24 November 2009

Going to Far? Is There Really Such an Animal?

Kathleen "K.C." Neill working with Zach Hyman in the MMofA, NYC
Photo by Clint Spaulding

"I never expected to see the day when girls would get sunburned in the places they do today."
- Will Rogers

"Brandi Bottoms", Model Mayhem

I was wondering how this would play out. I'm sure you remember Kathleen "K.C." Neill who was arrested in August during photographer Zach Hyman's shoot at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, right. He had also been doing the public subway nudes. Well everybody thought he was taking this one too far, perhaps rightly so. She was arrested, but prosecutors finally reached the conclusion that they may not have been able to prove reasonable doubt. Its not illegal to be topless in NYC. Neill, however, was butt-naked. I knew there was the potential that they may try to make an example out of her and Hyman, but the question is really in defining what the law says is illegal and what isn't. Public Lewdness is the apparent legal term which really obscures the line. The defense can and did argue that she was not lewd in a room full of artistic nudes and that nudity does not equate to lewdness...per se. 

So the girl got off, but you have to still wonder what doors this might therein open. Can Hyman now walk into a elementary classroom in PS 234 and commence to shooting? Can he now stroll into Bellevue Hospital and do as he wills? I can understand his need for his artistic expression. I hold true to the same thing. Public nudes is also concept I'd like to explore, but I'm not for being around kids. I guess that's where I draw the line. There were kids in the museum the day he and Kathleen Neill were working and I think I'd like to respect a parent's right to not have a kid in that atmosphere. You can see in the top photo, above, that there is a young boy getting full-frontal staring him in the face. If I'm the kid, I'm not so sure I'd be complaining. But if I'm the MOM standing next to the kid, I'd be looking for my mace. Viewing painting are one thing. Its a finished work and you still have the element of choice there. Hyman's gig was a work in progress and there was no reasonable sense of expectation for parents that their kids would be subjected to this scene. I've shot in a museum before. I had a nude model in the Erotic Heritage Museum during normal business hours. A lady was startled to discover my nude model was indeed live and not a mannequin. I will admit, that was a funny thing to witness. HOWEVER, no kids were in this museum. There was already depictions on erotica all over the museum. My shoot was for a non-erotic workshop, and my party were the only ones allowed in with cameras. The pics you see here are of Model, Brandi Bottoms as she worked that session. Talk about a fabulous model! If you get the chance to work with her, don't pass it up for no reason whatsoever. Make sure you get her well in advance, though.

But,I guess even I have my limits. I applaud Hyman for his efforts and his choice of expression. I just wish artists didn't feel the need to ... well, I'm not quite sure how to articulate this statement. "Push the limits" was how I had initially intended to end that sentence. But isn't that what we are encouraged to do. We all want to push the limits. That's how we differentiate and distinguish ourselves. I'm just bothered by it a little. No, I didn't want to see the model go to jail. I just wish the photographer had chosen a different forum or venue for his expressions. I'd have a healthy respect for those artists who allow me the opportunity to decide when its okay for my kids to be exposed to nudity. I thank them for letting it be on my terms and not forced upon them unawares. Yes, I know there are so many other darts of exposure shot at them from movies, the internet, and video games. I'm not so naive to believe otherwise. However rarely are you surprised to see it in a rap video. You realize there's the possibility of seeing it in a movie because of the rating. But in the Metropolitan Museum is not an venue that I would expect to see it. My kids are all grown up now. But I'd have been a pissed off individual had I walked in to my Wells Fargo bank with my young ones and have an artist expressing themselves in like manner.

13 November 2009

Different Styles of Editing

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." - Mark Twain

Good gracious. I'm trying to use the time I have to organize and do some re-edits of some of my older photos. At some point, I've really got to update my landscape work. There's been so much that I've learned over the last year that its difficult to now go back and try to apply it all. I've touched on this before in a previous blog entry. Things like updating meta-tags on my images are on my mind. Getting my next batch of images in the right format for copyright  registration is also paramount. I need to figure out how I'm going to update my back-ups procedures based on some more efficient tools and processes. Being jobless has posed some strict limitations on  what I can do so prioritizing is of utmost importance.

"Oh, by the way...How's the job hunt going, Terrell?"

Model, Clarissa

Thanks for asking. Its going is about all I can say. I'm in the process of updating materials and seeking new ways to market myself better. All in all, I gotta tell ya...I'm doing okay with this. The job I had was really consuming valuable time that allowed little room for recuperation. I've been able to focus on my photo work, and despite the challenges, its still fun for me. The one thing that hasn't been so fun is the pinched nerve I've had over the last month. Vicodin and Flexeril don't even touch the pain. I'm serious. X-rays revealed nothing, so its basically a suggestion to add Ibuprofen to the mix and go home. I'll do some physical therapy next week. Its been a while since I've been in this much frustration from pain. Who's had a pinched nerve before?

Photo and Model by Nora,(Edge-Dreams)
Edited with permission by Terrell Neasley

I got to meet another up and coming business woman in my area. Lillie Kleemeyer is the proud owner of the new photography studio, Xquizit Pix, located here in Henderson, serving the Las Vegas, Clark County area. She's got a nice setup, complete with a 1300 square foot studio space with 14 foot ceilings, a kitchen, model changing areas, and space for a MUA. She rents her studio space for $30 an hour! Sweet, huh? Yeah, I'll be spending some quality time there and I think you should too, especially if you're on a budget like me. She's got props, wardrobes, lights, seamless and muslin backdrops, the works. Or you could just go to her website and check all this out yourself. I was there for several hours til I got kicked out so she could do a private model shoot. But then I just came back later. I'm looking at doing some of my Las Vegas Art Model Group gigs there. So go see Lillie and check out her facilities next time you're in Vegas needing an indoor shooting arena. Give the girl some love.

Model Katherine, her dog and hawk

Lastly, I've missed working with alternative editing techniques. As a film purist, I had really just begun mastering the print process and then exploring new techniques when I moved to Vegas and no longer had a darkroom. The top pic is my first ever Polaroid transfer. I think I did that in back in 2006 or 2007. Basically we took slide film and made a Polaroid from the processed slide. Then we used another process to lift the emulsion of the Polaroid substrate and apply it to something else. I transferred mine to a piece of watercoloring paper. Here's a tutorial on how its done. The other shots are more experiments with the distressed style similar to scratching negatives like I used to do back in the day. Enjoy.

03 November 2009

In 140 Characters or less...

These social networking sites are the new wave of communication amongst many in not only the US, but the world. Twitter has slid its foot in the door and forced its way in between Facebook and MySpace as the juggernauts of internet commo. It has grown faster than any thing we've seen before. This thing has become global in just 3 years. I hadn't done the research behind it yet, but I'd certainly like to see how it is profit driven. Its a free service and there are no cluttering advertisements that float across the screen or use dancing figures in triplet to get our attention. To my understanding, one way they do this is to sell member information to 3rd parties. If you wikipedia Twitter, you'll see its use in everything from education, politics, and even space missions. That's right, astronauts were using Twitter to give updates on Hubble repairs! 

So let me ask those of you in the art community...How many of you models, photogs, and artists use Twitter regularly and how do you use it? I think I'll post this on my devianART page as a poll question. Virtual Photography Studio.com posted this article on 80 photographers you should be following on Twitter. WeFollow.com also does this same thing...track photographers on Twitter. I jumped on a few months ago to see if I could get a feel for it. I'm definitely not an everyday...every second user. These constatn updates, sometimes called "microblogging" can be overkill for the regular Joe Smoe. Because of Chad Ochocinco, (wide-receiver of the Cincinnati Bengals), the NFL has banned twitting during the games. The NBA has done the same I believe. Right now, I tweet under Artnudephotog, but I just now created one for PhotoAnthems, as well. So take your collective asses on over there and start following me. Oh, and if you've not clicked on the button "Follow Me" on this blog, You're Wrong! So get right on both accounts. 

You all know Stacey Scott, right. She was like my first model for my Las Vegas Art Models Group art nude photo workshop. Well in case you don't recall, here's the blog post on it. That first workshop was stressful as  hell, but we got it done and Stacey was great. Well, I got to shoot her later on in another Lighting Seminar that also went well. Stacey has since moved to New York were she got to compete in tryouts for America's Next Top Model. I revisited some of the work we did and did some more edits to a few of her shots. At the time, I didn't edit that many and she's contacted me recently about some of our work together. So that's what's prompted this revisit. Is she not pretty? Chris St. James was totally smitten with her. I think she was also the first model I interviewed for his Univers 'd Artistes blog. You can also see her new website here

And speaking of model interviews on that blog, I'll be doing another one in the next few days on Trixie. She's got a great story behind her and she's not holding back anything. That's why I love the girl. She tells it like it is.