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Continuing Homage Journey

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
I previously photographed two models here as an homage to the famous last photograph of John Lennon, (naked and in fetal position) with Yoko Ono, the night before he was assassinated. I felt that the picture, while admittedly staged by Annie Leibovitz, expressed a gentle bond between the two people. Some have said this picture is merely "Kitsch", just catering to an imagined purity of spirit between this famous and popular couple. I, however, just look at the straightforward feelings the picture evokes in me with timeless value of the best of human emotions: closeness and trust.

When there are two people, there's a complex web between them. That I'll return to later. For now, I decided to simplify and just look at one person for now. So now I'm exploring the relationships of one person with objects that represent choices and paths for a person with various degrees of freedom to make choices.



Asher Kelman: Marcia with Cello #1

Canon 5DII, Northern Afternoon Light, No Editing
 
Last edited:

Doug Kerr

Active member
Hi, Asher,

I previously photographed two models here as an homage to the famous last photograph of John Lennon, (naked and in fetal position) with Yoko Ono, the night before he was assassinated. I felt that the picture, while stage by Annie Leibowitz, expressed a gentle bond between the two people. Some have said this picture is Kitsch, just catering to an imagined purity of spirit between this famous and popular couple. I, however, just look at the straightforward feelings the picture evokes in me with timeless value of the best of human emotions: closeness and trust.

When there are two people, there's a complex web between them. That I'll return to later. For now, I decided to simplify and just look at one person for now. So now I'm exploring the relationships of one person with objects that represent choices and paths for a person with various degrees of freedom to make choices.



Asher Kelman: Marcia with Cello #1

Canon 5DII, Northern Afternoon Light, No Editing
This is just stunning.

I do have to say that I found the little white things (flowers or whatever) distracting. Maybe I miss what they are supposed to do for me.

And the absence of the cello's endpin ("spike") is interesting. Compositional license, perhaps (but you know how I am about telephone props that have the wrong kind of dial!).

But in fact it is a superb work. And a precious model.

I'm not sure you need to invoke Ono/Lennon at all here (maybe that was just an accident of your run-up).

Best regards,

Doug
 

Wolfgang Plattner

Active member
Hi Asher
why should I trust a cello?
Another question that I ask myself is: why duplicating the woman, knowing the cello as a symbol for female body?
This is why I cannot make the connection to the Ono-Lennon-picture you are intending.
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Hi Asher
why should I trust a cello?
Another question that I ask myself is: why duplicating the woman, knowing the cello as a symbol for female body?
This is why I cannot make the connection to the Ono-Lennon-picture you are intending.
Wolfgang,

Why should you trust a cello? Well, I've never known a cello to deceive me. They get more precious with age and have a voice that goes to one's soul. That's enough for me and this is even better!.

The provenance of the composition is partly accidental. I paid for the two nude models for a L.F. film shoot in Pismo Beach as a memorial for Per Volquartz. It so turned out that the LF guys mostly wanted the free naked sand dunes or the free free still life which I had set up for them. So, being left with the two figure models, I decided to pay homage to Annie Leibowitz's picture, but with these two women. As I picked up the project, months after the event, I decided to replace one of the women, just for now, with inanimmate objects. So that's how this double female composition evolved naturally. Each image to come goes further away from this starting point, but they are all in the same vein.

The rest is up to you to read as you wish and hopefully enjoy.

Asher
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Hi, Asher,



This is just stunning.

I do have to say that I found the little white things (flowers or whatever) distracting.
Flowers are bridal in quality to take the edge off sexuality. anyway that was my intention while keeping the nude beauty.

cello's endpin ("spike")
Spikes scratch the floor! could have had it out but it seemed more cuddly with it in.


But in fact it is a superb work. And a precious model.
Thanks!

I'm not sure you need to invoke Ono/Lennon at all here (maybe that was just an accident of your run-up).
Exactly! That's just the bus station we got on for this journey with Marcia! :)

Asher
 

Doug Kerr

Active member
Hi, Asher,

Flowers are bridal in quality to take the edge off sexuality. anyway that was my intention while keeping the nude beauty.
Hokey!

Spikes scratch the floor! could have had it out but it seemed more cuddly with it in.
Well, I would say!

I guess for a cello to get into bed with a naked girl with the spike out would be like leaving one's socks on.

Best regards,

Doug
 
I've never been one for nudes, cellos or boats but I'll try and remain objective.
Nah! Why bother. It doesn't suit me.
My first thought.
Nice tits.
What's Asher up to, hanging from the chandelier with a Leica in one hand and god knows what in the other?
Then I progressed to something a bit more intellectual.
I get the cello and the nude. I've seen that before. But the oar has me beat. Never mind. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt here. I'm sure your wife accepted the story. I know Christine wouldn't. She knows me too well.
For any symbolism to be established the image seems a little to sharp. I mean that in several ways. It's just too clear a picture of a girl and whatever on a bed. Smack dab in the middle of the frame, classically posed, white sheets. It's the old classic sharp photo of a fuzzy concept. Technically it probably couldn't be faltered. Conceptually it's lacking depth, even beauty, if I might add, and I don't mean any reference to the girl. I know if I walked into a room with you up a ladder and her on the bed you wouldn't get a second glance. I mean the beauty that just grabs you. Just the right poise, lighting, framing and moment. I'd be inclined to work on the lighting a bit. It's too sterile. It needs some depth and softness about it. Some mystery. It needs to smother her and hold her like a soft silk shawl, caress her curves and blend her with her companion. She's not a cello player either. Many years ago a music teacher friend had her photo taken with her violin. I swear she was making love to it. All I could think about for a week was how much I'd like to be a violin.come to think of it, I'm still hoping.
I know this is only the beginning, Asher, and I'm sure you will get to know this young woman more as the weeks go on. You have a good strong technical background and some great gear. You just need to bleed a bit. And please don't give your sons anything to worry about. They need their inheritance so they can buy a few toys as well.
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
I've never been one for nudes, cellos or boats but I'll try and remain objective.
Nah! Why bother. It doesn't suit me.
My first thought.
Nice tits.
I never use anything but breasts! I guess that's part of seeing stuff upside down. Tits are birds.



I get the cello and the nude. I've seen that before. But the oar has me beat. Never mind. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt here.
Thanks Tom! Much appreciated!

For any symbolism to be established the image seems a little to sharp. I mean that in several ways. It's just too clear a picture of a girl and whatever on a bed. Smack dab in the middle of the frame, classically posed, white sheets.
Could have been be asymmetrical, but that's the way I did it... at least for now. I like it.

It's the old classic sharp photo of a fuzzy concept.
Classic concept. It will play out in more images. Not fuzzy to me at all. Could be the "tits" you see. I should hide her breasts then you wouldn't refer to them as in a pub, LOL!! Breasts are breasts. Tits are birds!

Technically it probably couldn't be faltered.
I take that as a great compliment from you! Much appreciated!

Conceptually it's lacking depth, even beauty, if I might add, and I don't mean any reference to the girl. I know if I walked into a room with you up a ladder and her on the bed you wouldn't get a second glance.
So you approve me choice! :)

I mean the beauty that just grabs you. Just the right poise, lighting, framing and moment. I'd be inclined to work on the lighting a bit. It's too sterile. It needs some depth and softness about it. Some mystery. It needs to smother her and hold her like a soft silk shawl, caress her curves and blend her with her companion.
Good challenge to give me. The mood requires some mystery. We know too much. I'll think about this. Later on, when I switch to film, you may see progress. At least that's what I hope for. The lighting is from 30 of feet of 12 ft high windows and the light is even. I used a black reflector on one side to give more dimension. I might supplement with strobes. Need to explore this perhaps.

You just need to bleed a bit...
That's true. It is a process. Thanks for your comments I really value your honest expression of your reactions to my work.

Asher
 

Maggie Terlecki

Active member


Asher Kelman: Marcia with Cello #1

Canon 5DII, Northern Afternoon Light, No Editing
Asher,

I've come and looked at this image several times and I didn't want to post with just a "oh, so pretty" as I know this is a very important project for you.

To start off with, as others say, technically it is a very good image and I like how her hair and her body are positioned to the side slightly. She is a gorgeous creature. It's a nice composition that is simple and the eyes flow through the image easily.

What I think is not working and you can take this or leave it are the following:

As someone already mentioned: the flowers. I understand they are there for their meaning, that of purity and innocence, but to me, they seem contrived on her leg as they are. Not distracting exactly, just in the wrong place. If someone is cuddling on a bed with another person, or a cello for that matter, that flower wouldn't appear from nowhere on her leg. Perhaps only one, and laying within the tangles of her hair, like she was wearing it and it fell off. I also find the same problem with the comforter on her leg. It doesn't drape nicely so it feels very placed. I do get that it makes a diagonal line from the bottom left up to her body and then our eye goes around. That works, but it is so straight and flat while between the cello and her, it seems bunched up.

I also like the anthropomorphism of using the cello, as it easily is personified as a person in my brain. I do find though that she is being overly cautious with it. Like it is expensive and she is worried about breaking it. She barely touches it and is overly delicate. To me, a cello is sensual, lustful, mature, strong, melancholic and anything but innocent. When I think of the cello I think of the movie 'I am Dina', where Maria Bonnevie plays it with so much passion and fervor the males in the room almost have a problem containing their desire. Asher, I want her to touch the cello with some degree of passion or familiarity; Perhaps holding it in front of her as if spooning or caressing it with the strings toward us.

Obviously, this will kill the innocence you may be hoping to portray. I think if you want innocent, I would say, have the instrument be a traversal flute. If, however, you are not overly interested in making her necessarily innocent, yet not overly sexual, her breasts would be more covered by the cello, so that would not be the first thing that someone noticed. The white orchid then could be a symbol of innocence lost, laying there upon her disheveled hair. I'm sure you could even use a white orchid that has a red interior, pushing the symbolism even further.

I've said a lot, hopefully not too much. You've many years more experience than I, and I can only give you my humble opinion. All I know is this journey will surely bring you to a final image that is not good, but exceptional and I am eager to see where your path brings you.

Be careful up on that ladder,
Sincerely,
Maggie
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Maggie,

You also have taken my openness for feedback seriously. It's easy to get seduced by seeming perfection and become utterly blind to faults. One does that so naturally in dealing with lovers! So it's really appreciated and so great to have an image I care about, carefully considered in light of my interests which you read correctly. You're not intimidated and so your unabashed honest comments are welcome. All of your reactions are actually valid! So thanks! Such confrontation, point by point, is actually quite generous. My job is to avidly guard my intent in building the image. More often than not, online comments pander, lead one astray or are impertinent. So it is especially wonderful that your remarks all are relevant. If not, I'd dismiss the criticism as well-intended but not on track.

So, interaction with the cello must be taken to the limit, the fabric has to flow in a natural way, if it's there at all. The flower placement must make sense! Also the lighting needs more shading and interest. I had thought I had done all that, but obviously I was distracted by the beauty that's so obvious. As Tom points out, some bleeding is in order!

I would love to have you with me when doing a shoot. I'm sure you'd be a great addition to my little team! Still, I'll imagine you, Doug and Tom whisper in my ear in the weeks before I plan my next shoot. Still not sure about that steel pin. seems a vicious thing!

Asher
 
You are a delight, Asher. Taking such time to itemise my comment and reflect on each section carefully. I bet you have a really good bed side manner. No wonder girls take their clothes off for you.
Breasts are for babies, just as a matter of passing. You must come to australia so I can teach you to talk proper.

This thing about 'I like it' keeps cropping up a lot these days as if its an excuse for bad taste. If I wasn't so bloody opinionated I probably would refute the whole silly idea of opinions being the reason we think. You know, its possible that one might have an opinion that is absolute rubbish, and I don't mean that it differs from another opinion, I mean it goes against everything that is logical and sensible. So don't give me any bullshit about it being alright just because you like it. If you were the only one to see this it would make sense but we have to put up with it as well. In my household my opinion counts for ****. If I get dressed in the morning by throughing myself at the wardrobe and hoping something will stick, I'm pretty content with that but i know I wouldn't get past the dress police waiting at the door.
The other thing is the idea of you understanding the concept but we might not get it. I'm sure someone said it before me but surely a misunderstood concept is either one that wasn't explained properly or was a bad concept to start with.
Lets raise the bar a bit here, Asher. Explaining the concept to you is easy; its yours. The hard bit is explaining it to us in the photo. Now don't be slack and get to work. I'll expect an damn good explanation in the morning.
I'm back to taking more flower pictures to brighten the place up a bit. No concepts there; just pretty, unless I run through the tulips stark naked with a candle stuck up my arse.
 
Superb picture, subtle symbolism, beautiful model BUT I would pose her on her left side and mirror-image all the props. That way the conspicuous tattoo on her left foot would be away from the camera and unseen.
Corners of pictures are very powerful and the foot plus tattoo dominate the bottom 1/4 of the frame to an disproportionate degree.

Maybe it's my unease about tattoos talking. I reckon the nude figure as a carrier of symbolic value works best when it is a universal form free of the specific trappings of culture, history, and personal peccadilloes. And the reverse works too. If the object is to photograph the nude as portraiture, editorial, or narrative then tattoos, wrist watches, wedding rings, piercings, wild hairstyles, and off-beat props work a treat.
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
You are a delight, Asher. Taking such time to itemise my comment and reflect on each section carefully. I bet you have a really good bed side manner. No wonder girls take their clothes off for you.
Tom,

If I didn't value your own photography so much, I'd get depressed by your feedback. However, knowing more, I carefully sift your wise cracks, cynicism and wit from the content which I feel contributes to my own needs for my work. As a result, I rank your comments highly and they are a sort of malicious act of kindness to me, like bad-tasting medicine to cure a pneumonia!

This thing about 'I like it' keeps cropping up a lot these days as if its an excuse for bad taste. If I wasn't so bloody opinionated I probably would refute the whole silly idea of opinions being the reason we think. You know, its possible that one might have an opinion that is absolute rubbish, and I don't mean that it differs from another opinion, I mean it goes against everything that is logical and sensible. So don't give me any bullshit about it being alright just because you like it. If you were the only one to see this it would make sense but we have to put up with it as well. In my household my opinion counts for ****. If I get dressed in the morning by throughing myself at the wardrobe and hoping something will stick, I'm pretty content with that but i know I wouldn't get past the dress police waiting at the door.
Tom,

I'm not sure of your point here! Are you saying that if one person "likes" something, then that carries no weight because there's no logic behind taste?

T
Lets raise the bar a bit here, Asher. Explaining the concept to you is easy; its yours. The hard bit is explaining it to us in the photo.
Good point! We could debate that. Flowers need no introduction. Kissing needs no explanation. A crucifixion does in a society that has no idea of that religion. "The Last Supper" is meaningless painting to anyone who has no knowledge of the story and the betrayal. So at least some images can benefit from a textual introduction.

Now don't be slack and get to work. I'll expect an damn good explanation in the morning.
Tom,

I promise more pictures in this current stage of the long term series. Hopefully, each to be enjoyed on its merit! :)


I'm back to taking more flower pictures to brighten the place up a bit. No concepts there; just pretty, unless I run through the tulips stark naked with a candle stuck up my arse.
That could explain the raspy notes you sometime give out! I don't usually photograph men, especially, running through the tulips butt naked, but for this scene, I'd make an exception, LOL! The candle is a touch of genius! :)

Asher
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Superb picture, subtle symbolism, beautiful model BUT I would pose her on her left side and mirror-image all the props. That way the conspicuous tattoo on her left foot would be away from the camera and unseen.
Corners of pictures are very powerful and the foot plus tattoo dominate the bottom 1/4 of the frame to an disproportionate degree.

Maybe it's my unease about tattoos talking. I reckon the nude figure as a carrier of symbolic value works best when it is a universal form free of the specific trappings of culture, history, and personal peccadilloes. And the reverse works too. If the object is to photograph the nude as portraiture, editorial, or narrative then tattoos, wrist watches, wedding rings, piercings, wild hairstyles, and off-beat props work a treat.
Maris,

Coincidentally, my son remarked over breakfast that I need to have Marcia pose with legs switched for the same reason. I guess I must identify with the cello, as it seemed natural for the model to be on the right, where I've placed my women, LOL!!

Good points on the trappings of identity versus free form of the nude.

Asher
 

charlotte thompson

Active member
Asher

On many many levels this piece of work reminds me of vintage photography with a touch of 2012-
I love the very mellow colors. Its like butterscotch. Asher as you well understand the love a musician has for his/her instrument. The photo actually also looks like a painting! both of them.
Lovely and soft, inspiring.

Charlotte-
 
Asher, your description of the provenance of the image gets in the way of my appreciation. This is unusual because background details usually clarify rather than confuse a concept. Here's why.

I never liked the Leibowitz image of Lennon and Ono, which depicts dependency rather than innocence, in my opinion, with the latter becoming legend because of Lennon's demise shortly thereafter. Lennon was a Scouser whom Ono brought from the working-class cold into an affluent form of hippiedom. Lennon lost his roots in the process, neither working-class nor "working-class hero" - replaced in their faith by the "Filth and Fury" of punk - which is why the clings to Yoko in Leibowitz's image. He is lost, craves comfort, and that is not innocence but power imbalance.

Technically, the cello photo is fine. But the primal concept it evokes for me is of an advantaged child holding a teddy bear (or some similar inanimate comforter). Maybe that is the innocence you intend to depict - feelings of assurance that all will be well. If so, you succeed. On the other hand, more accurate symbolism for the lost Lennon portrayed by Leibowitz might be a man clinging desperately to a lifebelt. That is a concept with rougher edges and requires a different portrayal.

Regards
Mike
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Asher

On many many levels this piece of work reminds me of vintage photography with a touch of 2012-
I love the very mellow colors. Its like butterscotch. Asher as you well understand the love a musician has for his/her instrument. The photo actually also looks like a painting! both of them.
Lovely and soft, inspiring.

Charlotte-
Charlotte,

I'm pleased the pictures speak to you. After all, there have to be folk outside of my dear wife, my assistant and a few others here who get so moved. I myself am thrilled by the result so far, but beauty is so distracting to judgement and so it's always warming to hear other people respond as I'd hoped.

Feel free to share any areas of concern or inspiration. This is not a group project, but conversation is stimulating. I've a great sense of direction and have no hesitation dumping miscreants overboard!

Asher
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Asher, your description of the provenance of the image gets in the way of my appreciation. This is unusual because background details usually clarify rather than confuse a concept. Here's why.
Michael,

Yes, the path of provenance is tortuous, but it just evolved like that; energized by the models available, I copied from memory the iconic picture some adore and others dislike as kitsch. But I've really moved further from the picture and yet am open to exploring the actual relationship of both Yoko and the Lennon figure, as well as the "legend-history" construction by Annie Lebovitz. So now, I'm working backwards to the staged symbolism of that last night and then in addition, away from that night with my own interest in "choices" women have to make in their lives.

I never liked the Leibowitz image of Lennon and Ono, which depicts dependency rather than innocence, in my opinion, with the latter becoming legend because of Lennon's demise shortly thereafter. Lennon was a Scouser whom Ono brought from the working-class cold into an affluent form of hippiedom. Lennon lost his roots in the process, neither working-class nor "working-class hero" - replaced in their faith by the "Filth and Fury" of punk - which is why the clings to Yoko in Leibowitz's image. He is lost, craves comfort, and that is not innocence but power imbalance.
This is another valid angle of the Ono-Lennon relationship. My reference has been to the image in the photograph, the bond and trust between the two people depicted, not the truth of the matter. So now you reveal for me a layer behind the image, to examine more carefully. Doubtless, this will influence my dreams and provide some concrete expression down the road, as the wine you've shared cannot be put back into the bottle. I will not put it aside by will sip it slowly and savor it for a long time to come.

Technically, the cello photo is fine. But the primal concept it evokes for me is of an advantaged child holding a teddy bear (or some similar inanimate comforter). Maybe that is the innocence you intend to depict - feelings of assurance that all will be well. If so, you succeed. On the other hand, more accurate symbolism for the lost Lennon portrayed by Leibowitz might be a man clinging desperately to a lifebelt. That is a concept with rougher edges and requires a different portrayal.
Michael,

This work is becoming far harder, but so enriched. One can stand up naked in public and have tomatoes, eggs and cream pies thrown in one's direction, (if one can duck and scoop up whats not rotten), as an agile person, can get fed for free, LOL!

Asher
 
I'm back to taking more flower pictures to brighten the place up a bit. No concepts there; just pretty, unless I run through the tulips stark naked with a candle stuck up my arse.
That could explain the raspy notes you sometime give out! I don't usually photograph men, especially, running through the tulips butt naked, but for this scene, I'd make an exception, LOL! The candle is a touch of genius! :)
And as icing on the cake, here is the music to go with it ;)

Cheers,
Bart
 
What's fascinating about this thread is that all the + and - debating points are about an indisputably fine photo. I doubt that a more mundane image would elicit the same level of energy, wit and good-natured rebuttal.

More please!

Mike
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
What's fascinating about this thread is that all the + and - debating points are about an indisputably fine photo. I doubt that a more mundane image would elicit the same level of energy, wit and good-natured rebuttal.

More please!
How kind! I'll add.

Next with a violin. There was a lot of activity, so please, analysts don't complain that the sheets are too crumpled or a fallen flower is partly covered up by the edge of a sheet!

Asher
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
The cello was one of many partners!

If someone is cuddling on a bed with another person, or a cello for that matter, that flower wouldn't appear from nowhere on her leg. Perhaps only one, and laying within the tangles of her hair, like she was wearing it and it fell off................

Be careful up on that ladder,
Sincerely,
Maggie

Well, dear Maggie, that sort of happened, but I am so distracted by the height of the ladder, remembering how to use the camera, while my 2I/2 year old grandson is mesmerized by the sight of Granpa Asher, wedged against the ceiling! So really, I cannot testify as to when or how the flower fell to her shoulder!




Asher Kelman: Marcia with Violin #1

Canon 5DII, Northern Afternoon Light,


I do hope you approve as you peep inside my studio!


Asher
 

Maggie Terlecki

Active member
i do prefer the flower here. If it were mine, and it is not, I think i would prefer it laying among her disheveled hair as it would stand out more.
I do like the crocheted blanket here more too as it feels natural.

Very interesting how the relationship changes with a different instrument. Here the violin, feels more like a child sleeping near its mother's protective arms. I know this is not your intention, but perhaps sometime in the future, you could consider a series based on relationships with different instruments by personifying them as you did here. I can easily imagine going through a gallery with each different photo paired with a set of headphones to wear with that particular instrument playing to accompany the viewing experience.

I await in anticipation of the final result as your preliminary shots are very promising. :)
Maggie
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Very interesting how the relationship changes with a different instrument. Here the violin, feels more like a child sleeping near its mother's protective arms.

And that is so........

You will see that more concrete shortly with a doll of rope and newspaper!

All the pictures, relate to others in the series as siblings and as transformations or progressions and even as offspring with the parents, for that's how ideas evolve!

Asher
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
I have more to post, but here's just a portrait in natural light.




Asher Kelman: Marcia: Waiting for Photography Setup!

I hope you like this one while I prepare more for posting!

Asher
 

Jarmo Juntunen

Active member
Hi Asher, I wish I could offer you better comments on these superb images. There's nothing much I can say about the technical aspects of nude photography. But I can say they are simply beautiful! I find the pose in the last image posted especially effective. You say "northern light" - could you share more lighting details (reflector/no reflector etc)? There's so much to learn from these images.
 

Dawid Loubser

New member
Hi Asher,

Both of your images are executed in a technically beautiful manner!

The subject matter and creative process you have employed is far beyond my frame of reference, since I've not ever arranged a scene (plus a person) to convey a certain vision. The kind of photography I do - and am through experience qualified to comment on - is utterly different in cause and process.

I always think of myself as an observer, where I purely compose to isolate or represent images that I see. I see your image purely as eye-candy, in that I find it very pleasing to look at a beautiful nude woman. I struggle to break through that "barrier" to see any deeper symbolism or meaning I am afraid, simply because, as an "observer photographer" I can't understand why a woman would lie naked with her cello. That is purely limitations on my side though.

The whole genre of nude photography with props is very interesting. I may be very narrow-minded, but in the end, it's all about satisfying some sort of sensual/sexual sense in the viever, is it not? I mean, it's very hard to concentrate on some kind of artificially-constructed symbolism when a beautiful pair of breasts are staring you in the face.

I guess I just can't respond to this kind of constructed symbolism conflicting with the sexual - I don't feel quite qualified to add anything more to this yet, especially in the face of all the well-considered posts in this thread already. I'm thinking hard about this one, Asher.

Again, let me say how beautiful and engaging the images are though!
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Hi Asher,

Both of your images are executed in a technically beautiful manner!
Thanks for visiting and the kind thought!

The subject matter and creative process you have employed is far beyond my frame of reference, since I've not ever arranged a scene (plus a person) to convey a certain vision. The kind of photography I do - and am through experience qualified to comment on - is utterly different in cause and process.
Dawid,

For most of my photography, I hunt for what's there that I find intriguing and wish to sample and take home to enjoy in private: shadows on a wall, a dry plant in an alley, a woman pausing to grab a smoke, workmen demolishing a building, legs and shadows under a table in a restaurant, hyacinths in bloom or folk walking either side of a child in a fashionable part of town or a flock of giant helicopters ferrying Michelle to some fundraiser. It's an ongoing obsession and there's so much to gather into my camera! This work, however with models is totally different. It's not what is in the world but rather what's only in my head as a performance and wants to get out!

I imagine the scenes, then hunt for what's needed to export those chosen connections by constructing the scene. This is an iterative process. I can only make limited changes at the time of the shoot, but many mistakes, (a few of which have already been identified)! I'm so happy that you like the beauty. That's enough for me and if it's just the female form, that's already great. I'm exploring relationships and it's a journey in which I hope to be able to build sets that, when photographed, allow folk to meander through and imaginary world and imagine meander to where they would otherwise not venture to explore. Hopefully, this might include some derived symbolism I've built into my compositions.

This is an ongoing series. Shortly, all being as planned, it will be repeated with digital and film, with modifications and so evolve. That this set of images gives pleasure is already entirely rewarding. I hope, when the final images are printed large, they will become so engaging as to ensnare folks to linger, perhaps musing about relationships we have with our possessions, dreams, goals and society! Nothing more complicated than that!

Asher
 
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