Two views of a Skateboarding Park near our home.
Nikon F5, 28mm/f2.8 lens with red filter
Rollei SuperPan 200 film
A few years ago I did a photoshoot with model Sarah D. who was recovering from a double lung transplant that she had due to Cystic Fibrosis. I was impressed by her strength and depth of character. I just found out that she has passed away, waiting for a second transplant, after the first failed. Feeling sad. The posts are below (NSFW due to partial nudity)
Today is the final post on the photo shoot with remarkable model and Cystic Fibrosis survivor Sarah D. In this image I made no attempt at glamour; Sarah’s surgical scars from her double lung transplant are plainly visible; nothing is hidden.
The clock to me symbolizes many things; from what I have read, various treatments have improved life expectancies, from a median of 6 months (U.S., 1959) to over 47 years (Canada, 2007). The clock can also symbolize the patient waiting for suitable donor lungs to be available, as the race against her condition continues.
The final symbolism was quite by accident — after seeing the image, Sarah remarked that the clock was showing a time of about 8 o’clock, and that this was the time of her surgery which saved her life. A striking coincidence, and a testament to the operation that gave her the physical strength (buttressed by her obvious mental strength) to extend the timeline of her remarkable life.
Today another image from the shoot with remarkable model Sarah D. What I like in this photograph is Sarah’s expression; so many images involving female nudity feature expressions that seem to say “I am plaything, I am possession, I am submissive to you.” None of those messages are present in Sarah’s expression: it is an expression of strength, of self-possession, of someone confident in herself and her body. The partial nudity is almost incidental; the facial expression is the key to this image.
Sarah’s strength is also drawn from her supportive family. In contrast to many nude models who feel they must strive to keep their modelling a secret from family and friends, Sarah is able to be be open about her art; when the first pictures from the shoot were posted her mother posted a nice, supportive comment, and I found this quite touching. I have since learned that other members of her family have also seen the images and have been very complimentary to Sarah, and that brings a smile to my face.
In today’s image, the model Rae is sitting in an old chair I found a block and a half from my house, put out by someone with a “Free” sign on it. My guess is that it dates from the 1930’s/40’s, and it needs some TLC, but in its present condition it was perfect for the vintage, somewhat melancholy mood I was looking for in this image, and it worked great with Rae’s lovely pose and expression. I just had to click the shutter.
(Mamiya 645 Pro TL, 80mm f2.8 lens, Ilford Delta 100 film processed in HC-110 Dilution B for 6 minutes, scanned then post-processed using NIK plug-ins)
To me, it seems that part of what defines the feminine is time: the onset of the monthly cycle of fertility at puberty, the ticking of the biological clock until its end at menopause. In addition, for many women independence and self-actualization involve transcending time, and refusing to be imprisoned or have one’s self-worth shackled to this definition.
Today’s image (NSFW, so just a link), explores this idea, the struggle against being the prisoner of time. The model is a powerful, strong and independent woman who will not surrender to the passing of days.
Today’s image is NSFW, so all I can do is add a link
The model in today’s image is striking in her power and intensity. Although nude images often imply submissiveness and objectification, in this image the model makes it very clear that she is in the image on her own terms, and is definitely not submissive!
“And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed;
he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”
– Genesis, 3:15
Note: today’s photo is NSFW (not safe for work – partial nudity) so I am just posting a link instead of embedding the image: Karen and Penelope .
It was most interesting to work with Karen and her pet snake Penelope — I observed the complete opposite of the common aversion many women (and men!) have towards snakes. Penelope the snake emphasizes lines and curves on a model with a strikingly modern look, in a vintage inspired photograph.
(Photo taken with Mamiya M645 Pro TL, 80mm f2.8 lens, Fomapan 100 film developed in HC-110, dilution H for 7.5 minutes)
Today’s image is Not Safe For Work (NSFW for short), so I am just providing a link and some commentary. Images are normally marked this way for nudity, regardless of context (anything from porn to art nude to images of breast feeding of all things). I don’t see as many “NSF” images of violence, guns, or hunters posing beside a defenceless animal they’ve just killed, which is a pretty damning indictment of our society.
That’s not my main point of the post today though; I had a meeting with a model a couple of days ago about an upcoming shoot, and she mentioned that because she planned one day to be a teacher, she need to pose using a pseudonym (actually a couple of different ones), in order to segment this part of her life from the rest of her online persona that would likely be evaluated when she entered the field. The assumption is that if nude images were connected to her, the controversy would end her career.
Now it goes without saying that the vast majority of teachers are dedicated people with a positive influence on the lives of their students, but when I think of the news stories of teachers who were pedophiles, or engaged in exploitative relationships with students, were violent, or taught racist/homophobic ideas, I don’t recall hearing any of them being nude models, yet people still make snap judgements about a person’s morals, based on images that are seemingly Not Safe For Working. How about recognizing courage and risk taking for the purposes of making art?
About a year ago I did a self portrait where I am surrounded by cameras (and nothing else). It’s not a nude shot, in the sense that certain pieces of equipment are hidden by other pieces of equipment, but it is on the edgy side, and I had one person at work who saw the image draw me aside and tell me I was taking a risk. It was hidden for a while, but then I made the link public again, and public it has stayed; to keep it hidden would in my mind be hypocritical, disrespectful to the models I work with, and a sign I was giving into negative public attitudes.