Saturday, January 2, 2016

Adaptation: Ricky by Kevin Kurbs

'Light, shadow, texture, and a great model are all the things I need to create a great photo.'

The New Year, whether we like it our not, means change. Our ability to change and adapt to new things is not something all of us are able to do with grace and ease. I know that every time I get a new computer, especially one with a 'newer/better' version of Windows, I spend weeks cursing about how their latest so called advancements. Every time Facebook changes, I simply just curse. I don't think it really matters whether these changes actually makes things easier, the change itself is what stresses us out. We like predictability, and the comfort of doing something we have become familiar with. With everything in our lives out of control, knowing what to expect is both soothing and reassuring.

When I first started FH back in 2007, I wrote every post sitting at an old school desk in my bedroom. When my desktop finally died and I moved to a laptop I continued to work on the blog from that desk for months. It was inconceivable to me that I could every put together a story sitting anywhere but at my desk. Today, almost 9 years later that desk no longer exists, I gave it to my brother about 4 years ago. FH today is put together while I'm on the couch, at the kitchen table, on my bed and even when sitting outside on my front porch.

I guess the bottom line is that sadly, business sometimes knows us better than we know ourselves, and understand that eventually, no matter how much we swear and fight a change, we will usually ultimately not only accept it, but learn to like it. I hated and fought every change with blogger, facebook and countless other sites, but I also know that if I had to go back to working on that computer at that old desk today, I am not sure I could sit there and actually do it.

For an artist, change can not only be difficult, it can sometimes even seem devastating. The process of creating for some can be very specific. Many artists learn what works for them and use the particular piece of equipment, even down to the specific brand, each and every time. Sometimes when a particular product is discontinued, artists can be overwhelmed trying find a suitable replacement.

Although the ingredients, light, shadow, texture and a great model that artist Kevin Kurbs described as needing for a great shoot, may seem to be constants, there have been many changes, both significant, and more subtle, that have created challenges for photographers of the male form. The switch from film to digital may be one of the most significant. This changes not only created dramatic changes in how images were produced and edited, but equally as powerful, how they are shared and displayed. I still profile photographers from time to time who have resisted this change and continue to shoot primarily with film.

Other changes have certainly occurred from advancements in camera and lens technology as well as editing programs that do pretty much everything from removing skin imperfections through manipulating penis size and body parts. With almost everyone able to snap, edit, print and post an images within minutes, the demand for professional photographers has taken a big hit over the last decade or so. Growing up, there were still photography studios in almost every Sears and shopping malls, but it is no rare today to hear of a family heading out in their Christmas sweaters in November for the annual holiday group shot. Some changes do have their perks...

One of the biggest changes going on for all of us, especially for photographers, are changes in lighting. Although hopefully our ability to use natural light will still be around for awhile, studio and indoor lighting have moved for many towards LED. Seattle's Kevin Kurbs has been using LED lighting for awhile now, and for Kevin, it has taken his work to an all new level.

Gazing over Ricky's naked body, the light seems to cascade over his skin more warmly, hit certain places more specificity, and cover more area's on differently parts of his body. Kevin is the first photographer to mention using LED lighting and I will be curious to see how many other artists experiment with the technique. As I stated, once you find something you love, it can be daunting to think about change. It is exciting to think of what's coming. A photographer mentioned just recently experimenting with 3D lighting, and I look forward to seeing how, or if, it changes how the male form is photographed and captured, and presented. I can only imagine that in the not so distant future, we will all have 3D computers and computer screens, enjoying captured moments and much more experiential way.

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