Monday, July 30, 2018

See/Show/Hide (Redux)

As I teased back in February, I've been wanting to reshoot this one concept from a long time ago. It wasn't actually part of my original Daily Nudes project, but from the year following, after I bought my dSLR. Comparing the two greatly demonstrates a change in my life and photography that I've emphasized before - how I used to go around lurking in the shadows, but now have stepped out into the light. Even just having a place I can shoot outdoors in the sunshine (if only at certain, convenient times), is an exciting change that has only occurred in the last year.

See No Body, Show No Body, Hide No Body

Photographers will tell you that overcast conditions are preferable to full, direct sunlight - and there are good reasons for this. Direct sunlight provides a number of challenges, such as harsh shadows and overblown highlights (especially if you're shooting a pale model all or mostly undressed). But that doesn't mean that bright sunlight should be avoided completely. It's more challenging to work with (especially if it's partly cloudy, and your light conditions are constantly changing), but it can also be more rewarding. The colors are just more vibrant and alive in the sunlight, and especially for shooting a lifestyle like nudism, the sun itself can be an important character in an image. All that having been said, I think the sunlight was more trouble than it was worth for this particular shoot.

See No Body, Show No Body, Hide No Body

In any case, the concept behind the shoot (a play on the proverb "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil", often depicted using three monkeys) is to demonstrate three different approaches to censorship, and the sharing of sexually suggestive or explicit material. The first figure covers his eyes, because he doesn't want to see it. This approach emphasizes personal responsibility. By contrast, the second figure wants to block out the offensive material, preventing others from seeing it, because it makes him uncomfortable. This approach is far too common in society, and is the antithesis of personal freedom and choice. The third figure, meanwhile, is completely open and confident and isn't bothered by what's on display.

Similarly, the concept can be seen to demonstrate three different approaches to exposure - the first figure blocks his identity to remain anonymous; the second figure, his identity known, refrains from sharing sensitive materials; while the third owns his choices and is willing to stand up for his beliefs.

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