Commenting on nudes: When is it "ogling" and what are its consequences?

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by TheFlyingCamera, Aug 24, 2007.

  1. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    Moderator's note: I've split this thread off from another thread in the foto3 organizational forum.

    Jeanette- If I were trying to restrict myself, I wouldn't be participating in this forum, and I wouldn't be posting this thread, and I wouldn't be trying to do this at this conference. As I've said elswhere, I love y'all to death, even when the great big crazy family that is APUG gets too dysfunctional for words. It just gets a bit tiresome at times having to listen to the sexist jokes in the joke forum, the ogling of the breasts-on-parade in the Gallery, among other things. It would be nice to meet a group of folks who understand where I'm coming from, and to talk to them IN ADDITION. See my earlier explanation of "Safe Space" in this thread.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 25, 2007
  2. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    I can respect and understand your reactions here... you are certainly entitled to expressing them as well.
    I am, however, having a rough time "handling" the characterization of nudes in the galleries as, " ... the ogling of breasts on parade in the Gallery."

    I am a contributor of "nudes" and I do NOT view my choice of subject as contributing to "ogling a parade of breasts."

    This certainly is off topic, but the excursion from the "survey question" WAS made, - and I felt the need to respond. I'll get back on topic in a moment.
     
  3. jovo

    jovo Membership Council Council

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    If 'number of views' is any indication (which it almost certainly is), then nudes command far more attention than well made photographs of rocks, trees and water. Whether or not that constitutes 'oogling' I leave to others to decide, but for me, oogling is certainly a part of it.
     
  4. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    I have no problem with "ogling". Ogling is good - see "fascination".

    It is the "parade of breasts" bit - and the inferred sense of "lack of aesthetics" that frosts my cookie.
     
  5. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    Ed- when I said ogling, I specifically meant the comments that are the kind of stuff you expect to hear in the locker room or a smoke-filled lounge at the "gentlemans' club". I too look at the nudes, male AND female here, and if it's a good image, I want to appreciate it too. The comments that many people leave - the sort of "wink, wink, nudge, nudge, isn't SHE a hot one!" kind of comments, are a real distraction from appreciation of a work of art. It also detracts from it as a work of art (even if it is) and turns it into a work of titillation, which is uninteresting to observe. I don't want to share what twists someone else's knickers, and I don't want verbal confirmation that it has twisted the same knickers of a dozen other people. Especially when it's men commenting on women and objectifying them. Observe the ratio of men commenting on female nudes vs women commenting, and observe the comments. Most of the comments on the female nudes are not about the image, but about how pretty the model is. Pretty models are nice, but unless you're shooting softcore, how pretty the model is should be irrelevant to the quality of the image.
     
  6. jstraw

    jstraw Member

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    Two things here Scott...

    Many people leave such comments? Maybe I need to read more comments. I confess that I don't read comments for images unless I'm one of the commentors. So I'm sincerely asking...is this really a pervasive thing here. If it is, I find that surprising and discouraging.

    Second...if it's so...I can understand how that would tend to inform an argument for a "safe zone" for women but I'm not sure that i understand how it oppresses gay men. To the extent that any viewer may choose to perceive any given nude as porn or cheesecake, it's understood that men are greater "consumers" of erotica than are women. But I'm not led to believe that straight men are more directed in thjis way than are gay men. So I would have assumed that any given gay man would be as likely to have that kind of reaction to a male nude as would any given straight man to a female nude. Am I way off base?

    I aplogize for the continued diversion but I find this really interesting and can't resist the inquiry.
     
  7. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    I dislike quoting so extensively, but this is certainly a sensitive subject, so I feel I must, to avoid misunderstandings as a result of taking statements out-of-context.

    I have NOT read critques, or comments, of nude work here on APUG that would meet the criteria of "wink, wink... etc", that you specify, nor anything that I sense as a "twisting toward titilation." With that, I do not read each and every critique, so I may have missed them.

    The question that arises in my mind is the difference in the sensitivity levels between us. What would help in this discussion would be the identification of specific images in the "parade of breasts" and the attached "objectifying, locker room" comments that seem to be so ubiquitous to you, will follow.

    The statement that, "This model is beautiful" seems to be offensive to you... and I can't quite understand why. It may well be that I am TRYING to capture that beauty (happens often, with a variety of subjects), and I see that as a noble quest. Statements indicating success (or - grit teeth - the lack of it) are of great interest (and appreciation).

    Back to it ... where are these "titillation twisting" images?
     
  8. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    Ed- I'm not trying to pick a fight with you here. And I'm also not the only one who has noticed a trend in comments regarding images. Ask Suzanne, or Jeanette, or heck, even Sanders McNew. I suspect, Ed, that any example I could point to, or even group of examples, you and I would disagree on. It is late, I'm tired, and this is off-topic for this thread. I'd be happy to discuss this elsewhere, perhaps in the lounge?
     
  9. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    Mike-

    Maybe other gay men are insensitive to it and could care less. I do care because in the process of coming to an awareness of who I was, and dealing with others' attempts to enforce their perception of my gender identity (oh, you're gay, so you must want to be a woman? No, I'm just a male-identified male... etc), I learned to see through other people's eyes.

    I also find it off-putting because it IS frequent, and it is a form of ramming YOUR sexuality down my throat. If I tell you I'm gay, I get accused of "wearing it on my sleeve" or "thrusting it in your face". If I talked about male nudes the way some people talk about female nudes, I'd have every nutjob from here to Poughkeepsie badgering Sean to ban me for pornographic remarks. In this particular case, it would be extremely disingenuous of me to talk that way about male nudes posted here, since I post most of them. Regardless, however, I would find it inappropriate to discuss them in that regard because cheesecake/soft-porn is not the purpose of APUG.

     
  10. sly

    sly Subscriber

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    I'd like to comment as a female to this line. I have been uncomfortable with the trend in the nudes seen here to be 90% young, thin to anorexic, sexualized objects shot by men. I have seen nudes I liked, and I posted a few of my own just to break up a string of nudes that was going on at the time with scrawny young women. I'm not a prude, am comfortable on clothing optional beaches, or hot tubbing sans suits with friends. I've done a lot of nude and semi-nude photography, but I would be uncomfortable posting most of it here. I feel it would be breaking the trust I developed with the women (and their partners/families) to post those images on such a public forum. There are many of those images on display in my office, with their consent, and that feels fine. I guess it is the possibility of "nudge nudge wink wink" that keeps me from posting any of those images here. Sly
     
  11. papagene

    papagene Membership Council Council

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    Well said Sly.

    gene
     
  12. RobertP

    RobertP Subscriber

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    If you want to point out the ratio of mens comments compared to womens comments I think you need to take a look at the ratio of men to women here overall. I think you'll find far more comments about all images and subjects are made by men and only because of the ratio of men to women here in general.
     
  13. copake_ham

    copake_ham Inactive

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    OMG!

    I've been hanging out here for nearly two years and never realized this was a "hot" site! :sad:

    Here I've been posting to these dumb threads and all along, unbeknown to me there's been "a whole lot of porn goin' on"!

    Think about it a minute. While I've been pondering whether to reply to the latest "philosophy" tread initiated by "mhv" or whether to dare respond to a post of "bjorke" (who is a "mensa man") you folk have been engaging in purient pursuits by ogling female "hotties"!

    Damn! I figured I was being a bit high-minded by turning off the "Latest Gallery" shot while logging on here from work (to "protect" the job) - but I didn't think I was missing out on THAT much titillation.

    BTW: What's wrong with ogling "hot" females? I'm a straight guy and started doing that when I was about 13. And I don't plan on stopping until they start throwing the dirt over the coffin! :D

    BTW: The big debate in NYC this Summer is which is sexier:

    1) The deep plunging down to the belly button necklines with no bras (Probably popular with the vegan babes).

    OR

    2) The "push 'em up till they just about "pop out" of the top bras barely beneath spandex tops (it's kind of post-tank top look).

    :confused:

    Inquiring eyes want to know before the cold winds fly and the ladies start bundling up again! :sad:
     
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  15. Katharine Thayer

    Katharine Thayer Member

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    Statistical interruption

    Actually, I compiled some statistics on this a while back, just out of curiosity, and the tabulations are still sitting here by my elbow, since I don't clean off my desk very often. I looked at the most recent 1,000 images, starting backward from whatever date it was that I did the tabulation (a couple of months ago) and found the following:

    Subject matter Average number of views
    ____________________________________
    Portrait 111
    Urban/Industrial 94
    Landscape 100
    Cars 94
    Abstracts 99
    Nudes 238
     
  16. Katharine Thayer

    Katharine Thayer Member

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    Yes.
     
  17. Andy K

    Andy K Member

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    I rarely view nudes in the gallery. I noticed the disproportionate viewing figures they receive some time ago, and decided not to add to them.
    Don't get me wrong I appreciate good use of the nude figure (The best I have seen in a long time was Sanders' shot of Melanie reclining on the tree roots IMO), but I made a conscious effort to leave behind the instinctive 'Oooh boobs! Must have a look!' reaction.
     
  18. Ian Leake

    Ian Leake Subscriber

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    I’m probably going to regret stepping in here, but as the dead horse has been reawakened for another ritual flogging I may as well say something.

    The nude is a very difficult theme to work with. You’re working with a person who not only has a physical presence (their body – lumps, bumps, warts and all), but also has feelings, opinions and self image; and you’re seeking to create something with them that meets your own objectives.

    As with all genres some people are good at it and some aren’t, but some who aren’t good at it today may be very good tomorrow. But how are these people going to learn and develop their own artistic vision if they’re slammed when they’re learning? Do people who post poor or unoriginal pictures of trees and barns get slammed? No, of course they don’t. So lighten up folks, and maybe even help people learn constructively rather than slamming them.

    That’s your personal viewpoint which I respect (I adore your fingernails photo BTW), and it’s also a consideration for some of my photos. But I suspect that most of the nudes posted on APUG are paid models who are fully aware that the photographer will post images online. And actually APUG is one of the less public forums (fora? OMG, another dead horse!), which in my opinion, is one of the reasons there’s much less grandstanding, mate rating, and general competitive nonsense than elsewhere.

    I try very hard to portray beauty. Some of my models are stunningly attractive, but some would never be described as beautiful in the real world or don’t see themselves that way. And as anyone who’s taken a photo of a beautiful person knows, it’s incredibly easy to take a bad photo of a beautiful person. So leaving a comment that a model is beautiful can be a very positive thing to say.

    With respect, this is neither surprising nor relevant. If the only measure of photographic merit was how many times people have looked at the picture (or how many comments were left), then it would be a very sad world indeed. Thankfully the folks here are, on the whole, more sensible than that.
     
  19. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Member

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    Sly, I'd like to take up your point specifically. I assume that the subjects of the pictures under discussion have given their permission for the images to be posted on a public site. Equally I assume your subjects have not. If my assumptions are correct then you are correct in not publishing them here; whilst those that are shown, are here legitimately.
    As a male, who can vaguely remember being "hot blooded", I can see nothing wrong in admiring the female form, although I share your dislike of the bony ones.
     
  20. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    Nobody was talking about slamming a poster of a nude for posting nudes. I was referring to the sharing of titillation in the form of "gosh, ain't she a looker" type comments. I agree, criticism should always be constructive, regardless of if it is congratulatory or critical. "Gosh, she's a real number, wish I could have been there during the shoot!" comments sound more like backslaps for a sexual conquest, not an approbation for a well-executed photograph.
     
  21. Jim Jones

    Jim Jones Subscriber

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    Those of us on dial-up must be selective in viewing a gallery with so many images. The selection is usually based on a thumbnail. Many images that look fairly good full-size on a screen and great in an original print make terrible thumbnails, and are bypassed. It's easier to see a suggestion of photographic quality in the thumbnail of many nudes.

    Also, in a few minutes I'll step outside and see real-life landscapes. I'll drive into town and see people, cars, and urban/industrial subjects. I'll be taking a reference shot of one urban subject. Abstract subjects are everywhere. Even in the heat of summer, there are few nudes here in the rural American midwest. The best ones in the gallery are a refreshing change.

    There were galleries on other sites that could have been be well-named Go Ogle if it wouldn't infringe on a famous trademark. They probably remain tedious. APUG should be proud of the quality of its images in all genres.
     
  22. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    Nor am I. Before I continue, though, I feel it necessary to understand something of the rationale behind your position.

    Flashback to Sociology 101: Bandstanding. "Everyone else agrees with me..."

    All photographers whom I respect deeply. However, it is not my desire to place the burden of proof on them or anyone else. I cannot find these "locker room comments", after some effort, and I will not demand any effort on their part - or anyone else's - to support YOUR assumption. If they, or anyone else desires to participate here, they are completely welcome - especially if they have concrete examples

    I don't - can't - accept that as a necessity - or inevitable conclusion.

    I am sincerely TRYING to listen - and I think many more here are paying attention as well.
     
  23. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    Ed- I'll be happy to provide you with some examples if you can wait a few days so I can hunt down the nudes in the galleries and pull quotes from comments. There are, after all, over 15,000 images in the galleries...

    Ok- here's an example-
    from http://www.apug.org/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=26638

    "umm, bokeh wasn't the first thing I noticed. David you need to get out more LOL."

    I think the best examples of it were on Sanders' photos, all of which are gone now.
     
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  24. sly

    sly Subscriber

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    I do have model releases for my photos, and could post them here, but I don't feel comfortable doing so.
    I DO NOT object to nudes. I'd like to see more variety in the models - more males, more flesh on the bones, more age on the flesh.
    2 of my offspring grew up in the world of ballet and one now dances for a living. I am very sensitive to the whole you can never be too thin, anorexic, glorification of a particular body type because I spent so many years making sure my kids did not buy into that vision - which pervades the dance world even more than it does our culture at large. We come in a variety of shapes and sizes, we all age, and we are all be beautiful. I'd like to see that reflected more in the nudes that show up here. Sly
     
  25. Katharine Thayer

    Katharine Thayer Member

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    I don't know what conclusion you thought I was drawing from the statistics; in fact I was drawing no conclusion whatever. I just thought it was interesting in and of itself. The statistics offered were simply the average number of views, and it was simply offered in support of Jovo's statement that nudes get more views than other images. People had said that before, and I'd wondered if it were true, so being a statistician, I had to find out for myself; sure enough.

    But the listing of the average views had no relevance to anything else in the thread, such as the number or type of comments; in my tabulation I didn't even look at the comments (or at the images for that matter) only at the thumbnails and the number of views listed below each of them. My post about the average-number-of-views statistics and the one answering the question about the kind of comments were completely separate and quoted different comments from different posters; they were not related in any way.

    Like sly, I have nothing against nude photos; I've taken a few myself. One of yours (Ian) is in my "favorites" folder, because I love the high-key warm tones and the composition of it. But I understand what sly and Scott are saying about the nudge-wink locker-room atmosphere; I've noticed it too. And I agree about the body type thing, too.
    Katharine
     
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  26. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    Take your time - I can wait.

    Interesting. I'm not a devotee of "bokeh", so it would not be my first consideration either. I suppose we can extrapolate (somewhat wildly. IMHO) and assume Eric Rose had some salacious purpose in mind ...

    Or was it, "You have to get out more"?

    This certainly is an indication of your sensitivity level. Personally, I doubt that this statement, would not have even been noticed in the usual Gallery "shmoozing" - with females included.

    Anyone else here care to comment?