It’s all about context

So I’ve spent some time browsing the terrific photos on 500px.com…which I guess is kind of like the new Flickr; or rather, where people are fleeing Flickr to. And yeah, the quality of the photos is generally better, definitely. I only try to put quality pics up on it (no party pics or stuff like that). And naturally there are a lot of photos of beautiful women. But what I find eye-rolling are the photos of the hot chicks in lingerie hanging out by an old abandoned train, or on a stairway outside in broad daylight. Basically just a hot chick in lingerie in a place no woman would ever really wear lingerie. I mean, totally the wrong context. A photo of a woman in lingerie in bed, or the bedroom, or even on the living room floor…that makes sense. It’s in its proper context. But what the hell is a woman doing in lingerie out by that old abandoned tractor in front of that dilapidated building??? It just doesn’t make sense!

Perhaps I’m protesting too much. It’s just way too gratuitous. Granted, the great majority of photos of beautiful women are, by definition, gratuitous to some degree (some would say exploitive, but hey, semantics). I just think context matters. You can still dress woman in sexy clothes by that tractor…maybe even like a cowgirl/farm girl theme. Because that’s in context. Get it? Or, instead of a woman laying out in lingerie on those stone steps outdoors, put her in a bikini (could be stone steps leading down to a beach, for all we know, right?). Context. Now, some might argue that there is a juxtaposition to putting the girl in lingerie in a situation she’d never actually wear lingerie in. Fine. But do it smart, not ham-fistedly. A girl in lingerie in a church…I can see that being a juxtaposition or commentary. Or really just a better disguised exploitive way to shoot a girl in lingerie. But the point is that concept is a starting point down a road to something that would have artistic merit beyond your typical T and A.

And you know, I’ve done my share of sexxxy pics of women. And I love it. Ha. But I just think there are better ways to explore that than catering to adolescent male fantasies, aka the lowest common denominator. As I write this I can already hear a lot of my male friends grunting and mumbling, “Unh. Girl. Boobs. Butt. Cool. Huh huh. Unh.”, and not giving a sh*t about or even noticing things like lighting or composition or context (I’m looking at you, Tyson*). You know, just take a crappy pic with the pop up flash giving her red eye, but if she’s half-naked or more, that’s good enough for them, lol. I have tried to take photos of women that other women would actually like, which has generally been successful. But I really think being too gratuitous and ham fisted diminishes the final result.

 *Just kidding 😉

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