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  1. #11
    Rolleiflexible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gerryyaum View Post
    I actually do not really consider them nudes, more like realistic portraits. It is sort of a honesty thing in my eyes. If I photograph a baseball player I might include his bat or his glove or his uniform or all of the above. If you photograph a sex worker, the product they sell is their body so to not show the body seems somehow like your not taking an honest portrait or that you might be limiting the reality of what the portrait could be. What I tend to do is shoot clothed and unclothed but it seems that most times the best pictures involve partial or total nudity, not sure why but it does, maybe it fits into the visually strong thing from the original post.

    Photographing a lover would have a more sexual emotional feel to it for the photographer but lover photos can also be rather coldish (Robert Mapplethorpe, Edward Weston). I just look at the nudity in my photography as functional and honest to the reality of the subjects.

    But that begs the question.
    Why do you choose subjects
    that require nudity?
    Sanders McNew
    My Flickr stream

  2. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rolleiflexible View Post
    But that begs the question.
    Why do you choose subjects
    that require nudity?
    For me I would say it is a curiosity thing, especially this last series on ladyboys. Trying to figure who they are, what there lives are like why they are the way the are. If on the other hand your doing a series of portraits of a lover it is not like your seeking nudity out, it is part of the flow of an honest loving relationships, so your just recording the reality of your lives together.

    It also a search to find subjects for portraiture which are visually strong.

    Richard Avedon said that what he looked for in a portrait subject was "Someone who held a wall" which meant he looked for subjects that were visually and emotionally strong, subjects that would hold the viewers eye in the gallery or museum. They could not leave, they had to stare and think and stare some more. A strong visual subject could draw and hold the viewer.

    I think part of my reason for shooting ladyboys is a curiosity into who they are, the other part is trying to find subjects that I am in interested in and that will hold the wall.

  3. #13
    Maris's Avatar
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    I think responses to nudity are shaped by the circumstances and frequency of experiences in which nudity is encountered.

    For a lot of people encountering others nude is limited to sexual or sensual situations. And the number of nude "others" is relatively few.

    Contrast this with the alternative. Here at Noosa Heads is a beach used by unclad people and I have photographed nudes there many times. After seeing thousands of nude people, old, young, fat, thin over many years I can report to you that nudity and sexuality are not inherently linked. Attractive people are attractive whether they are clad or not and jerks are still jerks.

    That famous (notorious?) photographer Spencer Tunick who specialises in installations of hundreds or thousands of nude figures in urban settings is trafficking in something but I bet it's not sex or sensuality. I reckon he is using the nude in an unfamiliar setting for its transgressive potential. And good luck to him.

    Beyond sexual, sensual, or transgressive I think the power of the nude in visual art is drawn from its capacity to address the human condition. If you want to make a general statement about humanity, good, bad, ugly or beautiful then the nude is an ideal form. The plain nude figure stands outside the context of time, place, and personal identification.

    Along with the capacity of the nude to address general themes it also offers an uncomfortable personal reminder that it is basically what we are: skin and bone vulnerable to the terrors and pleasures of everyday existence.
    Photography, the word itself, invented and defined by its author Sir John.F.W.Herschel, 14 March 1839 at the Royal Society, Somerset House, London. Quote "...Photography or the application of the Chemical rays of light to the purpose of pictorial representation,..". unquote.

  4. #14
    phaedrus's Avatar
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    If the question is why do pictures with nudity on them generate more primary appeal than those with any other subject, the answer surely is: it's our egoistical genes having us respond to a stimulus that promises procreation and thereby the immortality of those selfsame genes.
    Aesthetic and sociological ruminations come later.

  5. #15

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    "We're all going straight to hell," (Woody Allen, Radio Days.)

  6. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maris View Post

    Along with the capacity of the nude to address general themes it also offers an uncomfortable personal reminder that it is basically what we are: skin and bone vulnerable to the terrors and pleasures of everyday existence.

    One of the my friends who views nude work often brought up that word also VULNERABLE.....

    Maybe that is why those images from the contacts stand out, especially for the subjects I have more compassion for (lady sex workers).

    I think you have something there, photographing someone nude shows their vulnerabilty and ours also.

    If you want to make a portrait that shows compassion and vulnerabilty for the subject then if you do it right the nudity can help do that.

  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by phaedrus View Post
    If the question is why do pictures with nudity on them generate more primary appeal than those with any other subject, the answer surely is: it's our egoistical genes having us respond to a stimulus that promises procreation and thereby the immortality of those selfsame genes.
    Aesthetic and sociological ruminations come later.
    wow...not sure what to say to that..

    so it's our genes trying to reproduce themselves? hmm have to blame the procreation/egoistical genes thingy the next time I surf and the wife looks over my shoulder.

    Thanks : )

  8. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by gerryyaum View Post
    One of the my friends who views nude work often brought up that word also VULNERABLE.....

    Maybe that is why those images from the contacts stand out, especially for the subjects I have more compassion for (lady sex workers).

    I think you have something there, photographing someone nude shows their vulnerabilty and ours also.

    If you want to make a portrait that shows compassion and vulnerabilty for the subject then if you do it right the nudity can help do that.
    the people you photograph are some of the most vulnerable in
    society. their job is very dangerous on many different levels.
    their being photographed without clothing, while it shows them
    for who they are, it also shows us there is nothing protecting them
    from the people they service. i don't know if it shows our vulnerability,
    other than we too are human &C ... and we too can be on the street
    if something drastic ( or maybe not so drastic ) happens, and who
    knows what we might be forced to do to survive ...

  9. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by jnanian View Post
    the people you photograph are some of the most vulnerable in
    society. their job is very dangerous on many different levels.
    their being photographed without clothing, while it shows them
    for who they are, it also shows us there is nothing protecting them
    from the people they service. i don't know if it shows our vulnerability,
    other than we too are human &C ... and we too can be on the street
    if something drastic ( or maybe not so drastic ) happens, and who
    knows what we might be forced to do to survive ...
    yes true, thanks very much for contributing

  10. #20
    Ken Nadvornick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gerryyaum View Post
    Are people just so concerned with seeing others naked? Curiosity? Is it a sexual thing? Or does including nudity make a image more visually strong?
    Five million years of evolution is a tough thing to ignore...

    Ken

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