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Entries in Bikinis (2)


Something Beautiful Vs. A Beautiful Photo

If you follow this blog, you may have found the March 28th post somewhat unlike the rest of my posts. It featured three young ladies in skimpy bikinis. Traffic to my blog and my flickr account spiked significantly proving once again that sex sells. The girls certainly turned the heads of passersby. That was their intent. The photograph, while not bad, was nothing remarkable by my standards.  

This got me thinking about a photograph of something beautiful versus a beautiful photograph. Ideally, you will have both a beautiful subject and it will be photographed beautifully. People often mistake a photograph of something or someone beautiful, for being a beautiful photograph. I know I've been guilty of that more than once. But it's a distinction that any photographer who is critical about his work must make.

Part of a photographer's responsibility is to recognize beauty* when presented with beauty, that is certain. But recognizing beauty is only half the battle. The photographer then needs to know what to do with that beauty. He needs to consider how to light it, compose it, juxtapose or blend it with the other elements within the frame. It's not enough just to have a bullseye composition shot of a gorgeous model. Sure, many people will view it, it will capture their imagination, but that is about the model and not your photography. Said another way, it's not about how you portrayed her, but rather it's about her. 

The challenge then is to figure out what you should do as a photographer to make a beautiful photograph. What do you do to make a beautiful image of a beautiful subject? How do you put your mark on your images?  Do you simply document for posterity the beauty before you or do you add to that beauty by your creative choices (perspective, composition, lighting, juxtaposition, etc.)?

* BTW, by "beauty," I'm not just referring to beauty in the classic sense, but in the mundane or even the tragic.  Beauty can be found anywhere, in war or an oil spill or the ghetto or what have you.  But I guess that is a subject for another post.  



Photograph ©2010 Alex Suárez. All rights reserved.

More fun from this year’s SXSW photowalk. These young ladies were outside hula hooping to attract attention and get patrons into Bikinis Sport Bar & Grill. I asked the ladies to pause their activities for a moment and pose for this shot.

Strobist info: Nikon SB-600 handheld, camera left, triggered via an SC-29 cable. It appears that a strobe from another photographer to my right also illuminated the subjects.