Thursday, April 19, 2007

Formalism in Black and White Photography

With respect to color photography, black and white images seem at times to engage in a kind of formalism that is seen by some as natural to the mode itself - an inherent 'art' expression. And, if not intended by the photographer as the subject of the photographic discourse, such formalism can lead to work that is a bit mechanical and self-consciousness:

Though these next two photographs almost get away with it!

Though can't say I've sat on a stool or laid myself out on a bed quite like this. Well, not in life ... but maybe in my imagined world of myself.

This phenomenon seems particularly the case with the close-up, and the closer-up:

These images are successful I hear you say, yep you bet, but no so much as art, but as triggers for sensuality. And thanks be for that!

Much the same kinds of arguments can be drawn for lighting as for formalism in terms of the arrangement of shapes. With examples of dramatic chiaroscuro being:

No absolutes here, just playing the odds with coloreds. And of course there are innumerable counter examples.

Having said all this, I must confess to a real love of the sorting out formal values, be it in a drawing, photograph, painting, whatever. So organizing a hot bod to bring out it's full erotic possibilities seems a pretty worthy pursuit. Not to say a damn good idea!


  1. Love the B&W pix. Very HOT!

  2. sexy shots and gorgeous bobies..