1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Poll - Do you think AP should publish artistic nude....

Discussion in 'Weekly Poll' started by Nigel_Atherton, Apr 1, 2014.

  1. PhilW

    PhilW Well-Known Member

    A tricky one this. Having the occasional very very good art nude image in the mag wouldn't bother me. but....

    What is more troublesome is if they start to creep into the appraisal section. Bad landscapes are just bad landscapes. But bad art nude is usually very unpleasant, sleazy, tacky glamour/porn.....

    And I wouldn't want AP to go down that route!!!
  2. Sphinx

    Sphinx Well-Known Member

    I have to say that does make a great deal of sense.
  3. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Well-Known Member

    Fine art nudes and erotica has always been available, even in the 80's.
    It has never had much of an audience and generated considerable controversy.
    Those that object would not differentiate between such work and tacky page 3 glamour.

    Such images used to find their way into most BJ almanacs up to the 60's and a little beyond, where they took advantage of the fine screen Rotogravure printing and art paper of their sewn in photo section. Something AP printers of to day could not match.
  4. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Well-Known Member

    Why emphasise their education?
    David might be small but he is always hard as marble.
  5. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    The problem with the vote was that it only gave a positive vote option for both nude & erotic photography together but not separately. How can I express a view through the vote? Ask skewed questions and the risk is that you will get skewed replies.
  6. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Dear Nigel,

    A further thought on this: antique nudes (including erotic and even borderline pornographic) are curiously more acceptable to a wider audience than modern ones. This leaves modern erotic art at something of a loss: either old-fashioned (in which case it will be castigated as such), or too novel and shocking (in which case it will be castigated as such). Then there's Bob, somewhere between the two: "classic" enough for some people, but still too modern and "shocking" for others. I suspect that the vast majority of nudes and erotic art from the last (say) 50 years fall into the same trap.

    There were however some very amusing "nudescapes" on the web-site of a young photography student who introduced herself on this very site, a week or two ago. I forget her name; perhaps someone else can save me the trouble of research.


  7. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Well-Known Member

    Like me You can probably remember seeing Black and white classical nudes of the 50's and 60's in the windows of Soho. Many were surprisingly well lit and tasteful... but most were more of a front for the more salacious work inside.

    It is true that there are two classes of work that always seem acceptable ... Early saloon nudes from almost any period up to the 60's. They were always beautifully lit and carefully posed, and quite in keeping with drawing-room art.

    The other group is the truly historic often continental studio or around the home studies, by both early professional and Amateur photographers. These often followed the classical Roman and Greek styles, prevalent in paintings of the time.
    But I would include the more saucy French postcard style that was so popular with the gentlemen of the period. The difference between the two styles was often limited to smiles or coy glances, and were rarely pornographic... which was another genre entirely.

    What is most interesting is that such photographs were in circulation very soon after the invention of photography.
    It is strange that such photographs rarely appear vulgar or page 3. It is as if modern photographers have lost the art of seeing in such a natural and matter of fact way. By comparison modern photographs seem contrived and overtly sexual , even when trying not to be so.
  8. RogerMac

    RogerMac Well-Known Member

    I saw the original of the satyr and goat (depicted above) at the British Museum recently and also a picture of it was included in the talk given by the curator at the Edinburgh Book Festival last year. Neither time did anyone appear shocked but I suspect that if it had been replaced by a high definition image of the act itself quite a lot would have been (probably including me).
  9. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Dear Roger,

    "The act itself" would of course require that you find a satyr to pose for you...


  10. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    At least, they don't to us. Maybe in a more repressed era they were more shocking. Or maybe they were less shocking in an era when prostitution (including child prostitution) was simultaneously frowned upon and taken for granted.


  11. ChrisNewman

    ChrisNewman Well-Known Member

    A more meaningful poll than most!

  12. Sphinx

    Sphinx Well-Known Member

    The thing is at the time it was created it was a high definition 3D image of the act.

    I mean if someone was to take a digital photograph of the act now will it be a case that in 3000 years time when that image is shown in whatever is the newest media of the time someone will comment that nobody was shocked but an actual modern depiction of the act would be shocking?
  13. Catriona

    Catriona Well-Known Member

    Is this the real reason for the question? Readership down and other magazines doing much better.

    I would have thought that looking at the ones with the highest circulation shows the reason they are successful.
    Only three magazines showed growth - Digital SLR Photography, Digital Camera Magazine and the Canon specialist title Photo Plus.
    Digital SLR:

    ...The magazine’s achievement is mainly due to the team being so passionate about photography – this is more than a job for all of us and being able to inspire our readers is highly rewarding."...
    end quote

    If AP is hankering after the old days and thinks that showing totties will up the readership, I think that is a retrograde step and it might work for a while, but not for very long. IPC has enough other magazines in that genre! I think a step towards really encouraging the amateur photographer in photography is the way forward. Yes, you have to make money out of advertising, but a different or additional way would be to really encourage young amateur photographers - not the ones with more money than taste.

    Yes, you are right. I wouldn't buy the magazine if you went down the glam route. Whatever you call it, it will still be the tottie-track and not my scene. I don't expect that bothers most of you in the least! You will do what's necessary in your own eyes.


  14. RogerMac

    RogerMac Well-Known Member

    Yes I did think of that problem just after I posted! AP might of course get some kind of scoop if they could publish that!
  15. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Big Will would do it, he likes goats - we would just have to disguise him a bit. ;)
  16. southonline

    southonline Well-Known Member

    makes you wonder what impact the download mag has had to printed sales
  17. AlanClifford

    AlanClifford Well-Known Member

    I just find it so sad that the question needed to be asked. Why do we live in a society that is afraid of human bodies? And the "We must protect the children from breasts" mentality is impinging on our freedom as individuals.

    And to go even further, even if AP published pictures of artistic donkey-human sex, there is a simple answer for those who don't want to see it: don't look at it.
  18. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Well-Known Member

    At just over a quarter of a million readers, Photo magazine readership is pretty abysmal compared to the number of photographers and camera owners in this country.

    it seems more than a tinkering at the edges is needed.
    I feel that on-line editions are not the answer, but a total integration of the printed and digital media, not just in content, but taking into account the way they are used by real people.

    People no longer see the printed page as a means to gather immediate information and make comparisons, this is far better done online and in real time.
    The printed page is far better for adsorbing larger chunks of well prepared information and entertainment, preferably well documented with to links for further private investigation.

    I am sure that more people than myself use it in this way. I am very happy when a magazine asks as many questions in the form of leads as it answers.
    Reading is a pleasurable activity and the content providers need to keep this in mind.
    Information needs to be factual and authoritative. Opinion need to be clearly opinion and not be dogmatic.

    I often take my magazines to the computer to find clarification or add further depth
    to what has been written. What I read leads on to further enjoyable enquiry.

    Most photo magazine sites are quite useless for making searches and queries, and rarely lead to further reading or information, or even links to allied subject matter.

    There will be a future for our shrinking readerships, but not by following the example of AP and the like. The combined staffs of AP and WDC can only bring what they already have shown that they have to the table. It will take a total change of thinking about the synergy of paper and digital publishing, to move on to the next level of customer engagement and commitment.

    It may be that none of the print publishers have this commitment, nor their investors the faith in them, to risk further cash. However the certainty is that Photographers will be served by some one with the information and entertainment they crave. The requirement is there, it is not being met. The figures prove it.
  19. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    The requirement is there, it is not being met. Yes, but are people willing to pay for ANYTHING on line? They are conditioned to the idea that everything should be free.

    Entertainment. This is the only way forward: an entertainment economy. Consumerism is self-limiting on a finite planet, and with automation, there aren't enough jobs to go around even if we keep on manufacturing throwaway goods. Entertainment, on the other hand, doesn't use up anything like as many natural resources (steel, plastic, rare earths...) as consumerist manufacturing. If you doubt what I say about consumerism, ask yourself why one reader chooses the Grauniad, and another the Torygraph? Most of the facts are the same: it's how they are presented that sells the papers. This is as close to the "entertainment" dimension as makes no odds.

    An important aspect of entertainment, too, is that it's more important to have a few passionate readers for each aspect of the magazine, rather than trying to make all of it equally acceptable to everyone. The ones who say, "Yeah, it's all OK" are the ones who are most likely to stop bothering. The ones who say, "No, I REALLY like Ivor's articles but I can't stand that bugger Hicks," are the ones who may buy the magazine just for one article, instead of looking at it and thinking, "No, I don't think I'm going to buy any of those cameras, and the rest of it is so generic that I won't bother this week." Sure, someone else may have absolutely no interest in classic cameras, but there may be another aspect of the magazine that they REALLY like.

    I'd like to see more exhibition reviews, but with an equipment/technique slant, asking the photographer how they chose their subject, why and how they shoot the way they do, etc. It's a myth that professionals don't care about equipment!

    Another way to approach the same thing is "subject" reports. The machine gun article in the March 15th issue is a good example, though admittedly a bit exotic. For a less exotic example, if you're reading this, Nigel,I'd love to do a piece on re-enactors. Or on vide-greniers, the French equivalent of car boot sales, except that they're village-wide and held only once a year in each village. My exhibition in Arles last year was La Religion Recyclée, "Religion Recycled" about the decline in Catholicism in France and the crucifixes, religious icons, rosaries, statues of the Blessed Virgin, etc., that are sold at vide-greniers.

    Both re-enactors and vide-greniers/car boot sales are the sort of things that are surprisingly easy to find during summer week-ends. The thing is to get people out shooting themed sets. This doesn't preclude shooting "a bit of this and a bit of that" -- we all do that too -- but it helps give direction and whip up enthusiasm: like a competition, only more so.

    We want people thinking "I can do that", and then going out and doing it. What we don't want is "I can't do that" or "I can't afford that". We can live with "I'm not interested in that" as long as there is something else they are interested in.

    It's a fair criticism that this tilts the magazine slightly towards a 1960s "colour supplement" view of the world, but is this all bad if it gets the readers in? And if the other things you suggest also appear?

    One last thing about integration is that while the whole text of my recent review of the Leica M Typ 240 appeared in American Photo magazine (another AP!), only a few pictures appeared in print. The rest were on the web site. Result: interaction between the two, with web readers seeking out the magazine and magazine readers visiting the web site.


  20. Atavar

    Atavar Well-Known Member

    Blimey, only 18.5k of us? The closed Nuts reportedly had 53k so it's all looking a bit grim, really.

    I liked the fact that AP has offered a Readers Viewing of the Carlos Clarke exhibition at the Little Black Gallery, makes the magazine a little bit more exclusive (and isn't exclusivity in a publications articles one of the draws of reading it in the first place?). Just wish I lived closer to be able to take advantage of it.

    Imagine if AP had made a prize of a VIP ticket to this topped off with dinner with the editor at Marco Pierre Whites restaurant where many of Bobs works still adorn the walls... it has almost a money-can't-buy appeal... Well, you have to give people outside the Capital a reason to go in - unless, that is, the majority of the 18.5k readers reside in London...

Share This Page