Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2003/01/04

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Subject: [Leica] Why fashion photography sucks
From: Martin Howard <>
Date: Sat, 4 Jan 2003 14:04:07 -0800

Animal wrote:

> Those fashion guys are incredible.

I think most (all?) fashion photography is truly negative.  It treats 
human beings like objects -- Helmut Newton being at the forefront of 
this.  In his pictures, you might as well be looking at sports cars, or 
watches, or architecture.  The women (and men) are nothing more than a 
different set of curved surfaces to be lit in an intriguing manner and 
shot from a novel  (navel?) angle.  Personality, persona, lifestyle, 
humanism, dignity, is all but completely banished from almost all 
fashion photography that I've come across.  Indeed, the 
cross-processing, extreme lighting, retouching, jaded graphicness of a 
lot of fashion photography does all it can to suck out the last 
vestiges of human-ness from the images, leaving a clinically clean, 
artificial surface, stripped down to it's bare visual form that bears a 
resemblance to a real person, but dispenses with all the messy 
substance of what actually makes people interesting in the first place.


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