Debate with myself on nude photography.

Yes you will see boobs in that post. Yet, I would very much expect you to read the text cause that's really the all point of it. For more boobs, butts or German / Japanese people putting random body parts in randoms anatomical cavities, I recommend . My blog would be way too disappointing :)

As promised, your reward for having to read stuff  / Model: Cindy Nocks

Photography is segmented into different genres, for the sake of nomenclature, for us to be able to qualify what we do, with words. Landscape, portrait, wildlife, architecture are the most common, simple and explicit segments. 
But have you noticed that in the much appreciated field of female imagery, we have been granted with an amazing amount of qualifiers: "beauty, glamour, parts, erotic, nude, art-nude, fine-art nude" etc. 

The last one is my favorite, bullshit at its best. So you qualify your own work as "fine-art", right. Sounds like Apple brainwashing millions that their products are innovative just because well, they said so. It also sounds super snobbish:
-"oh you do portraits, good for you.
- well you do boobs...
- no I do fine-art nude, it's very classy and technical, if you don't get it I can't help you"

Lol. The following would be closer to reality:
-"Damn I like boobs, I wanna take boob pictures. No wait, it's going to look like I like boobs then. Hum... I should make it sound arty so it'd become fancy and stuff. Fine-art nude? there is such bullshit as fine-art nude? Ah ah bingo ! That will do just fine !"

Because dear reader, in art, the more bullshit the outcome (photograph, painting etc), the fancier the art words to describe it. It's supposed to make the random peons feel like they just don't get it. Applies great to the field painting. Visualize, one line of black pain on a plain white wall, some 130 pound hipster scratching his chin :
-"Oh my ! such deconstructed sophistication in the way he processes the subliminal aspects of post modernist whatever crap and I'll finish that sentence later. Any body have cocaine? I ran out at 9am."

Not it's not the traffic of my blog, it's a Miro "painting". I have actually seen this in its museum, the black part on the right is not part of it, probably just a bad picture.

And here we are, all elements in place for the debate: 
  1. Is taking picture of nude attractive ladies just a crap excuse to see tits? 
  2. Can we separate art nude from erotic photography?
  3. Does it even matter?

1/ Yes. Nude photography is about looking at naked people, of course. Keep in mind until the end of this post than I will never denied that. Landscape is about landscapes no? The only difference is the layer of guilt that was added by milleniums of religious retardation, making us use arty words to cover up a shameful thing. So motivation for doing it? Well it's a three way thing between the model, the photographers, the viewer. 
  • For the photographer, voyeurism is so obvious that denying is foolish. Now I'm not saying it's necessary sexual, one can perfectly find the human body very aesthetical. I find that a well built male is a good looking thing, and that is totally unrelated to my sexual preferences (boobs, clearly). It is about capturing something you love to look at in a way that you enjoy to look at it. Period. And we all like a good looking naked lady. Actually you could replace naked lady by naked dude all along the post if you prefer.
  • For the model, it's often a self esteem, exhibitionist thing. I don't mean that models walk around in trench coats near playgrounds, I mean that having your body made an object of desire is a powerful thing for the ego. Of course it can also be a job, but if you don't have any of that in you, you must be a very sad person posing naked just for money.
  • For the viewer, it's like for the photographer except that they are passive (lazy wankers :-p ).

2/ Yes too. Plain simple:  composition, exposure, creativity still applies. The difference between plain erotic and art nude is simply the graphical, visual value of the image beyond the desirability of the person who's on it. Desirable lady in sexy pose: erotic. Desirable lady in a pleasantly compose image with great mastery on details: art nude, even if still erotic. And that's precisely where I want to kill the hypocrisy: an art nude image is erotic too, it is erotic plus something else. The real segmentation should be between erotic and porn:
  • Eroticism is creating the "desire to desire" (quote from some smart dude I forgot the name of, but I greatly agree with it). It's about arousing deep parts of your imagination.
  • porn is about stimulating yourself in order to touch your genitals until you reach satisfaction.
Then yes we can separate those two things rather easily. I would never ever go at polishing the snake looking at a picture from Jan Scholz:

Jan Scholz AKA Micmojo, a guy who knows a thing or two about good nudes

Jan Scholz AKA Micmojo, a guy who knows a thing or two about good nudes

Jan Scholz AKA Micmojo, a guy who knows a thing or two about good nudes

3/ Does it even matter? I was invited to a thanksgiving dinner last Saturday, and as we opened wine bottles a wise guest said:
-"Don't know much about wine, don't care. Do I like it when I drink it? If yes, then it's good wine."

Some might say that practical approach is the best. I mean, look at the above displayed Miro painting: you can tell me all you want Miro is a genius, I still wouldn't put it in my garage. So if you like what you see, should you care if it's art nude? Or just a raw, nice looking pair of boobs, without any effort put into making the image worth anything on its own?

Well I think it matters. Firstly, if it didn't I would have wrote that post for nothing. Then it also matters because tastes evolve. At 12 you might think Katy Perry is the greatest artist in the world, to much later realize that Pearl Jam, Dream Theater, Brahms, or Duke Ellington are actually the real thing. The difference between the young and the older you? Time. You had time to be exposed to other things, opinions, critical ideas, and it shaped your mind into appreciating beauty. The same way candies are awesome at 6yo and gross you up after 3 pieces when you're 40yo, age at which you'll much prefer a fine Bourbon.

You might first look at nude photography to see boobs, you might do nude photography to see boobs, but you should ask yourself the question: if I don't put any effort into my pictures, I might just be doing masturbation material (nothing wrong with that). If I put some efforts into it, I can actually achieve to create a piece that mixes 3 awesome things together:
  • A beautiful pictural representation, an object that is visually pleasant to the eye, maybe even a story telling piece that really sets a mood once put on a wall
  • A nice looking naked person, because we all love that and fuck all that guilt.
  • Make viewers happy, as well as the model who'll enjoy the way she's be capture, the way you perceived her through your camera

Add on: to answer the questions, all shots above are medium or large format film indeed.

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