"Couldn't disagree more with Mark [who doesn't like the above picture]. Don't get me wrong, I think the first photo is good, but I find that the second pose is more interesting to me. While the first pose is well executed, albeit a more classical approach to the nude, I think the the bed shot brings up some interesting comparisons.
I think many times, when shooting or posing and otherwise, we are so afraid of wrinkles and creases. The shot is, of course, framed to emphasize the subject, but moreso, we see a strong implied line emerge as we go from her dark, shadowed shoulder to her more brightly lit, almost luminescent knee.
The shadowed lines of her arm and legs of course emphasize this progression, but I think what is more interesting are the creases exposed above her leg.
Posed on the bed, we can instantly see similarities between these creases in the skin and the creases in the bedding on the opposite side of her body. The weight of her form resting on the bed, as her body does on her legs, naturally causes creases in both skin and bedding which, by no coincidence, are both adorned with arboreal designs. Rather, this further emphasizes and solidifies the connection between the female form and the bed upon which she rests.
With this analogy firmly established in the visuals of the photo itself, we can further explore the relationship between skin and the bedding.
The comforter on the bed acts as a reminder of the intimacy of the bedroom and all the acts accomplished within. The making of the bed, an oftentimes daily ritual, is an act of erasing the previous days' history, both good and bad, and beginning a new day. It acts as a cover, literal and figural, for the acts undertaken in the bed. These intimate moments that undid the bed are smoothed over and hidden from view by the immaculate bedspread.
In this way, so too does our skin hide the most intimate of our thoughts and desires. We compile a days worth of experiences and hide them behind our bodies themselves, by our enthusiasm, our false smiles, our false confidence. This, in turn, is hid further behind the the clothes we wear to hide our nakedness.
Thus, the figural baring of her intimate thoughts, her soul, her heart, if you will, as implied by her physical nudity, is contrasted by the clothed and hidden bed. Yet, despite conscious effort, neither facade is perfect. The bed is creased by her very presence, just as her skin is creased by the very act of living within it. These creases and imperfections are not inherently negative, but rather are simple consequences of the Sisyphean aspects inherent in life itself; as much as we try, we will never achieve perfection as long as our bodies, and our beds, are in use.
Her conservative pose thus expresses not a shyness or shame at her nudity, but a quiet reserve and subtle confidence not just at her own physical nudity, but at the secrets hidden under the covers and within her heart. For these are consequences of living and should be endured with as much pose and quiet integrity as the figure expresses within the photo."
This comment rocked my whole world - and it was left anonymously. If you are the person who wrote this, please speak up - I have something special for you. Be honest now.
In fact, because of this comment, I am instituting a new monthly contest here on the Vault Blog.
Comment of the Month!
That's right. I'm so desperate for comments that I'm going to reward those of you who comment either on Facebook or on the blog itself. The reward will change every month, but here are a few of the things I'm thinking about giving away.
- Vault Photography hats/shirts
- Free business card printing
- Limited Edition prints (BIG ONES!)
- Photography books
- Memory cards
- USB drives
I've never done a contest before - but I'm totally serious about this stuff. If you leave a comment on one of my posts, you're automatically entered to win. Of course, the better the Quality of your comment, the higher your chances of winning. Dont BS me, but do try to say something more meaningful than "Great shot!" or "you suck."
Let me state that these contests will be entirely subjective - I will pick who wins. If you don't like it, too bad. <insert legal mumbo-jumbo about where contests are and aren't valid and No Purchase Necessary and stuff>
If you people make me hire a lawyer to spell out all that stuff, I'm going to cancel the contest (which I have a right to do whenever I want for whatever reason I want) and pout (which I am also allowed to do!)
Each contest will run from the beginning to the end of that month. August's has already started and is open to you all. "Anonymous" left his or her comment on July 31st at 11:31pm - barely winning for July - before I had even thought of the idea for this contest.
Questions? COMMENTS? Concerns?