Guidance, Comments, Essays, Tutorials and Opinions by AEA Members and Guests.
You will also find Historical Articles of Note, links to Debates and articles
collated from the World's Press. These are updated on a regular basis so there
will always be something new and interesting each time you visit.
by AEA Members
WATERMARKING– A PERSONAL VIEW:
Copyright infringement may be seen as the curse of the artist
in the digital age where exact copies can easily be made and passed from
person to person. Like the tide, there is little point in trying to stand
and hold it back, therefore giving up or using the fact to your advantage
are the only two options - writes Association member Robert Babylon
NEW POEMS -
I offer to members and visitors alike three poems of mine that explore the
darkest forms of love...China Hamilton.
AND THE OTHER - “ONCE YOU LABEL ME, YOU NEGATE ME”
has been written by philosophers, such as Aristotle, Immanuel Kant and Wittgenstein,
about the nature of beauty, aesthetics and the ever shifting values that
we place upon what we see and observe; but what does it mean to be ‘seen’
by another and how does that impact upon us as individuals and how we perceive
ourselves and our own appearance/beauty?
FINISHED ARTICLE The
production of our subject only exists and even considering our now digital
world, with the finial, actual print. I say this as even though we can look
upon our work on a computer screen, see it in the camera, digitally project
it onto a wall, [that also used to be done with things called slides] send
it wirelessly to an ever-changing picture frame, it isn’t a photograph
until it becomes a print that we can hold in our hands. All other forms
are ephemeral and victims so often of the vagaries of the device by which
we view the picture. On this I am most dogmatic, a photograph is only that,
when it is a print or reproduced [printed] in a book etc. Just as a film
is not a film when it is broken down in to individual frames but is a film
when it is run at usually 26 frames per. second. We live today in a world
that misappropriates the truth to a point where it sadly becomes accepted
by the majority - writes Association member China Hamilton.
WITH MODELS (DURING EROTIC ART PHOTO-SHOOTS) The
key to working with models during an erotic art photo-shoot is having respect
and consideration for them, understanding who they are and what they want
to achieve, and for this being able to ‘read’ and empathise
with people is a very helpful skill - writes Association member Robert Babylon.
CATS ARE GREY: A BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO CONVERTING COLOUR DIGITAL IMAGES TO
BLACK AND WHITE. There
is something about the black and white nude. Unlike painting, where a full
range of subtle colours have brought centuries of nude subjects to life,
the majority of art nude photographers have stripped the original colours
from their nudes. Early in the history of photography there was no choice,
and even when colour processes did emerge, I suspect the quality of colour
available was unlikely to flatter the nude subject. However, excellent colour
films, fine tuned for capturing naturalistic skin tones, have been available
for decades, and in the digital age photographers have unprecedented control
over hue and saturation - writes Association member James Reynard.
OR PORNOGRAPHIC - DEFINING EROTICA.
Many photographers have been drawn to the temptations of this complex subject
and, because of the realism of photography, pictures can confront law and
morality quite uniquely. It is this difficulty that provokes the challenge
and, if you have tried, you will be aware just how hard it is. The subject
contains all the problems a photographer faces when taking a head and shoulder
portrait - plus the added concentration of our own sexuality - writes Association
member China Hamilton.
– THE UNDISCOVERED COLOUR SPACE Everyone
who uses photo-editing software to produce colour imagery is probably familiar
with one of the many flavours of the RGB colour space. Even those who prefer
monochrome imagery probably work digitally in RGB. Those who print their
own work may also be accustomed to CMYK. In this article I would like to
promote the use of a third colour space - LAB colour – arguably the
most powerful space for processing colour images - writes Association member
EROTIC ARTISTS AND THE BIBLE -
I initially indented to write an essay exploring the similarities between
practising homosexuals and artists of erotica – whatever their sexual
orientation. To show how we have a common bond in that we have all been
condemned and persecuted, by both secular and religious society, and to
illustrate how we have engaged on a similar crusade aimed at promoting understanding,
tolerance and acceptance - writes Association co-founder Paul Woods..
NEWPORT NUDE I
can't help it, I love this painting. It has a painterly quality I like.
Her skin is painted in delicious pinky flesh tones reminiscent of the alluring
sweets of childhood and, like a craved for candy, I want a taste. Her illuminated
body is pleasingly naked and exudes a tangible sexiness that I want to enjoy
as a voyeuristic delight that time dims and surrenders to tactile pleasures
- writes Association Co-founder Paul Woods
TORMENT OF ARIAS : THE PHOTOGRAPHY OF JEAN JACQUES ANDRÉ If
one were to attempt to describe the photographs that Jean creates it would
be in terms of a fusion of the images produced by Angus McBean (his theatrical
photomontages), Ralph Gibson (particularly his ‘The Somnambulist’
1970 era) and the Symbolist artists such as Gustave Moreau, Rodolphe Bresdin
and Fernand Khnopff - writes Association Co-founder Christopher John Ball
PHOTOGRAPHIC ECSTASY: THE PHOTOGRAPHY OF DANIEL MURTAGH Just
as he enjoys using female models to create much of his still imagery - Daniel
predominantly casts women in the film roles because “there is an ideal
balance to be found by expressing emotion and sensuality with woman as protagonist.”
Asked to expand further he explains that he believes that women have “a
face that looks out from some aspect of human experience I can never really
know” - writes Association Co-founder Christopher John Ball.
As a professional painter I am always keen to see new painters applying
for membership. I approach new work with an expectant pleasure and a hope
of seeing works that may excite me and become worthy new additions to the
Association. But sadly I am all too often disappointed when I am yet again
confronted with poor drawings and paintings so obviously copied from photographs
culled from porn magazines and used with no discernible skills or imagination.
There seems to be this misconception that if one copies a pornographic image
it will somehow transform itself into a quality, imaginative and creative
work of art. Don't be deluded, it won’t! - writes Association co-founder
DREAMER - THE PHOTOGRAPHY OF NICOLAS TUCKERNic is on record as stating that he doesn’t see his work
as an… “abstract, a symbol or a statement…I’m trying
to make a decent picture, nothing more serious than that” but there
is far too much going on within his imagery, too many references, quotations,
symbolism and delightful constructs, for this to be anything more than just
a playful conceit and further example of his self deprecating humour and,
in truth, could possibly be a disservice to his work. The viewer is drawn
into his images and encouraged to ask questions – to enter into a
dialogue. His photographs are inherently about the sensuality and eroticism
of looking and they refuse to be ignored - writes Association Co-founder
Christopher John Ball.
STUDY OF TWO WORKS BY BALTHUS 1908-2001 Balthus
is a painter of some of the most erotic images created, images that have
subtle, ambiguous and powerful sexual tensions. Images of pubescent girls
abound in the work of Balthus but the sexual exploration these images force
are more of a mirror to our own thoughts, revulsion and desires rather than
that of Balthus himself - writes
Association Co-founder Paul Woods.
MAKING OF HANNAH A
fascinating, step by step, insight into the many varied and complicated
processes involved with producing a life-size sculpture by Association member
OR MAKING THE WORLD SAFE FOR EROTICA? Throughout this commentary
I have made the assumption that the majority of the creators of erotic
art or merchandise are neither Muslim or Christian. Whether this is accurate
or not I stand by the argument that sexual liberty and erotica are intrinsically
incompatible with the teachings of the Bible and the Koran. Hence I make
no apologies for being partisan - writes Charles Sayer.
I’m one of those dying breed of photographers who once used film
in a camera. I think that I have actually been doing it for about fifty
years. I don’t do it any more as I have joined the digital club
but it started me thinking a while back. It was a long time, about ten
years, before I gave up my Kodak Brownie 127. Now that had a fixed shutter
speed, quite slow. Then I got a 35mm camera which had a choice of speeds
up to about 1000th of a second. Wow. So what has that got to do with erotic
ESSENCE OF THE EROTIC I
was obsessed by things sexual long before I was even aware of the meaning
of such primal feelings. Now I’m going to be rather hard on people,
you can’t be an artist who’s creative direction is into the
erotic subjects unless you are extremely sexually powered and aware yourself
- writes China Hamilton.
THERAPY Photo Therapy is not a recent innovation having been practiced
in the United States for some years, photographer Ellen Fischer Turk being
the most well known practitioner. Like Fischer Turk, I also use Photo
Therapy to help people suffering from negative body image issues, although
the methodology I prefer does differ from that of Fischer Turk, even though
the objective and outcome are similar - writes Jennifer Gilmour.
or PORN ? The question “What is art?” has been raised
for decades. In Europe, art was once seen as skillfully crafted realistic
paintings or sculpture that accurately depicted the scene or human form
- writes Frederick Potter.
'HARDER' EROTIC PHOTOGRAPHS Let’s get something very clear;
the word ‘harder’ does not mean and should not mean gratuitous.
It should also never mean work that is non-consensual. That means working
with a subject that, due to their age, cannot consent. When you work with
another to produce erotic work all parties should, above all, be very
comfortable with what is planned - writes China Hamilton.
AND THE EROTICISM OF EMPOWERMENT One
of the distinctions between pornography and erotic art is that the former
presents actors on a stage, whilst the latter gives us a true vision of
the passions and fantasies of the artist and the subject of the work -
writes James Reynard
THE BULLET AT CHICHEN ITZA Chichen
Itza is now a federally controlled site and the Mexicans are REAL sticky
about anyone photographing the site for commercial purposes. Our agent,
Christine, from Airtransat told us that if we wanted to shoot anything
commercial, it would be an expensive and long process to get a permit
and we would have to travel to another city which was five hours away
to apply. I said “no” I just wanted to shoot my wife. “So
then, what’s the problem? She asked looking Oleanna up and down.“We
want to shoot nudes” I replied with a deadpan look on my face. Frederick
Potter writes a travelogue with a difference about what is possibly a
BRIEF NOTE ON LIGHTING EROTIC SUBJECTS I
am well aware that I have a distinctive, signature style of photography,
which beyond its content is also identified by the way I light and present
an image - writes China Hamilton
MAKING OF ONNA : A
Life Size Piece of Sculpture. When I first started thinking of the exhibition
“Strength and Power,” I decided that I wanted to create a
piece of sculpture especially for the exhibition and to document its making
- writes Len Gifford. Please
note - this will open up in a new window as a PDF.
CONCEPT OF SEXUAL CENSORSHIP. As an artist, I have always been some
what bemused with the concept of sexual censorship. There are two roads
to censorship - one is religious and the other is political. The concept
of religious censorship is though relatively recent in human history -
writes China Hamilton.
INTRODUCTION TO PHOTOGRAPHIC FILTERS AND THEIR APPLICATION Filters
are used within photography to modify the light falling on the subject
or passing through the camera lens. Even though we are now in the digital
age and see the widespread use of photoshop, filters still have their
uses and it doesn't hurt to have an understanding of how they work or
can be used. - writes Association co-founder Christopher John Ball
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN EROTICA & PORNOGRAPHY? Sex, of course, is
the seed of our existence. Without it no living thing would survive. In
the world today there are two main industries of this natural act: Erotica
and Pornography - writes Carrie White
AND DIGITAL NEGATIVES I
favour making negatives via an inkjet printer and printing out to the
desired size onto Overhead Projection Film. Inkjet negatives give the
photographer greater control over the finished image - writes Christopher
WITH MODELS It’s always a pivotal moment in any artist's career
when they chose to work with a model, professional, amateur, friend or
partner, paid or unpaid, it can be a daunting experience so let’s
look at the options - suggests Paul Churchman
TO USE EXPOSURE METERS Though
almost all of today's cameras come with a 'built-in' light meter this
doesn't mean that the good old fashioned 'hand-held' meter should be thrown
away as useless - writes Christopher John Ball
ROAD TO DARKNESS The strange world of my art is really rather beautiful
to me but then beauty is in the eye of the beholder - writes China Hamilton.
TASTE FOR BUSINESS Entrepreneur, ~ born or evolved out of experience?
Well, actually a little bit of both - states Paul Churchman
BRIEF EXPLANATION OF THE ZONE SYSTEM The Zone System is a method of
exposing, developing, and printing monochrome images and is based upon
pre-visualising the subject matter - writes Christopher John Ball
ART OF SELLING IS AN ART IN ITSELF I guess it goes without saying
that selling is not something that comes natural to most of us. We love
to create and have a passion for our art but conveying that to a potential
customer can often lead to confusion or worse rejection - writes Paul
PIN-HOLE CAMERA In
this day of digital perfection and software correction the 'Pin-hole'
camera is a breath of fresh air and a superb tool to consider using on
your next photographic assignment - suggests Christopher John Ball
REDEMPTION OF THE ANUS. For several years I’ve specialised in
painting and sculpting the vulva but I’ve become equally fascinated
by the female anus. I exhibited my ‘anal starbursts’ at the
erotic festival at Olympia several times without a problem but this was
largely because most of the images were semi-abstract - writes Charles
MICE AND MEN AND TITS AND BUMS We all take the visual depiction of
nudity for granted. It exists and has always existed since cave paintings.
Different times and different societies have both welcomed it and rejoiced
in it or they have condemned it and censored it. Whatever the point of
view of the current world we have always been ok with trees and birds,
hunting scenes and mountains with clouds but not with nudity and the dangly
bits - writes China Hamilton
PREPARED - ADVICE FOR MEDIA INTERVIEWS So, you’ve been lucky
enough to be invited to be interviewed by a journalist about your work,
but before you dive in for the free publicity or to make your stand against
censorship it’s worthwhile taking a moment to make sure you make
the best use of this opportunity - suggests Robert Babylon
FOR MODELS This 10 page information pack has been produced to offer
guidance to those considering a career in modeling. Topics include: Do's
& Don'ts, Getting Started, Promotion, Explanation of terms e.g. TFP/CD,
Safety Tips, Model Releases and more.
TO MAKING A SUCCESSFUL PHOTOGRAPHIC TEST STRIP/PRINT Though
it is possible to purchase an 'exposure meter' for calculating print exposure
times these can be expensive and, for fine art/exhibition printing, not
always accurate. By far the best way to ascertain the correct exposure
for any given negative/paper type is to produce a test strip - writes
Christopher John Ball
Articles: If you are not a member of the AEA but wish to have an
article considered for publication on the Association Guest Articles section
EROTIC EYE AND ITS NUDE Judging from the massive production of erotic
imagery in photo magazines, films, television, video and internet -
not to mention the universal practice of 'girl-watching' - voyeurism
and exhibitionism must occupy man's mind, if possible, far more than
sexual commerce in the strict sense of the word - writes Stefan Beyst
in this compelling thesis.
VERSUS PORNOGRAPHY We see this term online, in magazines, on the
cover of books: erotica. Erotica novels, erotica stories, poems and
so on. But what is erotica? - asks Chris Donovan.
SURGE OF BLACK EROTICA It is no surprise that for centuries the
issue of Black erotica has been controversial. These days, black erotica
has become popularised by authors who are taking it to mainstream -
writes Maryann Reid
AND THE NEW OBSCENITY Robert Mapplethorpe is now widely known as
one of a pair of artists, along with Andres Serrano, who catapulted
the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) into the crisis that is widely
referred to as the "culture wars of the arts" - writes Dustin
ESSAY IN AESTHETICS by Roger Eliot Fry Fry, a member of the Bloomsbury
Group, was a British artist and critic who coined the term Post-Impressionism
and championed said art movement. He was amongst the first to raise
public awareness of modern art in Britain and was described by the art
historian Kenneth Clark as "incomparably the greatest influence
on taste since Ruskin "
DREAMS by Sigmund Freud Extract from the essay published in
'Grundfragen des Nerven- und Seelenlebens'. Freud is often referred
to as "the father of psychoanalysis" and, though his theories
cause controversy and are disputed, his writings on dreams and the subconscious
have had a huge influence on artists e.g. surrealist.
to Articles of Interest and Press Reports: These links take you
to website's outside of the Association and will open in a new window. If
you wish to respond to any article and have it considered for publication
on the Association website please email
TURNS WOMEN ON? It’s
the most hotly debated issue of the postfeminist age. Who and what do
women desire? Female scientists are discovering some controversial answers
writes Daniel Bergne in The Times.
PORN LAW GOES LIVE - ARE YOU READY? Unless you happen to have been
living on Mars for the last year or so, you probably know that this
week (January 26 to be precise) it will become a criminal offence (in
England and Wales) to possess pictures that the government deems to
be "extreme porn". You might also be aware of two diametrically
opposed views on this legislation - writes John Ozimek in 'The Register.'
WHAT CAN YOU PHOTOGRAPH? It may surprise readers to learn that with
a few very specific exceptions, there is no law in the UK against taking
photographs. That said, there are a range of quite specific exceptions
to this rule says John Ozimek in 'The Register.
PHOTOGRAPHERS RIGHTS Direct link to a free downloadable PDF guide.
The guide was written by Linda Macpherson LL.B, Dip.L.P., LL.M, who
is a lecturer in law at Heriot Watt University, with particular experience
in Information Technology Law, Intellectual Property Law and Media Law.
Details of authors and disclaimers here
WAR ON PHOTOGRAPHERS. When you hear the phrase "helping police
with their inquiries", does an image of dedicated selfless citizenry
instantly spring to mind? Or do you wonder whether the reality is not
slightly more sinister? Asks John Ozimek in 'The Register.'
IS OBSCENE THESE DAYS ? It's 2008 and sex seems to be everywhere.
So who holds the line between permissiveness and obscenity? What is
obscene these days? And how do those people entrusted to make these
calls cope with the harrowing work? Asks the BBC's Chris Summers.
DOES KINKY PORN BECOME ILLEGAL? A bill outlawing the possession
of "extreme pornography" is set to become law next week. But
many fear it has been rushed through and will criminalise innocent people
with a harmless taste for unconventional sex - writes Chris Summers
on BBC News.
CURRIN: THE FILTH AND THE FURY. His portraits of balloon-breasted
women are notorious. Now John Currin is about to arrive in Britain with
canvases of an even more sexually explicit nature. The artist talks
to David Usborne in 'The Independent' about flesh tones, critical outrage
– and why hardcore porn is part of the 'war against Islam'
AM NOT DOING ANYTHING WRONG?' A bill outlawing the possession of
"extreme pornography" is about to be passed. But thousands
of law-abiding citizens say they will be criminalised by the law. One
of them is 'Helen', from the Midlands, who explains why she enjoys watching
such porn. BBC News Magazine.
PHOTOGRAPHER OR TERRORIST? Misplaced fears about terror, privacy
and child protection are preventing amateur photographers from enjoying
their hobby, say campaigners - writes Tom Geoghegan in BBC News Magazine.
PLEDGE TO ACT ON PHOTOGRAPHY FEARS. Police have vowed to act on
concerns expressed by photographers who fear officers will unfairly
target them when taking pictures in public following recent anti-terrorism
publicity - writes Chris Cheesman in Amateur Photographer March 2008.
SEIZE PHOTOGRAPHER'S FILM. An amateur photographer has told how
police seized his film as he was out taking snaps in a Hull shopping
centre - BBC Report January 2008.