Zombie Fashion

Discussion in 'Fashion/Glamour/Figure' started by darinwc, Mar 26, 2009.

  1. darinwc

    darinwc Subscriber

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    While in the waiting room at the hospital, I was looking for something to read.
    The only thing they had was a super thick Vogue magazine.
    I grabbed it and started to thumb through it.

    I thought it would be interesting to look at the photographs. I tried to guess where the lighting was placed by looking at the reflections and tones. But one thing I noticed on page after page was that the models looked unnatural. I would even venture to say that they looked like corpses or zombies. Their eyes were airbrushed with dark circles. Their faces were expressionless. And their poses were a bad impression of a mannequin.

    I wonder why that style is so prevalent? Perhaps it is just the current fashion that most are copying right now. Or perhaps to be taken as serious art, the models must look serious. Maybe the models should be thought of like an inside-out version of a solid black frame displaying a colorful oil. Either way they were unattractive and awkward to my eyes.

    Something else I thought about was that the photographer was never mentioned in the photos. It would certainly be hard to gain any recognition as an artistic photographer. Meanwhile the clothes designers name is plastered all over. Doesnt that make sense though if the magazine is helping to sell the clothes and not the photos. I wonder how much input the fashion photographer really has anyway. Correct me if I am wrong but fashion shoots are a big production and are run by the art directors. I fear that some photographers only credit is to push a button at an opportune time. Well I would certainly like to hear some stories or personal experiences.

    In any case they should really plan these dr. visits better to keep my mind wandering so much.
     
  2. David William White

    David William White Member

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    That's the bit I would hate. Can't see what kind of lighting was used!
     
  3. Philippe-Georges

    Philippe-Georges Member

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    A big soft ring flash.
     
  4. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    It was by reading the magazines in a waiting room of my local hospital I found out about the loss of the Titanic !
     
  5. eddym

    eddym Member

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    You need to post that on the joke thread! LMAO!
     
  6. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    I agree on the poor art direction. I have no eye for fashion, but photographically speaking, I prefer the old-playboy natural look....natural lighting, natural models, natural grain....

    I also used to read RideBMX magazine in the late 90s. Good action photography, a good amount of black and white, and photos were always credited, and often even had exposure data.
     
  7. jovo

    jovo Membership Council Council

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    A model is just a clothes hanger with a pulse. Such creatures are always subordinate to the rags they're shilling, and perhaps the zombie bit is just the look de jour.

    With attention spans approximating those of a fish, the likely client for "fashion" needs to be seduced to even bother to look by whatever visual trick can be invented. I predict that models will pose as crime scene victims at some point in the near future when common sense and minimal taste has been completely abandoned.
     
  8. darinwc

    darinwc Subscriber

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    "A model is just a clothes hanger with a pulse. Such creatures are always subordinate to the rags they're shilling, and perhaps the zombie bit is just the look de jour."

    Boy if I had only known the requirements for modeling when I was young, I coulda been a star.
    (imaginary scene) art director: "OK, now look awkward and out of place, good now hold it right there"
    -Well I got THAT covered!
     
  9. David Brown

    David Brown Subscriber

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    You missed the Kate Moss era ... :tongue:
     
  10. wayne naughton

    wayne naughton Member

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    Guy Bourdin was massacaring his models in French vogue with gay abandon in the 70's....nothing new, not to mention the heroin chic look about ten years ago..... you guys ought to get out a bit more. grunge, EMO, gangsta.....mysogny has ruled the fashion world for a long, long time.......and contemporary fashion photography absolutely stinks to boot....can anyone name a single decent contemporary fashion shooter?????

    wayne
     
  11. archphoto

    archphoto Member

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    These day's is PhotoShop and lots of it, destroying the original photo or making "bad" photography acceptable to the magazine.

    Peter
     
  12. Jeff L

    Jeff L Subscriber

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    >>>....can anyone name a single decent contemporary fashion shooter?????<<<

    Steven Klein.
     
  13. Michael W

    Michael W Member

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    >>>....can anyone name a single decent contemporary fashion shooter?????<<<

    Paolo Roversi
     
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  15. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    I believe that magazines and newspapers are starting to disappear due to the internet. What that means to fashion photographers I don't know.

    Jeff
     
  16. jasonhall

    jasonhall Member

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    This is my hang up with "High Fashion". I do not and never will understand it. If you ask me, its just ugly. I think if more people would be honest with them selves they would say the same thing. However, the ones leading that industry give the idea that if you don't "Love" what they put in those magazines, you have no vision or sense of style. So be it, its their world and they do what they want with it. Guess I just have the option to not look at it.

    Jason
     
  17. jasonhall

    jasonhall Member

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    I don't know either, thats for sure. But seems that they would still need photographers.
     
  18. Xylo

    Xylo Member

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    I might have an explanation (though a fuzzy one):
    Yesterday I was watching a TV show where they were following the work of fashion photographers Leda & St.Jacques (their website) on a shoot for a local paper. They were said to be the best photographers in Canada (that's a pretty high statement which I will not comment on... they're highly respected in the region). On the shoot, they were using a Hasselblad H1 (or similar) with digi back (like expected). The only thing that somewhat bugged me is they were using a fairly wide angle lens for the shoot. Their studio had plenty of space left to use a longer focal length but they still were shooting a shoulder and head shot at about 5 feet from the subject (I might be generous there since the TV camera lens can lie). Back home, they began retouching the image using the Liquify plug-in in photoshop. Resizing the ears, nose and eyes to remove the wide angle artifacts. Then, they began softening the the skin's wrinkles caused by the use of a single very large softbox directly overhead. They didn't use a reflector to even out the tones. They were lightening the tones with the dodge & burn tools adding highlights to the cheeks. They also desaturated part of the image. And after that, they were sending the image to a professional photo retoucher before it even made it to the paper.

    As predicted, the final image was said to be a masterpiece. The client was happy (they said "hearing from an happy client is almost worth a good paycheck"... notice the word "almost"). (I am translating this from French, but the gist is the same).

    After seeing that, I figured that it looks better to say the image was heavily doctored than to say it was perfect on first shot. I think you can draw your own conclusions here.
     
  19. arigram

    arigram Member

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    I thought they would have been tired of that effect by now as it has been running for a few years. I guess some trends last more than a saison. I've read somewhere once, that because of that they where going back to film to return the more natural, warm look. Maybe one day they will as I don't see the "zombie" or "robotic" mannequin look to last forever. Digital always looks so metallic and cold...
     
  20. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I read a decidedly un-PC review of the fashion industry that focused specifically on the models and presentation. It stated that (with more than a small amount of supporting evidence) the prevalence of gay men holding principle positions in the fashion industry accounted for the look and trajectory. According to the author, at its worst there was an undercurrent of misogyny in the presentation and in general the female model type often shared as much physically with a boy as they would with a woman (essentially skinny effeminate boys with breasts).

    I don't follow the industry enough to have a developed opinion, but it was an interesting read.
     
  21. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Current haute couture photography menu-

    Place ring flash on DSLR.
    Place model against wall, backdrop, or set from 70's wedding studio. Tell her that her puppy or goldfish died.
    Take image.
    Load RAW file in Aperture or LightRoom.
    Ad "vibrancy" and "vignette", slightly de-saturate non vibrant tones, and perhaps blues. Lower black point.

    The hardest part of all this is convincing someone that you're the one to get the big bucks to do this.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 28, 2009
  22. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    An INTERESTING site, to say the least!!

    Without commenting on the "digital incursion", it is something of a crash course/ primer/ modern update into the world of Fashion photography.

    "Beautiful" work? In my opinion, it IS - given the proper weight to the framework that that evaluation is, and must be - required, A LOT of skill - possibly, "expertise" is more precise - is necessary for minimal success, and I think this work is successful.
     
  23. BobNewYork

    BobNewYork Member

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    I have to agree with Ed. These are very good images.

    I think there's a tendency to confuse fashion shots with portraiture. They're not the same genre. The purpose of a fashion shot is really to arrest the magazine reader for a second....stop them turning the page. I've done my share of head shots for aspiring actors and models and I always worked on the principle that you wanted a photograph that stopped the casting agent for a second. The reality is that a casting agent will go through hundreds of 8x10s very quickly on a first pass. You want your image to be tossed in the "next go round" pile so that it's looked at a little longer. Gives you more of a chance at an audition.

    The purpose of these photographs is not as a long-lasting portrait, but rather as a means of grabbing the viewers attention for a few moments. I think these images serve that purpose well.

    Bob H
     
  24. Xylo

    Xylo Member

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    In fact, they do make some good images (and also make a very very good living at it...).

    I know (though I don't even work in photography) I always thought that photo retouching was a very expensive thing to have done and that it was the photographer's job to make the image the best it can be as to minimize the expenses involved in "photoshopping" an image.

    But I feel things are now swinging the other way around in the fashion industry and many would rather spends tons of money doctoring an image like it gave them some bragging rights :confused:

    I know there must be something I'm not getting...
     
  25. wayne naughton

    wayne naughton Member

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    retouching/airbrushing/photoshopping....what's the difference for heavens sake. There's absolutely nothing new going on these days, it's just different technology, that's all.

    wayne
     
  26. BobNewYork

    BobNewYork Member

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    Agreed. There's nothing new as far as the end result is concerned, but I think the point is that the versatility of Photoshop retouching lowers the need for expertise on the part of the photographer. Photoshop retouching is much cheaper than airbrushing etc. and it can do things to an image that just weren't possible, (at least not at an affordable cost) in the past. There's no such thing as a "re-shoot" these days.

    Bob H