June 5, 2013

A Conversation between David Winge and Jan Murphy

Are women seen as vulnerable in photography ? During a recent conversation with David Winge about his work - I commented on an image "Maybe I'm Amazed" about the strength in this photograph and how the model looked like she could take on the world. David got back to me and shared that someone asked him why he didn't make women look weak and vulnerable, and that maybe he should.

Being a watcher, OK, a stalker of David's work, I have always admired the strength portrayed in the women, even though some could say they were in a vulnerable location.

"Maybe I'm Amazed"
Art Model Kittie M

J : David, please share with me how this suggestion made you feel ?

"In a Black Dress"

Art Model Rebel Smith

DW : One of the reasons I was drawn to art nude photography was the ability to portray women how I see them, speaking in generality, a force within nature, part of the beauty that surrounds us and of course also subject to same human condition as we all are.

The suggestion that I should portray women in images as weak and/or vulnerable was dismissed immediately. My intent is to show our strength of will, our resolve and the harmony we have here on earth.

Art Model Kittie M

J : Tell us your thoughts on why you believe this was asked of you and also how you see your models in the photography that you produce ?

DW : You don't have to travel far on the Internet or in real life to happen upon images of women as objects, they tend to fill the "most popular", "most viewed" or "most favourited" sections on many web sites, and many news stands. Dig a little deeper though and you'll find sites such as this one with a wide array of inspiring artists and images that have substance.

I see models from the inside out; I can see a photo shoot as a miniature lifetime, however brief it goes from conception to learning, experiencing, searching for meaning then celebrating being alive and all I have to do is capture it.

"Which Way to Follow"
Art Model Rebel Smith

Many of the titles I use and very often my choice of locations are based on my impression of what the model is telling me in-between shots or at some time before or during the shoot.

If I could give an example, in "Which Way To Follow", Rebel had initiated the photo shoot telling me she wanted to get away and spend some time in the desert, she was trying to make a decision about leaving southern California and needed time to think about it. In this instance the scene, the location and the title were all based on this feeling.

J: That´s beautiful, David. I am so glad to hear this as it goes along the same route as my mind. Sadly, women are depicted in a very vulnerable and/or sexual state on the net, and sex sells in the media as we know. I feel that the reason behind this could be that men were the providers and now they are not needed so much, so women are depicted this way to give men more control over how they are seen. Perhaps it is merely as simple as women on the net being "used" for voyeurism alone.

Art Model Rebel Smith

DW: I agree, Jan. I feel the major difference is in the collaboration. A photographer and model working together can make art, as opposed to a photographer shooting where the intent is arousal; for this the photographer needs only an object.

J : You mentioned that you see a lot of photography in this style that you were asked to represent. Would you be willing to share with me why others perhaps 'like' women to look weak and vulnerable and, if so, how does this affect you ? 

"Channel Surfing"
Art Model Rebel Smith

DW : As I mentioned earlier there is part of me that wants to believe it's primal, an ancient desire to rescue/protect the poor helpless woman,

but honestly it may be much more shallow than that.
I am not sure I know the answer. Maybe it has to do with power? Or maybe it has to do with opportunity?

"Soul Singing"
Art Model Kittie M

J : I have chosen some images of your work and feel it would be really interesting to talk about these with you and share my views on them also.

"The Where and the Wherefore"
Art Models GroovaciousK
and Conundra

DW : In "The Where and the Wherefore," I like the contrast between the models. Neither one knew which of them I was shooting and neither of them could see each other, and this was a combination posed and candid shot.

In this image they are unique individuals with vastly different poses, I just love how they are together, but also separate.

J: David, how interesting - as I did think that it was the same model shot in two places and two images merged in Photoshop. How interesting to know they are two different models not even interacting yet somehow very bonded in their posing. I chose this image as I wanted to show that even though these women are in the middle of nowhere, naked and alone (except you of course), they look composed, they look strong, and they look united. Thank you for writing about this.

"Do You Hear It Calling"

Art Model
Kittie M

DW: This is another example of using what I hear and my impression when shooting an image : Kittie mentioned a fondness for the Joshua Tree. This aside, I see her interacting with the surroundings as opposed to succumbing to them. I think sometimes the inference is very slight, the placement of a hand or expression can be enough to change the entire feel of the image.

J: David I´m so glad you said that about the environment as I can really feel that the model is not only interacting with the Joshua Tree but is almost merging with it.
Superb, it almost feels like she has found a part of her home, her native home. Goodness, I´m unsure that even makes sense but is what I see.

DW: It makes sense; in fact, one of the reasons I use desert locations so often is the harsh environment seems to pair nicely with the portrayal of women as having an inner strength and a will not only to survive but to conquer.

"Holy Jerusalem"
Art Model Kittie M

No comments: