Depending on places and codes of TV conducts "pornographic" is normally relating to people explicitly having sex while showing genitals. "Soft-porn" would be people having sex (or pretending to) without showing genitals but being generally naked. Obviously the real classification would depend on other factors (length of scene, realism, "voice" etc.).
The distinction is of any importance only regarding TV permissions, time of broadcasting, "rating" etc. It should never enter IMO the domain of artistic intent. Pornography can be "artistic" and there can be pornographic art in principle. Just like there can be erotic crap. Any field of human expression can yield artistic results, the appreciation of which is in any case entirely subjective. Art, like Science, must be free of any prejudice.
Saying that a work of art is "pornographic" can be a legitimate way to express a subjective aesthetic judgement (probably not very flattering) on that work. Less legitimate is categorizing works as "pornographic" as a way to censor them or to ostracise their author.
Some people call anything they don't like "pornographic". La dolce vita was defined pornographic by the old same idiots (typically wearing a black dress. Sometimes red. Exceptionally white).
Pornography is harder to define in photography, I'd say simply because of the lack of motion. Regardless of the aesthetic quality of the image however, if there was a clear indication of penetration or stimulation, it's porn. Showing genitals alone doesn't make the image porn. If penetration or stimulation is only suggested, erotica. If it's simply the naked human form, without any 'props' or phallic symbols which might suggest penetration or stimulation - and this could be anything from chair legs to sex toys, it's up to the viewer to find the sexual content. But bare in mind that even the most innocent picture, of an old sweetheart shall we say, can arouse.
One has a Grecian urn and the other doesn't. Can't remember which though.
I saw the image. I liked it as an artful expression. It was WELL DONE. The only part of the body that were clearly visible were breasts. Everything else was artfully and cleverly hidden. What the subject was doing was left up to viewer's imagination. There was nothing graphic about it except for the graphic image that existed in viewer's mind.
Bare in mind, indeed.;)
Originally Posted by batwister
Originally Posted by lxdude
"...that's what she said."
I saw the thumbnail image of the photo. The title said "Erotic Bromoil". Full disclosure, right there.
Erotic, though, is not a synonym for pornographic. It seems to me that if we explore and express through photography, sexuality is not an aspect to be avoided.
It's one of those things when you'll know it when you see it.
Myself, I can see a photo of a nude in an erotic pose, and say "Nice picture".
Where I have a problem distinguishing between art and pornography is when I see a picture of a pristine Nikon F, black or chrome, with plain prism and 50/1.4 Nikkor-S, or luscious images of an exotic Ebony or the beautiful-girl-next-door charm of the Wista 45DX in cherry, the Schneider 90/4.5 PCS Super Angulon tilt-shift, the...oh, I could go on, but it's getting hot in here...
I must admit to having a few kinks, too. The Ricoh Five-One-Nine, the Bronica D...ooooh...
Then there's the sweet memory of long lost love, looking at the virginal red-and-yellow striped canister of K-25, a sad reminder of what we had, and never will again:(
My LX doesn't mind. She knows she's beautiful and the only one I go out with. Well, except the MX and ME Super, but they're like in-laws. And the Bronica ETRSi, but that's like going to lunch with your mom.
When distinguishing erotic photographs from pornographic photographs, we get into circular arguments because the definitions of each overlap.
Definition of EROTIC:
1: of, devoted to, or tending to arouse sexual love or desire <erotic art>
2: strongly marked or affected by sexual desire
Definition of PORNOGRAPHY
1: the depiction of erotic behavior (as in pictures or writing) intended to cause sexual excitement
2: material (as books or a photograph) that depicts erotic behavior and is intended to cause sexual excitement
I hope no one is offended by me offering definitions, after all, this is the philosophy section. I think it helps to start from common ground (defined terms) for productive discussion. Otherwise, we devolve into Alice in Wonderland where terms mean only what one means them to mean and nothing more.
If we start with those definitions, then the difference is intent--the intent of the creator. The images in the gallery were not pornography because the photographer did not intend to cause sexual excitement.
The problem arises, however, in that people are sexually excited by different things. The viewers tend to say something is pornography if (1) they don't really know the definition of pornography and hence anything containing sexuality in it is pornographic; or (2) the viewer is sexually excited by the image and therefore it had to be intended to cause sexual excitement.
The difference between "tending to arouse sexual love or desire" (erotic) and "intended to cause sexual excitement" (pornography) is a pretty fine line. If one puts the two definitions together, we end up with; pornography: the depiction of behavior devoted to, or tending to arouse sexual love or desire and is intended to cause sexual excitement.
There, that clears things up nicely.:)