As a writer the stories of an image inspire and motivate me. I have a deep love for black and white photography and how it manipulates and stimulates my imagination.
Lindsay and I have shared our appreciation of the beauty, strength and magnificence we both see in this medium, and I have wanted to share these three images with Lindsay and find out what her thoughts are.
The three images are all portraits, completely different in composition, use of lighting, and the photographers had very different relationships with their subjects.
They were taken over different time periods, 1936, 1951 and 1969. The photographers being American, German and French.
They spark ideas in me, story lines, emotions, intimacy and all give me great joy. I want to share a little bit of the photographer, the model or subject, and my heart felt thoughts on each image.
I hope if you have some time, to view, sit with the images for a while, and then share your thoughts with us as well.
Charis Wilson 1936, by Edward Weston.
The Artist with Muse.
Edward Weston was an American photographer, working mostly on the west coast in and around California. In 1937 he was the first photographer to win a Guggenheim Fellowship, and managed to produce over 1400 images in a two year period, with many different subject matters. This image of Charis Wilson was taken in 1936, and is described as the most famous image taken of her. Wilson become Weston’s muse and during their creative time together he shot hundreds of images, focusing on her form, presence and attempting to visualise her inner beauty.
…… for more about Edward Weston
The shade on the arm of Charis Wilson in this image is what I’m drawn to first. She is presented as a beautiful object, her lines and curves accentuated as a form, he almost cloaks her female sexuality as if to say it is not the most important component of her beauty. I love the idea he is searching and discovering her beauty in all her being, relating it to organic shapes in nature, forms in landscapes and almost recognisable lines of fruit. She is natural, he needs her like food, and appreciates how she fits in the space around her. The image makes me think of growth and appreciation, I feel humbled by his feelings towards her, and have tried to give some of my heroes the depth of feeling I feel he has so magnificently portrayed.
London 1951, by Bill Brandt
Bill Brandt really began his working career as an assistant to the surrealist Artist Man Ray in Paris in 1930. He moved to London in 1933 and focused on documentary photography, publishing two social commentary books depicting Life in an English home, and London at night. He worked as a war photographer and at the end of WW2 his work started to incorpoate nudes. I have not been able to find a reference to the model he used in this particular image but his portraiture was more about the world around the subject and their place in it than the subject herself.
……for more about Bill Brandt
I love the perspective, the view point of the image looking out, the comfortableness of the subject as she looks past her room and out the window. He uses a wide angle lens which excites me. I become her gaze and image life bustling along down on the street. People talking, meeting and living their lives. I also like the contrast, it is a quiet room, calm and ordered. Anything is possible for me when I indulge in this image.
Catherine Deneuve 1969, by Jeanloup Sieff
Fashion, Celebrity and Style maker.
Jeanloup Sieff was originally from Paris, and studied photography in the early 1950’s in both Paris and Switzerland. He joined the famous Magnum Agency and travelled the world working for Esquire, Glamour, Harpers Bazaar and Vogue. He did portrait series with the likes of Alfred Hitchcock, Yves Saint-Laurent and did some exceptional portraits of dancers like Rudolf Nureyev. This image of Catherine Deneuve was taken in 1969, when Deneuve was being cited as “a cold, remote erotic object which dreams are made on” by film critic Philip French.
…..for more about Jeanloup Sieff
Firstly I love Catherine Deneuve, and this image combines the long list of all the things I admire about her demeanour, her presence and the regal atmosphere she seems to so easily create. Her positioning on the chair, erotic in it’s connotations but her hands together, as if praying is just deeply moving. I would love to create a heroine who embodies all of the feelings and ideas this image creates.
I hope, one day I develope my craft to a level that gives my readers the same experience and joy I derive from my favourite images.
Erotica and Erotic Romance writer