28 April 2008

Just Keep Shooting

Quote of the Day:
"I photograph continuously, often without a good idea or strong feelings. During this time the photos are nearly all poor but I believe they develop my seeing and help later on in other photos. I do believe strongly in photography and hope by following it intuitively that when the photographs are looked at they will touch the spirit in people." - Harry Callahan

I came across this quote by a fav photog of mine, Harry Callahan. I've commented on him before in -->this blog post<-- last October, which is actually based on a reference to his wife Eleanor. For me, its somewhat fitting because lately, I havent been doing any specific photo projects that have a dedicated purpose or goal. Between running my art group and other priorities, I haven't been able to put together some concepts that I might endeavor to act on. So instead, I elected to just keep shooting. No self-publishing, no contests, no nothing other than refining my craft, stufying my trade, and getting better. I've wrote about this before, but this quote reminded me of what I am doing and why.

I'm certainly glad to have a few models that don't mind being available when I want to just shoot and some whom I am available for when they want to be shot. I got to work with Faerie again for such an occasion. Especially now, when stress and gas prices are at an all time high for me, its so relaxing to be able to go shoot a model for no other reason than we've both got some free time and we each desire to be on our perspective ends of the lens. I'm sure I'll shoot her some more, be it in different places or circumstances. It just doesn't get old. Isn't she just gorgeous. Hmmm, I wonder what she's doing tomorrow...

I did come across one other video clip similar to a project I plan to do when I have the right model and circumstances to pull it off. Its of a photographer who records his photo shoot of a nude model who poses for shots at a public bus stop. Capturing people's reaction while ignoring passing traffic is not an easy thing to do. At least, I would not imagine that it would be. Not to mention avoiding arrest. Its still a fun video, nontheless. If you can't see the clip below, ->click here<-. If any of you readers have any experience shooting public nudes, I'd be much obliged for your suggestions. Share your experiences on how it worked out for you if you've tried it. I'd especially love to hear from any models who have braved the public frontier. What were your challenges, concerns, and problems in setting this up? Did it take a team effort? I'm not referring to streaking, but rather to posed shots. Seeing a naked model get horse-collared in a tackle just wouldn't look pretty. Might be funny, but I can't see the beauty in that. So I'm not interested in streakers. Enjoy the video.

23 April 2008

Unbearable Lightness = Insight and Wisdom

If you haven't had the chance to read or check out the work of Unbearable Lightness, then let me introduce you. Unbearable Lightness is one of the Women of Avalon, who was brought on by Iris Dassault as a co-contributor to her blog (Women of Avalon). Over the last few months, I have come to enjoy checking in on them and seeing what they have to say. I am a daily (and sometimes several times a day) visitor to this blog. You'll find Iris and Unbearable Lightness working side by side quite often and they work with some of the same photographers. I've often used Iris as a reference to my models on what a model should be, know, and do. Unbearable Lightness, on the other hand, I keep for myself. It was her zeal which attracted me to her style of writing, but lately its been her incredible insight and wisdom that keep me sustained until I get the next dose of her experience. Case in point, this is a small exerpt from her latest posting "The School of Being Wrong":

"At some point in my academic career, I learned to apologize. Then I learned to forgive. Beyond that, I learned to forget. We are human. We will be and do wrong." -UL

That one particular statement really got me. Maybe because I have had to face this issue, or maybe because I have known others whom I wish could benefit from her prose. Regardless, the fact remains that this is an impactful statement, that no one with the ability to read should ignore. Of course I encourage you to read the rest of her post on the matter. Her's is the years of living and experiencing life which she freely shares with those willing to listen. Thats her gift to her readers, so I invite you to join me in becoming an avid reader of Unbearable Lightness.

Okay, there's this priest, a rabbi, and a baptist minister, stop me if you've heard this one...

Kidding. One a lighter note, I've commented on my last post regarding in interesting clip on Imogen Cunningham. This is not the one where she comments on Edward Weston that I mentioned but rather a clip on her account of the nude form. This mini-video is from a 1988 film "A Portrait of Imogen" by Meg Partridge.
If you don't see below video -->click here<--

Lastly, in a recent post, I asked readers to leave comments on the images of models on my website. This is the main source of feedback they receive for their efforts, but I've had a few viewers on my site that expressed difficulties in leaving comments. If you visit my site at http://www.tlneasley.com/, you can click on any one of seven galleries currently available. When you select an image for viewing, there should be a green rectangular button to VIEW and ADD COMMENTS located in the bottom left corner. If you do not see this button, just maximize the page. Its there, trust me. I wish I could make it more visible, but that's just the way my site is designed. So maximize the page, and add your comments. Please feel free to leave your name and a web page if you have one such as your own site, or a myspace page. The model might just want to contact you and say thanks!


20 April 2008

A Return to "The Jeffersons"

Much of my artistic expressions consists of capturing the nude in photographs. While that is my main medium of choice, its the nude itself that I revel in whether thats captured photographically or sketched in paint, charcoal, or even ink. I think its more of the work with the nude which captivates me. I've come to appreciate it both as an art nude model and as an art photographer who shoots nudes. This is why my Las Vegas Art Models Group sponsors Art Nude Photo Events AND Figure Drawing Sessions.

I don't draw the nude anymore, but I still like the association. This past Friday, I held another figure drawing session with art model slash muse, Trixie. I love working with her. I've shot with her before and she is such a pleasure to shoot, but she's an experienced art model as well. This came through Friday afternoon as I watched her assume poses that were graceful and elegant. In most cases, you wouldn't call someone sitting still for 20 minutes a performance, but such cannot be said of Trixie. Her's is an action of still motion or fluid suspended. I don't know who first coined the phrase "The silence was deafening", but its the same paradoxical terminology that came to mind as I watched her perform for my group of artists that after noon. I think I'll have to introduce her to my art photo members.

I don't recall if I mentioned it or not, but I was also asked to be an assistant organizer for the Las Vegas Photographic Society. Its a newly created group started by a member of my LVArt Models Group. There is not so much of a focus on the nude as it orientates more toward the simple love of photography. I've come to meet some great new friends in the group and have been introduced to more who are not members. I go hang out at B&C Camera, INC., run by Edda Brandt in Las Vegas since 1970. So if you're in Vegas and need some gear, check her out near the W. Sahara/Decatur intersection, which isn't that far off the I-15 exit. There's a small group of photogs that come in on Saturdays late morning and hang out with Edda til she closes at 2pm (only on Saturdays). Last Saturday, I got some really good insight from Robert, Dennis, and Eric on some photography challenges and Photoshop issues I've been having. This week, it was my turn to give out help to Joe, a new owner of the Canon 40D, which I shoot, but I also got to meet Rick who showed us work from his 40 year old, Fuji panoramic camera. It reminds me of "Cheers", where the same bunch comes in to the same spot and just has fun hanging out. In fact, its the only camera place I've seen that has bar stools. If she served beer, we'd probably be there every day. I can't wait for next Saturday.

In the meantime, I had planned on posting some vids of either Imogen Cunningham talking about Edward Weston or some instructional stuff on photo nudes, but I came across an old episode of The Jeffersons where Louise draws a male nude. I just had to go with this one. Its a 3 part series, but the 2nd one is the main part and clickable below or through the links. You can also catch the 1st and 3rd parts, too. I'll get Imogen next time.

The Jeffersons-Louise sketches nude model (part 1 of 3)
The Jeffersons-Louise sketches nude model (part 2 of 3)
The Jeffersons-Louise sketches nude model (part 3 of 3)

15 April 2008

Dave at Work and Fun with Lydia

This past Sunday afternoon was another of my Las Vegas Art Models Group Art Nude Workshops and this time, I got to have my group graced by the presence of the magnificent Dave Rudin. It was quite a weekend actually. I have to do my part in setting up and facilitating the event, but this was the first time I have ever been afforded the opportunity to watch Dave in action. I was thrilled to have him join us and several group members were able to glean some tidbits of wisdom from him. I was certainly glad he took the time to impart photo knowledge into eager minds. There was only one other photog shooting film and when Dave pulled out his tripod, time seemed to slow down. Digital minded artists shoot at 100pph (pics per hour). It all slowed down when Dave brought out his medium format Pentax and began giving instruction to the model. The group took to him well and seemed to give way to his lead and tutelage. I know 3 or 4 members of my group took some special time to get him off to themselves to ask questions and get advice. Dave was also proactive in that he challenged several of them to utilize the natural light rather than the flash.

My model Lydia was also a big hit at this shoot. All the photogs seemed to take to her very well, showering her with compliments and making her feel at ease. Lydia is a natural socialite and can gel well with any group of people. Despite being a naked female amongst a group of burly guys, it was evident she was still the one in control. She was a real trooper and maintained an open mind and a wonderful attitude. She had no problems getting in the mucky water and was surprisingly fearless in the sun for a redhead. I can't wait to shoot with her again on my own. She's aware of a few other secluded yet beautiful outdoor places in near Vegas to shoot.

Now I just need to get the same sort of response to my drawing events in my group. I guess, I need to be patient with that as well. I've finally got the greatest venue in Vegas at the World Market Center and I plan to fill all my participant slots. I've got an event on the 18th and another one on May 2nd, which will be a catered event complete with cocktails and the works. I'm looking to get 20 good artists in there to draw or paint for that date. I've hired a male nude model this time. Can I make it happen? I guess we will see. Oh, and I will give you one guess as to who's hand that is...

10 April 2008

Re-Defining It All

Its already been eight months since I started this blog last August. I know my primary goal was to supplement my website with more content and information as to my photographic activities and endeavors. In the last few months, I've wondered if I need to amend my purpose here a little and become more specific in terms of how I envision what I want this blog to become. In some of my previous experiences, I've had to develop a mission statement, vision statement, and project scopes. I think I may take some time to do the same here, but rather than posting it, I might just keep it personal as a guide just for me. I know I want this to be more than a diary that I post my pics on, so I'll be providing more content on things of interest I find relevant to the issues and business of photography, artistic nudes, art nude models, and the art community. I'm looking at incorporating podcasts, vlogs, and other media means available to me. Well organized and reader-serving content is my goal. Did I just inadvertently write out a mission statement?

This photoblog will still complement my web site. I'd like to encourage my readers and viewers to leave comments on the site for those models who's galleries you visit. These girls love the feedback they see when they revisit my site to see who's said what about their collaborations with me. The more comments you give, the more they want to model with me! So give it up. I've re-organized my galleries a bit. I've worked with a lot of models and while my web host allows unlimited gallery space, I don't want to post a million pics on it. I've relegated myself to seven galleries and I am still thinking that may be too many. I've taken some galleries out, replaced some and added new ones. I need to go through and really clean it up to make it more succinct and add keywords.

Trisha is still my most popular gallery viewed. I've recently posted fresh pics of her that are by far more explicit than anything I've posted before. With respect to what I usually do, they may deviate from the mean slightly, but Trisha is sort of the kind to do that. She's a rarity that can carry the innocent look so well, but at the same time has a totally different side that surprises you. One viewer commented that while she can look like a 4th grade English teacher, she's still the type you want to come home to. She doesn't mind showing it all and holds no secrets, but you shouldn't make any presumptions about her character either. You'd be dead wrong. As an artist herself, she simply sees no issue with her poses. As far as she's concerned, if you're going to be nude then be nude, and being exposed is sort of the defining aspect of being an art model. She's very comfortable with herself and her self-expression. My job was to capture it. Not everyone can pull it off the way she does and not everyone should. I still hope to be able to shoot her again. We talk regularly even though she's 1800 miles away.

But for now, I leave you with images of Elizabeth, who is another defining model in my photography and art work. I was afforded the opportunity to do some great studio work with her during my last year in grad school while taking photo classes. I did some of my best work with her. On a final note, I want to bring your attention to the left where you'll notice the new Donations section. This is not an easy gig and for anyone who likes my work and wants to support my artistic endeavors, by all means click the Amazon Honor System link. Everyone knows Amazon.com to be a completely reliable and safe site. All your info is secure and none of it comes to me. So to anyone who'd like to contribute, I'd be more than appreciative for your support.

06 April 2008

Candy Poses is Tuesday

I've come across a myriad of interesting people as I patrol the web. I've gathered a plethora of valuable tid-bits and information and post those on my blog that I think might be helpful, entertaining, or just necessary to be aware of. So here are a few other links I'll add to the already growing list of nuggets for you, and we'll start with model, Candy Poses, who runs Feminism Without Clothes. I can't recall at the moment who's link I found her on while making my web patrols, but I found myself hanging out on her site, scrolling through her blog reads, and playing in her link fields. The girl's definitely got some opinions and even though you may not agree with them, she still makes a good argument for her opinion and I think that's what I like most. That makes for a good read and I leave her site feeling like I didn't just waste my time. Oh, and one last thing on Candy, she along with 4 other models has launched a cool YouTube Channel called Five Naked Models. Each model takes a different day to do a vlog about whatever they want to talk about. Candy is Tuesday, but here's the line up:
Monday - Isobel Wren
Wednesday - Fedora el Morro
Thursday - Samantha Grace
Check out Candy's First Video below or -->CLICK HERE<--

I am pretty damn sure, I will want to work with her [Candy] in the future. She has a no non-sense, in your face kind of style on one side, then you'll see some of the most warming and endearing images made by man on the other. She can easily bounce between provocative/explicit and innocent/vulnerable. Not every model can do that well. One model I've worked with before is like that. You may remember Trisha, who is still the most viewed model on my website after almost a year. I've recently posted new images of her on my website in more provocative postures as well, and might be exploring that side a bit more with other models who feel comfy enough to be depicted as such. I was previously highly reluctant to do so, but I chose to do it with her permission. She'd suggested it before, but I was still somewhat hesitant. I might post more on that later. Back to Candy, aside from her images, she's another model with something to say. Much like Iris Dassault, who isn't just another pretty face, you enjoy listening to what she's got to say. You are always wondering what she's got on her mind. You want to know her opinion as to a particular issue. So check out Feminism Without Clothes.

Another photog link, I've come across is Michael Johnston's The Online Photographer. He's got nothing to do with art nudes that I know of, but he's for sure all about photography. Granted he pissed me off recently with regards to his April Fool's Day prank regarding the new Canon 4D gag, but I got over it and continue to reference his site regularly. Somebody on Model Mayhem thought it was a true story and posted a bulletin on it, thinking a replacement for the Canon 5D is about to be released with some really high-speed features. Like a nut, I jumped over to see the link, and took it hook, line and sinker. Then the next morning I checked it out again and read his comments..."Gotcha!" Bastard or not, he's still worth the read. No, he's not a bastard...that was just for one day...

I thought I'd leave you with some more of Lydia. I'll get to see her again next week for my Artistic Nude Photo Workshop next week, as she's the model I've hired for the day. Should be fun.

01 April 2008

Informative and Introspective

Hmmm, lets see. I don't have just one topic to cover tonight, but rather an amalgam of informative and introspective tidbits to share.

Now that Chris (Univers d'Artistes) is back, I have suddenly become keenly aware that in his absence, I've neglected to title my images on my blog. In an earlier post, I commented that I felt his observation of photogs who don't title images should be spanked, was valid. Well, not in so many words, but he strongly advocated that we should. Chris is more of a writer than some of us photogs are. Conversely, I've heard from some photogs mention that they are not writers, but rather image creators. I've had difficulty trying to name ALL of my work especially when I shoot a series of images. Naming all is quite the challenge especially with respect to time. I've recently had a lot of post-processing work and got away from creating titles. It was just interesting that I suddenly become aware of that fact, now that he's back, which is the same feeling you get when your parents come home after you've lost track of time. You suddenly become aware of all the chores you've yet to do. I know I want to be a better photographer and I'd like to take mentorship from those I respect. I have writing in my blood, so why not add value to my work by being both a writer and an image creator. So at some point, I've got to go back and title my work. Not because Chris said so, but rather because I want to stay true to my own sense of dedication for what I've made personal commitments to.

More Links...for the models this time:

I came across Isobella Jade not long ago who runs a host of modeling advice blogs and has her own book, entitled "Almost 5'4" ". Two of her blogs of interest that you should definitely check out are Petite Modeling Tips and Isobella's Dream Lounge. I highly recommend you become familiar with her words. I am an advocate for anyone who dedicates themselves to helping others. She could have simply busted her butt to get ahead and worry about herself, but she chooses to reach out to other would-be models in a variety of media means. She also has podcasts available at Isobella's Model Talk, on BlogTalkRadio.com. I think if you can follow her lead, you can certainly learn from her experiences. So, Isobella Jade... highly recommend her if you want to model.

And then we come to Mr. Peter J. Crowley. I was honored when he contacted me for my address so he could send me his latest book, "All the Usual Subjects". Now that was cool. He had already helped me find the Edward Weston/Charis Wilson DVD I had been searching for, "Eloquent Nude...", by giving me the personal number of the person actually in charge of handling the DVD sales. So I was further esteemed to receive his limited edition book. To quote directly from his site:

"While living in Willimantic, Connecticut, Peter documented daily life in this old mill town through a series of black and white photographs of memorable scenes and portraits of local characters and friends. The resulting book, titled All the Usual Subjects: Seven Years of Willimantic Photographs, is now available."

I particularly related to this book because I come from the small town of Terrell, Texas. (No, I was not named after the place...I just coincidentally grew up there). There were several other small towns nearby, as well. Contrastingly to the great city of Las Vegas, no one is very polite in this city. You don't really know your own neighbors or the people down the block. I miss the small town, close-knit communities. Thanks Peter. Well done, my friend.