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  1. #1

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    William Mortensen Photograph

    Why is this any better/worse/different than an Edward Weston Nude?

    http://www.thescreamonline.com/photo...sen/torso.html

  2. #2
    jd callow's Avatar
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    IMO it is neither better nor worse, but different. I love a lot of Mortensen's work. Some of it is dated and maybe a bit shallow, but this image is very nicely done. I think Mortensen's biggest problem is that he is viewed by many as being on the wrong side of the argument regarding photography as a picture making tool.

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  3. #3
    Robert Brummitt's Avatar
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    I can't tell.

    The image is too small to see to do a comparison. I have no problem with the image, otherwise. I have seen some Mortensen images that looked more like a ink drawing but I believe that we are all allowed to pursue our work as we see fit. If we didn't then we would all be photographing and printing the same kind of work.
    "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit"
    Aristotle

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Mitchell View Post
    Why is this any better/worse/different than an Edward Weston Nude?

    http://www.thescreamonline.com/photo...sen/torso.html

    what do you think of it?

  5. #5
    bjorke's Avatar
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    What's not shown with the little thumbnail is (presumption on my part) the lengthy pretentious rant about how this is the CORRECT way to do photography. Mortneson was good at those, as were his f/64 nemeses. Shortsighted on both sides of the fence.

    "What Would Zeus Do?"
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  6. #6
    Struan Gray's Avatar
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    It's a platitude. And it's trying to be something it's not. If the Franklin Mint did nudes, this is what they'd do.

    I actually like a lot of Mortensen's work, but as graphic design, not as photography. His women and nudes are just dated and sad.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by bjorke View Post
    What's not shown with the little thumbnail is (presumption on my part) the lengthy pretentious rant about how this is the CORRECT way to do photography. Mortneson was good at those, as were his f/64 nemeses. Shortsighted on both sides of the fence.
    Very true, but at least Mortensen had the redeeming quality of being an amusing writer -- a claim it would be hard to make for anyone I can think of on the other side.

    Cheers,

    R.

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    Roger is right. Mortensen was a very amusing writer, or at least his assistant (Mr. Duhem I think) was. This is not one of Mortensen's better nudes. (It violates a number of his own strictures: foreshortening, bad wrist angle...)Nonetheless, I like his nudes signiciantly better than Weston's. Weston's are simply unappealing. If you have a chance to get Mortensen's The Model, you really owe it to yourself to do so. It should be re-printed, as should The Command to Look.

  9. #9
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Hard to judge a bromoil from a scan, since bromoil is very much about the print surface, but I kind of like it. It reminds me of one of those smoked ducks hanging in the window of a Chinese restaurant. Why shouldn't a nude be a little grotesque?
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  10. #10

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    If Weston had shot her, there wouldn't have been a drape hiding her pubic area, but honestly I think that's the detail what makes the picture interesting.
    Weston's headless nudes were made that way because it was an integral part of his composition. This emphasized the torso (much like the Venus De Milo) by eliminating the face which is the natural focal point of a picture. Mortensen's composition, OTOH, appears to have cut off the face in the best tradition of porn from that era, to avoid "embarrasing" the model.
    Actually, while I like the picture, it certainly reminds me more of a later image by Ruth Berhnard than of earlier ones by Weston.

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