Models Are People Too

Here’s an image from my new project i’ve just started this semester. It’s based on models, but it’s not your average fashion shoot. I’m trying to create portraits of the models, as themselves, because after all they are real people . This is a portrait of Kirsten G. I’ve tried to steer away from the typical model pose, and capture her natural beauty. This image is a little over styled and posed. As I progress with this idea i’ll create more organic images. I’m also hoping to use my new Holga camera which takes film. This was shot on my Digital Canon 450D.

‘Eat Fast Die Young’

This semester in my BDVA studio class I was required to create two bodies of work. One of these could be based on anything I wanted, but it had to be using ambient light. I decided to look into the fast food industry, triggered by Michelle Obama’s ‘Food Deserts’ theory. I’m appalled at the way fast food spreads like the plague. We let new fast food chains and outlets open in New Zealand, after watching and learning nothing from the epidemic proportions of American citizens suffering poor health due to eating this food.

My original plan was to photograph and map cluster areas of fast food outlets. This proved to be aesthetically unfulfilling to me. So on a tip off from my tutor Edith, I took a drive out to Papatoetoe in Auckland to search for meal deals.

Did you know you can get a full tummy of fried fatty food for around $5 there? Takeaway after takeaway was pimping this stuff by the truckload. I was intrigued by the home made signage, which had no care taken of it- often sporting squashed bugs for some reason. If this is how they treat their signage, the representation of their lively-hood, then they certainly don’t care about the health of their customers.

I also noticed the bright colours used in the signage which tend to attract children. Some fast food outlets were even within stones throw of a school.

I am hoping to create more discussion around the topic by showing the harmful elements together in my submission. The high fat, sugar and salt content of the food, combined with location of outlets and their enticing advertising are a recipe for health disaster.

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A Generation of Men Raised By Women

The Telegraph published a story in March 2008 which reports that ‘Modern Men Feel Emasculated’ ‘Many men believe the world is now dominated by women and that they have lost their role in society, fueling feelings of depression and being undervalued.’

On the web page ‘The art of manliness’ Brett discusses these themes in relation to the Quote ‘We’re a generation of men raised by women. I’m wondering of another woman is really the answer we need’  said by Tyler Durden in the movie ‘Fight Club’.


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The above image is my completed gallery wall display for the Move Me Project. I have named my series ‘Emasculate’ to communicate the frustration of men to adapt to societies gradual feminisation. I am happy with the final look of the series and hope it’s appealing to others. One class mate said it disturbed her, which I thought was great, any reaction is a good reaction to me. The aim of the brief was to move the viewer, so if someone is disturbed, my job is done.

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The Final Selection

For the final selection of work, I am required to frame a minimum of three prints or create a book. I have chosen to frame these three images.  The prints are A3 size, and the frames are 16′x20′. I’m also using matte board inside the frame, for a more professional finish. The frames and mattes were sourced at Factory Frames on the North Shore of Auckland. I have edited the images after this stage, so the colours are more soft and complementary to each other when hanging side by side. The reason I chose these three, is they communicate my idea clearly as well as being visually appealing. They are similarly abstracted, blocking the viewer from seeing the masculine figure. The peachy pink palette overwhelms the subject drowning him in femininity.

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Move Me -Shoot 2

This is the second shoot for my ‘Move Me’ Project. I have stuck to the same formula as the first shoot, as I was happy with the outcome. The images I liked from the first shoot were ones which were in focus but showing movement with a slow shutter speed. I also liked the soft focus images, but they weren’t quite blurry enough for my liking. So in the second shoot I’ve repeated these two types of shot to get more selection and increase the blurriness for some.

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Overlay Experiment

So I decided to experiment with two images, one my model and one a flower. In the previous post about the found images with floral overlay, I think the method used was a double exposure. My method was to use two different layers in Photoshop and adjust the opacity so the image underneath showed through. Needless to say the outcome was less than desirable, looking more like a tacky attempt at art, rather than the real thing. I think I will keep the portraits simple, and thus more effective for the final selection.

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Floral Overlay

After hours of staring at my first shoot I wondered, how could I even more strongly convey the feminine dominance in these images? The thought crossed my mind of a floral overlay. What could be more feminine? I will endeavor to experiment with the underwater images of my model. Perhaps I can create a man drowning in femininity. A floral suffocation. These two images are found here, by an unknown artist. They are beautifully haunting.

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Move Me Shoot 1

This is my first shoot for the Move Me project. To me the peachy tone signals the demasculinization of men in the modern world. The abstracted struggle beneath the water gives a feeling of frustration at the expectations of men to take on feminine qualities and be everything to everyone. I’ve used a combination of blurred focus, slow shutter speed and model movement. My favourite so far is #443.

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The images of men under water started to remind me of Neptune, Roman god of the sea. He apparently had a bad temper, as seen in many of the depictions of him. Miguel Coimbra created the illustration of Neptune below. It’s interesting how images of male gods like this are always overtly masculine. In comparison to today’s men, this seems quite ridiculous.Neptune

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Man Under Water

Caulton MorrisThe above image is by Caulton Morris. This image communicates frustration and anger to me, and the underwater environment feels claustrophobic. I think this is the direction I will go in for my ‘Move Me’ project. I feel I want my images to be more abstract, so the viewer has to stare to see what is in the image. I suddenly realised I always picture my models when considering a project, as female. I am now thinking purhaps I should consider a male model. The image below is by Sean Mcgrath. This image is a little more light hearted and comical. Sean Mcgrath

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'Ophelia' original painting by Sir John Everett Millais

The infamous ‘Ophelia‘ painting (above) by Sir John Everett Millais 1851-1852 has been inspiration for many an artist. In every art form I look at, hommage has been paid to this beautiful yet lamenting image. Just one example is the series ‘Resurecting Ophelia’, by Kalliope Amorphous (below). I only just realised that it is influencing my direction for this project.

'Swept' from series 'Resurrecting Ophelia' Kalliope Amorphous'Resurrecting Ophelia' Kalliope Amorphous

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Scanner Portraits

Magenta GreenspanMagenta & Merlin Scan Portrait

I love the submerged in water effect, and shallow depth of field, a scanner creates when using it as a photographic tool. These images by Magenta and Merlin can be found here.

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Blurred Portraiture

Jim Campbell, 'Portrait of Harry Nyquist', 2000.Jim Campbell ‘Portrait of Harry Nyquist’ 2000 (above), strongly reminds me of Gerhard Richter paintings which he based on black and white photographs (below). I like that the  impression of a person is created in these images without showing detail. They evoke memories of the past and dreams not quite remembered.Gerhard Richter 'Dead Tote' 1988 oil on canvas.

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Albert Watson Watson is the creator of the two images above. His heavily contrasting, monochrome portraits, and fashion images ooze edgy style and mystery. The intensity of the Jack Nicholson portrait is intensified by the repetition of the panels suggesting multiple personalities or an inflamed ego.

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Bruno Dayan

These two gorgeous beauty images, are just the tip of the iceberg to Bruno Dayans website. There are so many amazing fashion images it’s hard to choose a favourite. The two i’ve chosen, represent the mood or movement I intend to create in my ‘Move Me’ series.

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Sam Taylor-Wood ‘Crying Men’ 2002-2004

Steve Buscemi 2004

Sam Taylor-Wood

Hayden Christensen 2002
Sam Taylor-Wood

Photographic artist, Sam Taylor-Wood, captures the talent of these well known actors emulating the vulnerable state of crying. Featuring  Steve Buscemi (above) and Hayden Christensen.



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I like images which capture movement. Whether it be with a slow shutter speed to capture an impression, or fast to document a moment too fast to be seen by the eye, they never fail to express energy and spirit. The above image is found here. The image below is one of many by Steve Richard. He creates carefully lit images of dancers frozen in motion.

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Jacob Sutton ‘Underwater Girl’

Jacob Sutton 'Underwater Girl' Exhibition Work ‘Underwater Girl’ an exhibition work by Jacob Sutton. The London based photographer created this beautiful portrait. I would love to try and create something like this. It has such an ephemeral feeling. To me it creates peace, and invokes an awareness of beauty in simplicity.

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