Brief blog update

It’s been a while since I last shot art nudes. Or portraits for that matter. I have plans to remedy that soon enough. Photography is one of those things that require practice, as often as possible, and before the rust sets in I better get to it.

A workshop with one of my favourite models is being planned for July, and maybe a short trip away with the chaps. More news soon, I promise. Meanwhile I’ve got a big family dinner to plan for this weekend, so wish me luck! 

(Also, NSFW photo of Ivory Flame below. It’s a pretty good one.)

“I only shoot naked women now”*

That is a running joke among my friends—I do post a fair bit of art nude work, but that wasn’t why I started photography to begin with, nor have I forgotten the reason—and it’s to keep myself curious

How did that flower end up on the rain-soaked floor? What does it feel like, when you’re meant to be a part of happiness in a bundle, only to get left behind with a snuffed cigarette butt (which isn’t mine, just to be clear)? If those are questions, I have no answers—just an instinct to take a photograph and resist the urge to explain anything.

I can’t explain this photo or why I took it:

Nor this photo:

It’s what I saw and felt. It felt right at the time. It doesn’t matter. All these are moments in lives that we feel compelled to place as much or as little meaning on, stories that may or may not exist; but these photos exist, and in a way, proves that I have lived.

That’s enough for me. More to come.

* Obviously a joke.

Art Deco Nudes from the archives

I’m not sure why I did not get to these straight away after our shoot in 2014, but better late than never. Art Deco nudes are not something I shoot often, but I like them well enough, and it’s difficult to find a better model for it than the inimitable Anita de Bauch. 

(NSFW photos follow, duh. Do not proceed if you are offended by photos containing nudity. DANGER WILL ROBINSON.)

That should get the weekend off to a good start, for me at least—it has been an exhausting week.

[OT] Current Reads

“If you want to make more interesting pictures, become a more interesting person.” – Jay Maisel 

 I can’t say it works for everyone, but one of those ways to become a more interesting person is just to read more; I have found that expanding one’s horizons does not necessarily mean you have to step out of your home, even though that certainly helps. (It’s another reason/excuse I also play a fair few games, beyond it being a coping mechanism.) 

 While reading photography-related books is great, what’s more important is to read more widely than one’s chosen field and preferences. Mix it up. Experiment. Get some recommendations from friends. And start reading, don’t think about starting, just start

My current reading list is a mishmash, and I’m trying to get more organised this year. Right now I’m juggling between Justin Cronin’s The Passage*, recommended by fellow photographer and friend Bryan va der Beek, and Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century, which I have taken about a year and have yet to finish. I managed to finish five books from Andrzej Sapkowski’s The Witcher series, with the final book due to be released (on Amazon) in March—a very readable fantasy series, if you ask me, and bonus points if you’re a fan of the game—while my photobook habit has taken a backseat to the more affordable hobby of video games. 

That said, when I was in Taiwan I purchased a copy of Nobuyoshi Araki’s Tensai Araki Shashin no Ai•Jo**, translated to Mandarin from its native Japanese; sorry, it doesn’t seem to be available in English, at least not that I know of. I’m halfway through it and it’s rather brilliant. I’ve yet to start on Jonathan Haidt’s The Righteous Mind, nor have I finished Mark Miodownik’s fascinating Stuff Matters: Exploring the Marvellous Materials That Shape Our Man-Made World

So many books/games/movies. So little time. Different year, same shit. I’d love to hear what you are reading though! 

* Bryan also introduced me to the wondrous app called Overdrive, which allows me to borrow books from the National Library Board (and other libraries) without needing to step into one of their libraries. Freedom and indolence via technology! 

** The only hardcopy, dead tree book in all the titles named in this post. Another victory for technology—where 300 books weigh just as much as 1.

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