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Time for an update: I still use film, though. Not vast quantities, but I have a darkroom, and I'm not afraid to use it.

I enjoy every image I take: I hope you'll enjoy looking at them.
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27 Mar 2020 12:47PM   Views : 685 Unique : 313

I started this alphabet with a few things to do with lenses – fruitful ground for techies and nerds to argue, but not involving too many matters of opinion. Different today.

My photographic specialism is portraits and nudes, and these cover a very wide range of images. Within the model-and-studio community, there’s a lot of use of the term ‘levels’ – it means the types of work that models (and photographers, and studios) are comfortable with producing. For instance, some models are only willing to pose fully clothed: others are quite happy to pose with no clothing at all. Some of them want to pose with strategically placed props or limbs (think Calendar Girls), while others are entirely happy with a full frontal approach.

And then there’s a level called ‘erotic’ – and none of the model-photographer websites define this, causing no end of confusion and sometimes argument. Almost everyone has a different definition…

The dictionary I used at school defines erotic as ‘pertaining to sexual love’ and erotica as ‘erotic literature’ – so this is about sex, as well as about art.

But talk to models, and it may be anything from the look in the eye to a high degree of physical exposure. Something suggestive in the raise of an eyebrow, or the way clothing is disarranged. Have a look at RonTear’s image HERE for a shot that seems to me to embody something erotic: and maybe that’s the key – an erotic image is one in which the viewer sees more than is actually present, because the picture stimulates the imagination. The brain is a powerful erogenous zone!

It’s therefore logical that erotic pictures are the product, usually, of a thoughtful and introspective imagination: I know one model whose entire portfolio is constructed around her personal erotic fantasies: and may others for whom the idea of posing for anything erotic is unacceptable, though art nude is fine!

A final thought is that it’s a difficult area. Amateur Photographer used to produce an annual Erotica edition. It ceased, well over a decade ago, for multiple reasons. Some readers didn’t like it, and some newsagents were unhappy. And, to confuse matters, the editor found that the cutting edge practitioners were working in areas that were quite challenging for the general reader: in other words, their pictures would be unacceptable in a mainstream publication (or on a mainstream photographic website such as Ephotozine).

So for those who seek a real photographic challenge, way beyond the straightforward difficulty of remembering how to set the camera in the presence of a naked body, this could be for you...

The model in my picture is French Chloe, who has figured in my portfolio quite a few times. She's an undoubted mistress of erotic images, and brings a Gallic style to every image.

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mac Avatar
mac Plus
22 16 Scotland
27 Mar 2020 2:48PM
(c) William Shakespeare
Fondling,' she saith, 'since I have hemm'd thee here Within the circuit of this ivory pale,
I'll be a park, and thou shalt be my deer; Feed where thou wilt, on mountain or in dale:
Graze on my lips, and if those hills be dry, Stray lower, where the pleasant fountains lie.
dudler Avatar
dudler Plus
20 2.1k 2048 England
27 Mar 2020 3:21PM
Thanks, Ian. I knew the Bard could be bawdy, but I'd not met that quotation...

And, of course, JMW Turner produced a series of remarkably explicit erotic sketches: the photogrpahic equivalent would not be postable on htis site.
Jasper87 Avatar
Jasper87 Plus
13 3.5k 165 England
27 Mar 2020 4:39PM
An interesting read. I find 'full frontal' images sexual but not necessarily erotic, whereas fine art nudes are very often erotic. As a viewer it is easy, you define according to your tastes. As a producer you have a problem in which category to put them, dependent, I guess, to some extent on your target audience.
mistere Avatar
mistere Plus
10 37 8 England
27 Mar 2020 5:45PM
If "none of the model-photographer websites define this (erotic), causing no end of confusion and sometimes argument." And the dictionary definition
is open to interpretation. My guess would be that, like beauty, Erotic is in the eye of the beholder and therefore impossible to quantify. Chloe, fully clothed
is far more 'erotic' than many naked models, it's what Chloe is. Many others avoid giving that impression but are capable of portraying it they wish to. The end
result is still a matter of opinion. One persons interpretation will differ from another's. Is sexy the same as erotic?, should it be erotic if it's already 'Fine Art' ?.
Ron's image, for example. If I had to choose a label for it I would chose Glamour rather than erotic. Many will disagree with me but i suspect that many would also agree.
Marmite and sprouts.Tattoos or no tattoos, Everybody likes what they like and we all see things differently (thank goodness). I don't see why we need to put labels on everything and
put everything in it's own little box. Some things just are what we want them to be. Except Gin of course, that's just nasty.. SmileSmileSmile
Sorry John, waffled on a bit there. I'm enjoying your daily 'blog' I wonder where 'F' will take us.

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