And in other news.

Jolene - 013113

Over at my shared blog, shadowsexposed.com with Miz B, we have are getting great comments on an Art vs. Porn post.  It is the first of an ongoing series on this topic.  My post about it comes out on today at 5pm Pacific time.

In other news, I am playing with some old polaroid film and haven't photographed nudes in a few weeks.  Maybe February will be better.

Now onto a musical interlude to get us back into the 70's mood.  (Yeah, I know.  I was 8 or 9, but I remember liking this song back then too.
Well I think you know what Im trying to say woman,
That is I'd like to save you for a rainy day,
Ive seen enough of the world to know,
That Ive got to get it all to get it all to grow.


Speeding by annihilation

ICBM Missile Silo, Central Montana - 012813

When you zip around eastern and central Montana (and much of North Dakota) you see these places.  The are about an acre of fenced in concrete, asphalt, and a few electronic devices.  They are scattered all over the landscape and often have cattle around them quietly grazing.  Under that bit of concrete though lies the potential death of millions of people.  It is the ultimate potential energy device humanity has every created, the intercontinental ballistic missile, or ICBM, just waiting to become kinetic.

I grew up in the 70's and 80's with these all around me.  As kids, my brother and I would play a game counting the number of missile silos we would pass while on family trips.  Mom and dad didn't say anything about our game, but by the look on their faces we could tell it was not a game to them.

In junior high and high school, we watched movies like The Day After that chronicled the aftermath of the nuclear holocaust.  We read Alas, Babylon.  We were told that if WW3 started, we would be some of the first to know as we would watch the missiles rise out of the earth and go into space to come back down on the USSR.  We also knew that we would have about 20 minutes to live before we would burn up in a flash.

Once after school, a few of us talked about what we would do if we saw the missiles launch.  A few with teenage bravado and hormones exclaimed a desire to die not virgins, so they would go find their girlfriends to spend those last minutes with.  A few said they would race home to family and spend time with them. I just got sad because I knew my home was thirty minutes away and I would die alone.  Whenever I heard a sonic boom (a monthly or even weekly occurrence), I would worry for an instant that a missile had launched and gone super sonic on its one-way trip over the arctic.  I would close my eyes and say a soft, mumbled prayer, "Please. Not this time."

In 2011 I took a long road trip around Montana.   On the third to last day in that state, I started to come down with a nasty cold.  I could only do a couple hundred miles of driving before I needed to rest.  I was sad because I knew I would be sick on the day I would drive my favorite road in Montana, Highway 200 between Great Falls and Missoula.

I love that road because it tickles my fetish for geological boundaries.  It is where the Great Plains runs head on into the Rocky Mountains.  It is my favorite place in the world.  That day though, I was feverish and wanting to both enjoy the beauty and just get to Butte and a warm bed.

About forty minutes west of Great Falls, I saw the deja vu-inducing missile silo site.  I quickly grabbed my camera and shot five images as I sped by at 70 mph.  I wasn't sure if I was allowed to take those photos, so I made it a quick pass.  After I set my camera down, all of those high school memories from a time when our enemy was the USSR came flooding back.  I suddenly felt both lonely in the car and nostalgic for Montana.  I looked in my rear view mirror at the quickly receding silo and and whispered in a horse voice to it, "Please.  Not this time."



Fae DeCay - 012413

I watched the documentary, Thinking XXX.  It chronicles the making of a photo series by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders where he takes two portraits of porn stars (male, female, gay and straight porn), one clothed, one nude.   Much of the movie has the stars talking about the industry.  It also has rich commentary and analysis by John Waters and Gore Vidal.  In it, Gore Vidal shared this great thought on porn and the human condition.

We never seem to tire at looking at naked bodies.  That is true, but they always have to be new ones. Gore Vidal from the movie Thinking XXX.
This quote has two great features, the hook and then the yank of the hook.  In the hook or the first part, he describes how we endlessly enjoy viewing the nude.  I enjoy looking at the nude form.  I prefer female nudes, but appreciate male nudes as well.  For centuries, artists, and many creators lacking artistic intent,  captured the nude form through paintings, sculptures, photography, writing, etc.  We can't help but look when confronted.  For me, I enjoy seeing not only the nude form, but how the artist captured it.

Ludovica Albertoni Cetera - Bernini - my photo 012413

Ludovica Albertoni Cetera - Bernini - my photo 012413
The master sculptors Bernini and Rodin both captured nudes, but in different ways.  The almost-photo realism of the Bernini's art makes me want to touch it and feel the real moment captured.  I want to feel St. Teresa's  ecstasy.  I can almost feel the passion, fear, and arousal in his masterpiece, "The Rape of Prosperpina" where you can see how his hands are pressing into the flesh of her thigh.   As for Rodin, he is not so much a realist as much as sharing the raw emotions and behaviors of the moment.  Whether it is the elegant simpleness of "The Kiss" or the sultry passion of the "Lovers, 1911" or the torn and conflicted pain of "The Tragic Muse" (one of my favorites), I am feeling what is being represented in the work.   I not only want to, desire to, and seek these nudes out, I must see them.  I am drawn to them at both the primal animal self and the intellectual appreciative self as well.
The Tragic Muse - Rodin - Photographer unknown

This desire leads to the second part, the yank and setting of the hook in Vidal's quote about always needing to see new ones.   Even though I have personal favorites of nude imagery, sculpture,  erotica, porn, etc., I will always want to see new ones - new faces, bodies, stories, and themes.   It is lust, need, and appreciation that I need to look at them and want more.

This desire for change, variety, and novel experiences applies to my art as well.  Once I create and refine an image, or set of images, from a photo shoot with a model, I start getting inspired for the next shoot.  If it is with the same model, I focus on where can we go deeper and change it up.  If it is a new model, what new things will she bring that I haven't seen or created before.  Regardless, I tend to then lose some interest in the work I created and completed and desire the next one, and then the next one.

Am I shallow for continually wanting and not being satisfied with how I create and consume the nude form?  On one hand, this insatiable desire sometimes leads me to feeling it is more of an obsession or thirst that can never be quenched.  On the other hand, if this desire ever stopped or was denied to me, would I become less of who I am?


No Nude Mondays

Heading west toward 95 - 012113

Inauguration day.  I have only a few thoughts on the President's speech.  It's about fucking time he grew a set and chose to address big issues head on.  Some of these include financial equity, marriage equity, and the progressive agenda.  This will make us discuss it and push forward.  I hope we grow to be a better nation and not see the gridlock and absolutism of our political nation.


That reminds me...

NYC - 011613

A few days ago I was listening to my iPod on the bus.  It was set to randomly choose the next song.  After a few songs, I heard the first bars of a silly dance tune that brought tears to my eyes.  It reminded my of a close family friend that died in December.

We went to Las Vegas with our friend Cassie a few years ago as a consolation/celebration of her getting laid off from work.  The many crazy outings included going to a number of night clubs.  Most of the d.j.'s played this song.  It must have been a fresh tune getting lots of club play at that time.  It is a very silly sampling/homage to an old song with lots of electronica thrown in.  All of us downloaded it and declared it the theme song to our trip.

In honor of Cassie, below is the song we all danced like fools to.  It is a great tune to clean house with and bust out a little dance move. 

We Speak No Americano


No-nude Mondays and why do we make voluntary suffering a virtue?

Colorado River - 011413
In rivers, the water that you touch is the last of what has passed and the first of that which comes; so with present time. - Leonardo da Vinci
I had a great weekend scoping locations, photographing a model, and gallivanting around the northern California area.  You will see photos from those experiences in the next few days.

Part 1 - Water

I really like photographing boundaries.  The photo above is the Colorado  River, a few dozen miles south of Lake Mead and Hoover Dam.  Across the river is Arizona.  While being a geographical boundary, it is also the boundary between parched desert and water.  We are drawn to water, especially where water is the rarity and not the usual.

Part 2 - Suffering snobbery.

It has been cold in this area of California for a few days.  Many of my Montana family and friends would not bat an eye at the temps, but I felt the cold.  Since I left Montana, family members love to brag about the extreme cold, heat, dry, or snowy conditions it is back there and how it makes them a tougher group; ergo, better than those living in temperate locals. .  If they get into how they are underpaid for doing jobs that reward much better elsewhere while also suffering such weather hardships, they condescend to others from their saintly perches.

I live in the state with the most Americans in it (roughly 1 out of 8 Americans live here).  It has the highest and the lowest points of the lower 48 states.  California's economy trades places with France as which is larger.  We have snow, ocean coast, and desert.  I drive through traffic and by cities that have more people than Montana.  Does this make me a better person than anyone else. Nope.  I chose to live in a place where the weather is much more moderate and the traffic sucks.  I chose to live in a state that has well-paying jobs.  I now have a home in Nevada, where the summer temps are above 110 and only cools to mid 90's at night.  Does that make me a tougher person and better than others?  No.  It was just a choice.

In this age, migrating between states is not that hard compared to a hundred years.  If you choose to live in hardship areas and have the ability to move, then that may say more about your judgement.  As a friend once told me, "In most parts of life, suffering is optional."



Our banner

Shadows, by definition, are areas shrouded from light - but created by that same light. In shadows there are form and fantasy, secrets and sins, truths and teases.  - shadowsexposed - Miz B.

I've been hinting at it and it is now a reality.  I am proud to introduce a new collaborative blog I am half of, shadowsexposed. This new blog will be looking into our arts, eroticism, creation, and what we expose through it.  At times, it will be much more explicit and hit harder themes than this blog.

I don't want to go to much into the back since it will be a part of the blog's growth, but since you are my devoted readers, here, I will give you a bit.  Miz B. and I went to high school together.  As is usual, we drifted our separate paths after graduation and found each other on Face Book a few years ago.  After lots and lots of messages, we developed a trust and understanding that we both work in similar worlds, have similar issues and rewards, yet both have unique stories to share.  This is a blog about that.  I highly suggest you get over to the blog and read more.   Comments are always appreciated and add to the discussion.  To avoid confusion, we are both using pseudonyms (for a while).  You will recognize my old "Side B"  or "SB".

As for this blog, I love it and it will not really change or go away.  This is my personal journal, exhibition, and thought muse.  It is very personal and important to me.  I love my readers and want to keep this going and growing. 


Wanton, Wanting, Wonton Wednesday

Jolene - 010913

Rain - 010913
Tiana - 010913

Wanton - adjective (of a cruel or violent action) Deliberate and unprovoked.  Noun - A sexually immodest or promiscuous woman.  Verb - Play; frolic.
Wanting - adjective 1. Lacking in a certain required or necessary quality: "their products would be found wanting in a direct comparison"  2. Not existing or supplied; absent.
Wonton - noun - (in Chinese cooking) A small round dumpling or roll with a savory filling, usually eaten boiled in soup.   - Dictionary.com
 I find all three of these words apropos to today.  Each fit a mood, desire, or need for my Wednesday.  Starting from the bottom.

Wonton - For me, there are few soups that taste as good on a cold, rainy day.  It warms the body and soul.  It also helps decongest the sinuses. 

Wanting - I sometimes feel like I am lacking in a certain required or necessary quality.  This hits hard on Wednesdays because the week has evolved far enough to know what must be done, but the realization hits on what I am capable of doing.  I feel like the black horse in this gif today. 

Wanton - I wonder why that word has different meanings, whether as an adjective, noun, or verb.  Other than not being a woman (and why is it only directed at women?), I sometimes feel like all three variations at the same time.   Today I may feel sexually immodest or promiscuous with a desire to play or frolic cruelly.  Ok, that is a bit of a stretch, but I can see that it could happen.

Along with the wanton label, I wonder if I described the ladies in the images as "wanton" or "wanting", how would they be perceived compared to "empowered", "aroused", or "erotic"?


A change in diet?

Nelson, NV - 010813
Yesterday I posted some new photos that didn't have any nudes... or even humans.  I jokingly called it "No Nude Monday".  D.L. shared a great comment:
Focusing on nature can be a rewarding and sometimes healing adventure. Noticing the beauty and details of the outdoors can enhance and renew the pleasures of exploring the nude form again.
 I had to think on it a bit and realized I have fallen into a gluttonous diet of photographing erotic and nude subjects. Like eating too many In and Out burgers, this filling over indulgence only leaves me craving the next one.  Where is the next model? What are we going to create?  What mood and feelings do I want?  Will there be a narrative or concept or is it to be for more base desires? 

As with any gluttonous craving, it feeds upon itself at the exclusion of a more well-rounded diet that is healthier for the photographer.  I find that I get tunnel vision on a topic, subject, or genre.  I no longer notice all the amazing photographic opportunities around me and go for the rib eye steak of my art, the erotic nude. 

A few weeks ago I went out with my wife into the desert around Las Vegas a few times.  I photographed the buildings, landscapes, and little things that caught my eye.   Along the way, I jokingly shared, "I can't publish these.  I am a portraitist, dare I say eroticist or pornographer.  I can't do landscapes."  She didn't like that joke.

When I use a computer too long, I notice that I have a difficulty seeing things clearly at great distances because my eyes are too used to an object about 24" from me.  While photographing a landscape that was over 40 miles deep, I realized my photographic vision was out of shape. I am used to focusing on a the exquisite beauty before me and worrying about depth of field, bokeh, light, fine focus, and other aesthetic choices.  Once I stepped out into nature and the grand views, I had to notice those mountains way off, the quickly spreading clouds, and the little cactus near my feet.  I had to see depth.  Instead of cropping out the world to get to the subject, like I do with nude photography, I had to decide what to include in the grand photo and try to make it work.

As D.L. wrote,  "Noticing the beauty and details of the outdoors can enhance and renew the pleasures of exploring the nude form again.", I need to refresh my view and get more vegetables, starches, and fruit into my photographic diet.  I need to enhance how I see the whole world in the frame, not just the luscious content my id wants in it.  Maybe it is time to see the forest again and not get obsessed with only seeing the breasts. 


Wow. Seven days in...

Nelson, NV - 010713

... and all those resolutions to simplify and try to go at a healthier pace have vanished already.  Oh well.  I guess my resolution to listen to more music is working though.

Nothing deep here, just winding out my day.  This post should be called, "No Nude Monday.  Here are some recent photos from Nelson, Nevada.  Thanks to Terrell for introducing this place to me.

West of the Colorado River near Nelson, NV - 010713

I can do the occasional landscape if needed.  My thanks to nature for beautiful clouds and earth.