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

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

  1. MartyG

    MartyG Well-Known Member

    Last edited: Apr 2, 2014
  2. AlanClifford

    AlanClifford Well-Known Member

    Is this because nipples are evil?
  3. Catriona

    Catriona Well-Known Member

    You can find them in plenty other magazines, as I'm sure you realise.
  4. Atavar

    Atavar Well-Known Member

    Men have nipples too, Alan. ;)

    I think it's displaying what's attached to them in the work place which is what is taken exception to. Male or female.
  5. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Well-Known Member

    I would agree with a majority of that, Particularly the implications of your last paragraph.
    The answer to that it that the link must be restricted and have a cost. But where such a link is in place, the entertainment and information must have a real value for money and seen to be Worth it.

    Both the magazine and the Extra on-line material must be symbiotic to the extent that the one needs the other for completion.

    The access to the on-line site should be free and entertaining (and include this Forum) , and lead to the on-line subscription version of the magazine. Each should lead to the other. (The existing AP site is an example to be avoided)

    The Magazine ( printed or on-line) has a subscription cost, and so should access to the special on-line links, These should lead to material with a real demand and interest that compliments the magazine. it should be special.

    Of course an on-line, paid for, version will be essential and should have the same links to the special material, but charged for as a "Plus" version of the on-line subscription. In the same way the Paper version could have a Plus version of the subscription. Those who buy the occasional copy should pay for links on-line as required.

    I would suggest that those who purchase hard copy editions should have free access to the digital version.(Personal code printed week by week on their mailer address)
    Single on-line plus versions of the magazine should be available for a one off payment.
    This is rather complex to put onto paper but would be very simple in practice.

    Instant On-line payment systems are everywhere... there is no excuse not to use them
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2014
  6. Nigel_Atherton

    Nigel_Atherton Group Editor

    The question is absolutely nothing to do with sales, and I don't know why you feel the need to look for an ulterior motive.

    Firstly that article is a year out of date and refers to the 2012 ABCs. In fact 2013's are much the same, and most of those magazines that did well in 2012 dropped back down again last year. The phenomena of declining magazine sales is not limited to the photography sector - its because more people are now spending their spare time looking at smartphones and iPads. AP's circulation fall last year was actually among the smallest in the photo market.

    The question was inspired by the new Bob Carlos Clarke exhibition to which AP was offered the chance to hold an exclusive private view for our readers. As stated in my leader I was struck by how images that I previously published in AP in the 1990s without complaint I now considered too risque, and wondered whether this caution on my part was founded or not. I find it odd that its considered okay to publish photos of almost anything (including war, famine) but not the unclothed human body.

    When I talk about nude photography I am of course talking more about the sort of thing done by the likes of Trevor and Faye Yerbury (http://www.yerburygallery.com/) than you'd find in Nuts, and I wasn't talking about filling the magazine with it, but perhaps running that sort of feature maybe three or four times a year.

    Having only recently returned to AP I'm trying to get a sense of what readers would be interested in seeing other than the usual landscapes, nature etc.
  7. Catriona

    Catriona Well-Known Member

    I didn't look for an ulterior motive, it just struck me that changes in AP might be ongoing and sales could be at the root of it.

    Of course, as to what readers want? The Forum feedback is quite a biaised sample and a difficult one to extrapolate the results. Impossible, I'd say. Probably the only way to find out is to actually do a feature and see. No-one is going to be shocked these days, not that they ever were in the past. Tastes just differ as to what is artistic. A feature, combined with technical advice and links to Galleries could be good and appreciated by many.
  8. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Well-Known Member

    I might as well say "where have you been" The whole scene has changed over recent years.
    During the Korean and Vietnamese wars Death and destruction was shown in it full harrowing reality. Murders and accidents were covered in all their gory graphic details, Mrs whitehouse came and went, and left behind a sanitized top shelf. Laws and controls on pornography and even the everyday photograpy of minors, has terrorised even parent photographers from photographing their own children.
    There has been a growing belief that people own the rights to their own image. And in some countries this is absolutely true.
    The trend is toward a greater control of what we are permitted to see, let alone photograph them.

    The world of studio and art nudes is merely a small hold out against the incoming tide of civil puritanism.

    It is true that the availability and commercialisation of porn has never been so prevalent, but it is only the difficulty of any real control of web content, that has held government back from imposing censorship. Though recent government efforts throughout the world have shown it is a coming reality.

    You have demonstrated the reality of the situation, by providing that link you have shown that Art photography in all its guises is available in vast quantities and to suit all tastes, by means of a simple web search.

    I can not see that a magazine like Ap has anything to gain by showing an occasional handful of small nude images, and in the doubtful quality available on your printed page. Magazines of this type do not have the luxury of the quality reproduction available to a coffee table book. The results would be only a shadow of what the original art prints show.

    The Ap is not bought for the quality of its reproduction, the process does not allow it.
    The commercial reproduction of the current genres is rarely above adequate.
    I believe this level of reproduction has helped to lower the expectation of new photographers in the tonal quality of their own work, as most will never have seen, and may never see, the full tones and qualities of an international exhibition print.

    Photographers and readers are just members of the population. Such a poll is unlikely to give you an accurate anything. The sample is too small and the questions too ill thought out (polling is a science).

    The existing readership will at some stage reach a stable minimum, all else being equal. Or pass the point of economic returns. Your interest should be towards the very occasional reader and those that support the competition. More importantly still, it should address those Millions of camera users who never buy a photo magazine, but do buy magazines of other sorts.

    The questions in that case are, "why do photographers who read for pleasure, not buy Photo magazines?" It is clear from the figures that most do not.
    and "would the inclusion of Art nudes increase or decrease that readership?"

    My own view is, that in the current climate such a choice is a very risky option.
  9. Catriona

    Catriona Well-Known Member

    Just a thought as well as what has already been said well by Terrywoodenpic.

    APOY could have such a more professional presentation. Ready made packages are available and used for International Salons, by Camera Clubs. It is slick, easy to upload, everything is open, judges, who has entered, dates etc - and makes the whole process easy to use and attractive.
    APOY is so unprofessional in comparison. With a bit more thought, you could probably pull in many more entries and attract people as readers.
  10. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Dear Nigel,

    Thanks for the link to the Yerbury site. I found that the pictures had a curiously vintage look to them, which perhaps bears out what I said earlier about modern stuff being too "shocking". Retouch the pictures to remove the pubic hair and they'd look even more old-fashioned.

    What occurred to me more strongly is that while landscapes, flowers, etc., require no great effort but can still result in great pictures, very few photographers (a) know suitable subjects for nude photography, at least well enough to ask them to pose; (b) are brave enough to ask; and (c) have suitable studios or locations. I might even add (d) that the models have to be 18 or over, which does not seem to have been even a minor concern (as it were) until 10-20 years ago. For that matter, (e), although I can think of a couple of girls I probably could ask, I'm not confident that I could make good enough pictures of them.

    The net result is that very, very few readers will be able to relate articles on the nude to their own photography, along with a severe risk of "readers' wives" from those who do try. In a magazine that is designed to inspire readers and show them how to get similar results, the relevance is negligible.

    Of course it's equally true that they are unlikely to get to (for example) machine gun fairs, but because reportage is such a vast field, there are more transferable skills: logistics, number of pics, getting on with people, even equipment. With nude photography, not so much (except some kinds of portraiture).

    As a counter-argument to what I've already said, ALL good photography requires passion and single-mindedness, and nude photography (for the reasons given above) requires more passion and single-mindedness than most. Learning about photographers' passion and single-mindedness is always worth while, which would argue strongly for interviews with photographers of the nude, but my suspicion is that again for the reasons given, AP isn't the place for such interviews.

    Personally, I'd be more than happy to see the sort of article you describe -- I'm interested in how most photographers work, with the possible exception of some kinds of wildlife -- but as already noted I am in complete agreement with your suspicion that much of the world is a lot more puritanical than it was in Bob's day: pictures that would hardly have raised an eyebrow then would provoke hysteria today. And like you I am much puzzled by the acceptability of violence but not nudity: a vile double standard that is far more evident in Hollywood than in still photography. But why invite the hysteria?


  11. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Well-Known Member

    I can relate to this...
    In 1959 when I returned from working in Spain and was looking for a new position. Russell Gay took me on in his Tottenham Court road studio., which specialised in shooting Nudes and pinups as both cine and still photography. He was actually an excellent lighting photographer, but one who capitalised on the popular pinup and nude publishing market, both here and abroad. (there is always money in smut)

    As you mention even skilled photographers have problems posing and lighting nude models, amateurs often wallow in the difficulties. But what you did not mention is that People skills are even more important.. and that has never been my strong point. I could come up with Ideas, set designs, scripts, and pose and light as well as anyone. But I lacked the small talk and the personal touch that makes the difference between good and excellent.
    After six months I found a position in the commercial/ industrial field which was far more my thing. But it was an experience and learning curve I would not have missed.

    You also mentioned the age of models... In those day it was perfectly legal to photography minors in the nude, with the written permission of parents or guardians. The youngest I can remember visiting the studio was only 14 and who was accompanied by her parents.there were many 16 and upward but almost none over 24. How times have changed... I wonder how many modern collectors of such magazines have been charged with possession of photographs of children.
  12. Midday

    Midday New Member

    When I was in my late teens I remember in the 80's trotting off to the newsagent in hope of finding a photography magazine, information being generally a lot less accessable at that time.

    Frequently a sleezy shot of a woman would be on the front cover. Sometimes the magazine looked as if it was focused on landscape articles or maro, but when opened more space was used for multipage articles on semi clothed or naked women. My choice of mag was heavily infuenced by such articles and covers, some months I left the newsagent with no magazine at all because as a young girl I found such material deeply discouraging.

    I learned landscape photography from another woman. I learned photographers were scummy from the magazines they bought and that only men were supposed to be photographers or buy magazines. I learned this because there were no male nudes or even semi dressed men, only ever women portrayed in that way.

    For well over a decade I never bothered with photography magazines. I wrote and asked once, before giving up, why there were only women in such photos and never men - the reply was (totally unconvincingly, I guess they thought woman were all stupid) - that a national best selling magazine was unable to find even one male model to pose for them, despite intensive searching. I think the insult of such a transparent excuse was worse than being seen as a photographer in those days.

    Stats show now that more and more women are getting into serious photography and have the buying power for DSLRs, kit, courses. I have attended photography training events where ageing male photographers still disregard this and who have been rude about women in thier talks, despite the women becoming part of the revenue base for trainers. One based in Wales actually told his attendees (many of which were older women) that it was a waste of time photographing women over 40 as they are past being worth photographing, even if they are paying customers wanting their portraits taken

    I am happy that women can now buy magazines without the porn content. I would be happy to see fine art nudes provided the pictures selected showed images of both men and women, not just many women and a token male at the end of the article (if he is included in the article at all). However, its very difficult to define to everyone's satisfaction the line between fine art and porn. I would not want to go back to the old days of the 80's.
  13. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Never had a problem with that. I assisted at a fair number of nude shoots in the 1970s, and found the nude models to be much the same as any other models, clothed or nude, male or female: some very interesting, some very dull, surprisingly few in between. I saw, however, just how difficult lighting and direction are. Learning how to take the pictures, even with brilliant exemplars in front of me, was something that would have taken me a LONG time. It's not something I'd care to try to learn from books or magazines, but maybe that's just me.


  14. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    It is a well known fact that photography overheats women's brains: they are psychologically unsuited to it...

    In the 1990s my wife Frances Schultz was the first woman to write for Shutterbug magazine in the United States. One of the first series she wrote was "Women in Photography", six or eight pieces about only female photographers: Heather Angel, Kos, Dale Durfee, Gail Fisher... One was "Queens in Photography", about Victoria and Alexandra, and of course our own dear Queen is known for using a Leica.

    Believe it or not, she got hate mail, telling her to keep her "feminist crap" out of the magazine.


  15. Catriona

    Catriona Well-Known Member

    Things haven't changed much then.
  16. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Dear Kate,

    More than you think, at least in the publishing world. I mean, the fact that she was the first, and that there have been others since, tells you something.


  17. Catriona

    Catriona Well-Known Member

    She (Frances) has my admiration. It would be nice to see her in here on occasions. :)
  18. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Dear Kate,

    She prefers being in the darkroom. Right now she's just started dinner (tartiflette) so I'm just about to go and help.


  19. Catriona

    Catriona Well-Known Member

    Used to be my favourite place (the darkroom). Since my current novels are by Martin Walker (the Bruno Courreges series), French food is high on my agenda too. :)

  20. AlanClifford

    AlanClifford Well-Known Member

    What's offensive about safety pins?

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