This is really a subject that's impossible to define. What's erotic and what's pornographic really depends on individual's belief and background. In US, there is no clear definition of what is pornographic. Even in legal sense, what's allowed and what is not allowed is vaguely and ambiguously defined and usually determined on case-by-case basis. APUG is an international community where member spans every part of the globe. Trying to define what's acceptable from progressive Europe to traditional Arabic countries, and confused US is simply not possible. More interestingly.... use of pornographic material is typically the highest in more traditional part of the country. (in US) How do I know any of these? I am currently studying human sexuality at a college. So all this did not come from you know where.
If someone wanted to start a controversy, this is probably the best topic.
There are some people who find pictures of sweaty feet to be arousing. Is that erotic, pornographic, or just a picture of sweaty feet?
"In US, there is no clear definition of what is pornographic. Even in legal sense, what's allowed and what is not allowed is vaguely and ambiguously defined and usually determined on case-by-case basis."
This is not correct. The legal problems arise from defining "obscenity", not pornography.
That's right. Wrong terminology on my part. I hope I'm not failing the course.
Here we go.... page 554....
The 1957 Supreme Court decision defined obscenity in order to implement censorship. It established the following three criteria for evaluating obscenity:
1. The dominant theme of the work as a whole must appeal to prurient interest in sex
2. The work must be patently offensive to contemporary community standards
3. The work must be without serious literary, artistic, political, or scentific value
Roth v. United States, 354 U.S. 476 (1957)
"but I know it when I see it"
Facobelis v. Ohio, 379 U.S. 197 
Of course, this applies only to US
The Roth decision was refined in 1973 in Miller v. California. While similar, the standard is slightly different:
The basic guidelines for the trier of fact must be: (a) whether 'the average person, applying contemporary community standards would find that the work, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest, (b) whether the work depicts or describes, in a patently offensive way, sexual conduct specifically defined by the applicable state law; and (c) whether the work, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.
But again, that applies to obscenity, not pornography. Pornography is protected speech in the US, obscenity is not.
A bit off topic in deciding the line between erotic and pornographic.
i was going to comment on your photographs when i first saw them
but i was running late getting out of the house and had to scram.
so, i will now ...
both images were beautiful, and PERFECT for the bromoil process .
everything about them screamed, and screamed loudly " arts and crafts movement"
i can't imagine how beautiful your photographs must be in person, hand coated emulsion,
and bromoilized ... sorry to see you took them down !
not sure what pornography is or isn't, but in what i think were the words of a us supreme court justice " i'll know it when i see it"
and emil's images were not pornographic at all. if you are familiar with arts and crafts photography, pictorial photography
or painting from the turn of the 19th --->> 20th century, stuff that may have appeared in lens catalogs, or in art journals
this would have been similar ...
All I know is that an image that I quite liked has been deleted from what I consider one of the very best galleries on this site offered up by a photographer and printer that I have the utmost in admiration and respect for.
This, as a result of some narrow minded dolt who felt the need to create an issue where none was, and try to force their prudishness on everyone. The fact that they have been partially successful in disrupting some of the finest work in the gallery irritates me to no end, and I would dearly like to know who it was.
I have no tolerance for this. None. Zero.
Emil, please post any image you feel like sharing, and please simply report any harassment. I will personally see them out the door.
Thank you, JBrunner. I worry about what precedent might be set by starting a thread to harass a photographer whenever a photo presses someone's buttons. We have already lost some beautiful bromoil work. This could have a chilling effect on the art people are willing to submit to the gallery, and if so, we will all be the poorer for it.
The precedent for artistic freedom in the gallery was set long ago, and it leans liberal. When issues like this arise, immediately report it to the moderation team.
Originally Posted by Chazzy