The shredding of the vanities (1988, modified 2010, 2016)

The three photos that make up this artwork were taken by me of me on film in 1988, my first images with the more controversial subject matter of the erect penis. In 2010 I printed them, immediately shredding the prints as a symbol of rejection. I then photographed the result on a red background and published it on flickr with a somewhat vulgar title “Shredding the stiffies (1988 reprocessed 2010)” together with a five paragraph account of what was behind the image. It’s still there and public but you’ll need to be a member to see it; it was in colour and only shredded once so a broad mind and a sympathetic character helps too.

Today in 2016 I decided that that image was not sufficiently defaced to make the point I wanted to make, so I shredded the image again, this time in a different direction. Again I photographed the result and converted to monochrome and that is what you see here.

Three photos of an erect penis put through a shredder.

Those three photos were my first images attempting to deal with the problematical subject matter of the erect penis and render it in some way artfully. An alternative take is that it was my first attempt to address my insecurities head on.

When I photographed the original images, I know my intention and the way the light was used absolutely meant that I was trying to do something artistic. The shreddings years later are symbolic of the fact that that those original images did not really work as art, but nevertheless there was art in there somewhere. As in 2010 there is a desire to publish the images because they were so important in my personal development.

If my photostream were one of the new crop of art movies for general audiences that feature real sex then these images would be the ones that the director included because they were of vital relevance to the plot, but which tabloid film critics would tear to shreds. At the time they were taken these images were helpful in making me realise that perhaps the playing field was not as stacked against me as much as I had imagined.

While it’s always difficult subject matter, I can now look at a penis as just another thing which can be photographed beautifully in its own right. Equally it can be an important part of an emotional portrait of an individual. The dividing line from crude porn is however seldom straightforward and some will never see it.

Those words about the original image “trying to do something artistic” are important and as I state on my home page, I believe “there is nothing offensive about any aspect of the human body, especially when presented in a way that makes an artistic statement or conveys its beauty“.

Because the originals were an important development in my photography, I still regard them as art. Creating them was an erotic experience with artistic intent. The end result that you see here is I think a development of that original flawed art and I believe carries a rather more profound artistic statement.

But maybe, perhaps, it was the performance of shredding the photos that was the real art?

In a corner, taking the dark path

Nude female - In a dark corner

“In a corner, taking the dark path” From a collaborative nude shoot with E, about 8 years ago. A nude improvised from the location, a dark loft with a small skylight.

Exploring a nude male portraiture collaboration in Brighton

Peter

Peter runs a naturist B&B in Brighton. We got together at his place to chat about the possibility of forthcoming collaborations in anticipation of the onset of warmer weather. Unusually for a first meeting I took my camera and we spend a half hour or so briefly touring his flat in his natural naked state and I took the opportunity to get him used to the idea of me pointing my camera at him.

 

 

male portrait

man lying naked on worktop male nude  portrait naked man mirror portrait naked man mirror portrait naked male floor portrait nude male backlit window portrait nude male backlit window portrait

nude self in mirror with naked male modelI chose to fit in with the local dress code. I guess Peter is accustomed to having other people trotting around his place naked but this was all rather new for me because I have not previously shot anyone while being myself nude. I really can’t say the experience affected the shoot at all unless it was a positive one because I have to express that, considering the available time, I am very happy with these images.

“Rite of Spring” – Evoking naked ritual?

A post from a shoot in March 2011 which had lost it’s connected image on flickr. I have spotted quite a few like this that will have to be fixed. Very irritating but a chance to promote forward a few images lost at the back of this blog.

This was the first of the images from my first collaboration with Ada Sancerre. For the record, it was 10 degrees C. and windspeed up to 35 kph and it had rained continuously overnight. Yes, the British spring had arrived.

Naked out-takes and naked dogs at Ashdown Forest shoot

 

Out-takes at the shoot with Jess
Out-takes at the Ashdown Forest shoot with Jess
Out-takes at the shoot with Jess
Necer mind the sticks, where’s my dress?!
Out-takes at the shoot with Jess
Naked forest happiness
Out-takes at the shoot with Jess
The chance of barking to warn of approaching humans was zero
Out-takes at the shoot
Naked water divining?
Out-takes at the shoot
My look out was not sticking to her job!

Out-takes from Ashdown Forest shoot

Yes, we took Jess’s dogs along. In retrospect this was a mistake. When naked in a busy forest you might need to be able to reach for your clothes and get dressed quickly. As Jess discovered, not quite evident in the photos, this is not always possible if your dog has decided that it would be tidier if your dress was carried away somewhere else.

At one stage I did try a more conceptual shot using myself as a model. It didn’t really work that well….. Contrary to the perceptions that these images might give, I am wearing clothes almost all the time when shooting.

Jess’s dogs are called May and Stompy by the way. They have no problem with clothes.

Copyright Scott H. / Allablur. Reblogging is cool – please credit the source.

Birling Gap

Abandoned (2010)

Although it may not look it there were a fair few people around at Birling Gap.  In this part of the beach however they were mainly naturists so the only thing to be self concious about was the rather odd activity of moving around and dumping oneself in short lived and rather odd positions for sunbathing, all done in the name of art of course. I kept the camera itself relatively discrete behind a rock because let’s face it, clothed or unclothed, the process of being observed taking self portraits is just a little embarrassing!

In the face of grandeur – nude in the environment

nude self portrait beneath the white cliffs at Birling Gap
Birling Gap, environmental nude self portrait

In the face of grandeur (2010)

Despite some people being about, there was a chance to get close to the cliff face and get this image. But one frame only! Under the circumstances I’m really pleased with the outcome.