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

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Subject: RE: [Leica] Why fashion photography sucks
From: "Austin Franklin" <>
Date: Sat, 4 Jan 2003 17:11:16 -0500

> > 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.

Er, yeah, Martin...what's wrong with that?  Fashion photography isn't about
people, it's about FASHION.  What is being "sold" is the apparel, and the
model is supposed TO be modeling it.  That's the point!

That's like complaining that the person in a portrait obscures the fine
building behind them... ;-)


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