Letters to DOMAI
Although I also like porn (besides art nudes and 'simple nudes'), I would like to take exception with a couple of statements I have read here recently.
1. That there is a thin line between art and pornography 2. That idea the pictures that appear here be used for sexual reasons.
By way of proof or evidence, I offer this experience from my youth, as you will see it made a large impact on the way I view the naked female. I consider it a fantastic stroke luck that it happened at all, let alone when I was eighteen.
When I started high school, I found that the school had a brand new photography lab. Being the late fifties it was only black and white but since I had proved to several art teacher that I could not draw a straight line with a ruler it was my way to creativity.
With in the time it took to develop and print two rolls of film, I had a second job and was buying used photo equipment. I fell in love with creating pictures. I was on the school new paper, yearbook staff and documenting every school event. Where most boys had a sports hero, Ansel Adams became mine.
To help augment the costs involved I also began taking individual student pictures, for the yearbook and trading with friends. Since the school had dress code, the boys had to wear suits and the girls only certain types of dresses. Added to this that the professional photographer would take time for them to change outfits, I had a ready-made market. By my senior year I had a nice little cottage industry going.
That year a girl I had known since the first grade ask me to take her pictures. She wanted them taken at her house because she wanted to wear something called a drape and she want to use their stone fireplace as background. The only catch was that it had to the following Sunday after 1:15.
I arrived at the appointed time to find that her parents were gone and the "drape " was nothing more than a strip of black velvet. This she had wrapped around her shoulders and was holding closed with one hand. Combined with the blue jeans she was also wearing it made for a comical scene.
To the camera however it appeared that she had on a beautiful strapless evening grown. I had found from the beginning of taking portraits that the more I talked, the more I completed the student on her dress, hair, eyes anything the more they relaxed. The more they relaxed the more of they personality came out and the better the picture,
We had taken all the required "school shots" and were into the poses she wanted. She struck a particularly provocative pose, I reset the light, took a meter reading reset the shudder speed. (Remember this was before digital cameras or automatic cameras that take multiple shots every time the button is pushed. Every shot then was an individual project.)
Just as I pushed the shudder release, her hand "slipped" and the drape fell to the floor. She recovered quickly and I pretended not to notice; as best as an 18 year old boy could.
After we finished the pictures Shirley ask if I thought the picture was taken before or after her hand "slipped". I said I didn't known and ask if she wanted a print if it had been after. She smiled and said "Of Course!"
A minute later she shocked me by asking if I have every taken pictures of any other naked girls. I hadn't, but I lied and said "a few" Then there were some questions about who they were and some more lies about privacy and that I never discussed those things. If I was shocked by her first question, her next one really blew me away. "Would I take some of her?" Sure I said, as calmly as I could. I reset up the equipment while she went to change.
When I was fully set up again she came back from the bathroom. While she was nude from the waist up she also wore the smallest and tightest swim suit bottom I had seen to that point in time. It was also a light tan color, which blended closely with her skin. . It was hard to tell where the suit started and the skin ended.
Pictures taken, I drove away thinking what a conquest I had made and how I had furthered my "professional" career. What a great looking body she had and those breasts , so round and the nipples came to just the right point.
The next day I had to put all thoughts of Shirley aside and concentrate on a project for school. I had to photograph something and then use those photos in some type of advertisement. I had chosen a 1958 Chevy Convertible. The most beauty thing that man had every created, The perfect automobile. A true work of art.
And I wanted to display her just that way, like statue on a pedestal or a painting in an art gallery. That was the first year for quad headlights, two on each side. They were held together yet separated by a piece of aluminum that blended with both glass and chrome. It was hard to tell where one piece started and the other ended.
There was a piece of chrome that ran the entire length of the car, It started on the front fender made a neat dip at the door only to rise again to the top of the rear fender and encircle the tail lights. What a great looking body and those taillights, perfectly round and they came to just the right point. I was even starting to talk to the car the way I talked to the girls when I photographed them. An outline of the girl lying on her side; would have started at her toes make a neat dip at her waist and rose again to the top of her shoulder and encircle her breasts
The comparison was so obvious that even I could see it. Although it took years to realize the entire truth. The God made creation those picture I took yesterday was as much art as the man creation I was currently photographing.
I have always considered it both lucky and ironic to have been taught such an important lesson at such a young age, and having learned it from a car. That lesson has served me well for forty years.
Those of us who have learned this lesson have an advantage, we see beauty where others see nothing. We see God's art where others see only bodies. Most of the readers of this site must fall into the first category or they would moved on, because, frankly there are better porno sites on the web if that's the kind of thing you want.
In my opinion, the line between pornography and art must be at least wide enough for pictures that show happiness, joy, freedom, fun, flirting and every other expression or activity show on this site before it gets to sexual or pornography.
One finial irony, without which none of this would have happened. The picture of Shirley where the drape slipped showed her hand fully open, she had intentionally let it drop.