If life had a second edition, how I would correct the proofs. —John Clare
So, we’ve already talked about World Photo Day once this morning. If you want to see what we said, just hop on over here. If you want to participate in the whole World Photo Day event thingy, which could include a book for which you’d have to pay, all that information can be found on their website. A lot of the history is quite interesting. However, we needed a second edition.
However, let’s get real. Within about ten minutes of the Daguerreotype being released on the open market, photographers were using it to shoot nudes. There are two reasons for this. First, photography has always been about art and nothing is more artistic than the human form. Second, people have always enjoyed breaking the taboo of being nude. Are we really surprised that much of early photography was spent taking pictures of naked people? No, not at all. We just find it sad that the nude edition of photography textbooks has been banned from most schools.
Nudes remain a significant part of photography. Just as with more traditional forms of art, one has little business working with images of people until one has fully studied the human form. If one doesn’t understand how the body shifts and changes as one takes on different poses, one is going to be a less-than-stellar photographer. Unfortunately, Americans still have this antiquated notion that nudity has anything to do with sexuality. While I don’t have an issue with sexuality, either, I find it interesting that our European counterparts are not so inhibited. Watch this video:
We’re Not So Inhibited
While I didn’t shoot nudes the first four years of my career, once I started they quickly became a dominant part of my portfolio. Blame Helmut Newton, who found it preposterous that I had no nudes in my portfolio. We have since rectified that problem several thousand times over. And while it may seem that I don’t have any problem getting people to shoot nude with me, it really isn’t as common, nor as easy, as one might think. Creating a nude edition of anything takes some work. Especially in Indiana. For some reason, people just don’t walk around naked here.
Still, there was no way I was going to let World Photo Day pass with just a single edition of photos. While I did include a small number of nudes in the first edition, they were just tucked in there and couple easily be missed. Nude photography is important. Here is where we learn, where we study, and where we refine our ability to take pictures of humans both clothed and not. Nude photography deserves its own edition.
Besides, we know damn good and well the majority of people skip the text and go straight to the pictures. Shame on you. If that’s the only reason you’re here, you should read yesterday’s article.
Nonetheless, here’s another 40 photographs that celebrate the nude form in various shapes and sizes. Each image has a story and a meaning. Take your time. Study.