?

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a bulldog is ugly under any circumstances

If I understand you rightly, that means they should not be photographed either, like VERY ordinary women. Could you possibly suggest a list of dog breeds that might be considered photogenic?

Thanks.
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blansky
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« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2008, 03:49:41 PM »
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Absolutely, Michael, and thatīs why they fall flat in their asses (the pic, at least) because the underlying assumption to support that concept has to be that ALL bodies (female) are beautiful when that is evidently, clearly and in most peoplesīexperiences not the case. As proven. And as the majority of "real" women that I know would vouch. Why ever do you think there is such an enormous beauty industry if all women were created equal and beautiful?

But you are just being controversial; please, tell me itīs so!

Rob C
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=196244\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Hey, I like porno as much as the next guy and have made a fool of myself over beautiful (and often shallow) women as the next guy.

BUT, just because a body doesn't fall into mainstream catagories of "beauty" does not negate the beauty of women who fail to meet the mainstream criteria.

What is wrong with photographing bodies as they are. Unashamed, and unenhanced. Do all nudes need to be hardbodies, or perfect as the beauty industry defines.

There are a lot of pictures these days of pregnant women, many of them nudes. Some people think they are great because they show womanhood in one of its natural states. Others think they are ugly because they prefer to think of women as strickly sex objects and the result of that "sex" is rather left unknown.

Just for fun, lets say the fat girl in his pictures was your wife and presuming you loved her, would not the way she looked be beautiful to you?

Be careful the answer may say more about you that you wish to be known.


Michael
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gerk
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« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2008, 03:50:45 PM »
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photographs of VERY ordinary looking females and, as such, hardly worth the trouble of shooting

I think that's the entire point of this collection.  They are real.  Not glamour models, not retouched in photoshop.  Women you would see every day.  It's more about the artform and NOT the models.

Lastly I have to say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, whether it be women, bulldogs, or photography and it seems we have drastically different ideas of what beauty is, as you say it's just your opinion, but it's saddening to see that you are so close minded when it comes to "bothering"
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Mike Guilbault
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« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2008, 09:45:00 PM »
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I believe the photographs are successful.

I do like some of them more than others.  But the greatest success of these photographs is that right here, right now, people are talking about them.  Whether you like them or not is irrelevant - that you are compelled to make a comment about them is success.
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Mike Guilbault
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TaoMaas
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« Reply #13 on: May 18, 2008, 05:58:02 AM »
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Lastly I have to say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, whether it be women, bulldogs, or photography and it seems we have drastically different ideas of what beauty is...

I agree.  I suspect most, if not all, of the women in that series has someone in their personal life who views them as being beautiful.  My only complaint about the project is that it seems overly long.  246 images is too many.  I think it could have been pared down to 50-75 and been more effective.  It also struck me that there were a number of instances where diptyches might have been in order.
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Rob C
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« Reply #14 on: May 18, 2008, 06:46:50 AM »
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I believe the photographs are successful.

I do like some of them more than others.  But the greatest success of these photographs is that right here, right now, people are talking about them.  Whether you like them or not is irrelevant - that you are compelled to make a comment about them is success.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=196323\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

No Mike, that is not succes. For that to be success you would have to believe the PR agency cop-out that there is no such thing as bad publicity. Patently, those very agencies that pass along those ludicrous one-liners do NOT believe that: consider the exceptionally tight security they exercise over top magazines, controlling, vetting and choosing even within the tight group of the top-evel photographers that those same mags would like to have cover celebrity interviews. Control is VERY tight only because it matters greatly what type of publicity is received by Mr and Mrs Joe Public. Quality of publicity is crucial, not unimportant.

That the site, the images, are being discussed has little to do with the photographer or his models; that group of individuals was simply brought to our attention by the original poster and if you wish to believe that there has been success simply due to discussion, then the success belongs to the OP.

But I tire of this - I have made my views as clear as I am able. If others wish to find them opaque, unclear and plainly incorrect, then thatīs okay by me too. There is little joy in repetition, as per the sad state of some of the other threads in the camera/lens/equipment departments of this site. Speaking of which, perhaps Ray is correct to think that received wisdom is taken too literally by many people, that they question nothing if it is repeated often enough, just as with the no such thing as bad publicity credo.

Rob C
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Rob C
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« Reply #15 on: May 18, 2008, 07:08:33 AM »
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Hey, I like porno as much as the next guy and have made a fool of myself over beautiful (and often shallow) women as the next guy.

BUT, just because a body doesn't fall into mainstream catagories of "beauty" does not negate the beauty of women who fail to meet the mainstream criteria.

What is wrong with photographing bodies as they are. Unashamed, and unenhanced. Do all nudes need to be hardbodies, or perfect as the beauty industry defines.

There are a lot of pictures these days of pregnant women, many of them nudes. Some people think they are great because they show womanhood in one of its natural states. Others think they are ugly because they prefer to think of women as strickly sex objects and the result of that "sex" is rather left unknown.

Just for fun, lets say the fat girl in his pictures was your wife and presuming you loved her, would not the way she looked be beautiful to you?

Be careful the answer may say more about you that you wish to be known.
Michael
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=196287\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Michael, my wife has worked with me on shoots with girls ever since the 70s; she has shared the same beaches where those beautiful young women have carefully positioned themselves between set-ups in an effort to retain an even tan; she has sprayed those same perfect bodies to make them glisten for my cameras. She was, at the time, also the mother of our two children and had no problem (not did I) with running around topless on the sands as she worked. However, and this is perhaps the point, she is/was no fool: you do not put yourself in the silly position of getting photographed and stuck up on the internet when your own common sense tells you (should) that you are just going to make a fool of yourself.

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. If you want to argue the point, then think no further than that line in Marilynīs song: "and we all lose our charms in the end," and from those symbolic lips you hear the sadness of life as clearly and prophetically as you might ever wish to.

Aha! Food beckons. (Now THATīs a beautiful woman at work!)

Rob C
« Last Edit: May 18, 2008, 08:06:05 AM by Rob C » Logged

Rob C
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« Reply #16 on: May 18, 2008, 08:00:55 AM »
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I think that's the entire point of this collection.  They are real.  Not glamour models, not retouched in photoshop.  Women you would see every day.  It's more about the artform and NOT the models.

Lastly I have to say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, whether it be women, bulldogs, or photography and it seems we have drastically different ideas of what beauty is, as you say it's just your opinion, but it's saddening to see that you are so close minded when it comes to "bothering"
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=196289\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

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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Mike Guilbault
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« Reply #17 on: May 18, 2008, 08:12:35 AM »
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I agree.  I suspect most, if not all, of the women in that series has someone in their personal life who views them as being beautiful.  My only complaint about the project is that it seems overly long.  246 images is too many.  I think it could have been pared down to 50-75 and been more effective.  It also struck me that there were a number of instances where diptyches might have been in order.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=196357\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I agree.  In fact, after about 55 images, I didn't view the rest.  

And I still stand on my belief of success.  It doesn't matter how one finds out about it.  The fact that we're debating whether the images are good or not, art or not, is the success.  The fact that he is being discussed on more than this forum is a success.  Now, I must add that there are different levels of success.  So how successful this work is becomes a different discussion.
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Mike Guilbault
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micek
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« Reply #18 on: May 18, 2008, 09:25:32 AM »
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to bother about beauty when it is so evidently missing is pointless

Rob, I am worried now.
If I see  beauty in some of those images, does that mean I am hallucinating?

Could you also please clarify what degree of beauty is required before a woman is worth photographing? Are there any measurements, any anatomical criteria you could share with us?

I wouldn't want to abuse your patience, so is there a website or literature of any sort where I could make myself familiar with the canons of beauty that dictate what is worth portraying and what isn't?

It had never occurred to me before that one shouldn't photograph plain women or bulldogs if some artistic purpose was involved, but I am eager to learn; what dog breeds are photogenic and which, apart from bulldogs, are not?
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DarkPenguin
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« Reply #19 on: May 18, 2008, 10:54:09 AM »
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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?
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