Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Temporary Seclusion: Dutch by Covet Image

It is not uncommon to see Hotel Rooms used as a location in the shooting of the male form. For some photographers, especially those who shoot for passion and as a form of creative expression and not as a primary occupation, hotel rooms provide a perfect temporary studio. Hotel Rooms are usually fairly private, usually fairly clean and often bright, thanks to the natural light provided by the large window located on one side of the room.

There is also the roaming photographer. The artist who combines their love of photography with travel. These photographers usually set a destination, then find models in the area to shoot while there. It can be difficult to find models in some area's to shoot, especially models who have not been shot by every other photographer in the area. For these photographers, Hotel Rooms are not just convenient, but essential locations in the completion of their work.

I have written a lot recently about the use of Hotel Rooms with photography. Some photographers, clearly use the location simply as the four, usually white walls to discretely shoot a naked body. Other artists use the space to create beautifully unique imagery in which the hotel is not just used as a backdrop, but instead, the space is incorporated into concept and plays an important role in the visual impact an image has on the viewer.

When I first saw my first image from Chicago artist Ray from Covet Image, the impact was strong. In that image, (below, third from the bottom) 29 year old Dutch was standing naked, bending over looking out through the blinds the bathroom. The fact he was in a hotel was not immediately evident, instead the image had a rather cool, sexy and voyeuristic 'looking at you looking at me' vibe that had me wanting to see more from the series.

Ray shot Dutch while roaming, in this case while travelling in Dubai. Ray connected with Dutch through Model Mayhem and Dutch responded quickly and was immediately game for the shoot. Dutch is originally from the Netherlands but is currently living in Dubai, following a woman if Ray remembers correctly. Ray says that Dutch was a lot of fun to shoot, professional, talented and very funny. Ray shot Dutch for his Hotel Room series, and remembers he and Dutch both having a lot of laughs and fun during the session.

'I started the hotel room series because I do a lot of travel for business. I started thinking about the whole concept of a hotel room and the idea of "temporary seclusion." What actually happens behind all of those closed doors flanking those long hallways...

This new series, which actually started with Dutch, (DutchAthlete) is my temporary looking glass into one hotel room, during one specific day or evening, from around the world. It allows all of us to be a voyeur, even if it's just for a few minutes while you review one of the images.'

Ray originally got involved with photography about 20 years ago, but after a few years of 'getting by', decided to put it aside for a paying career. Ray only just got back into shooting about six months ago and has been astounded by all of the changes which have taken place. Regardless of the changes Ray is experiencing, the creation of great and unique images is timeless. I love the voyeuristic feel to this series, especially the images of Dutch behind the binds and glass. The images had me wanting to see, and learn more and I am glad Ray agreed to share his first, of hopefully many, Hotel Room shoots with FH.

'I remember fumbling around in a black bag trying to load my film onto the developing reel...spending hours under the red safe lights burning an dodging the photo paper...and then hoping that something beautiful (or at least not ugly) developed in the tray. I guess photography is like riding a bike...except the bike has more bells and whistles...and goes a lot faster now.'

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