Monday, January 16, 2023

Favorite Pic of the Day for January 17th

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Happy Birthday today January 17th

Happy 43rd to Maksim Chmerkovskiy!

Check out more of today's BIRTHDAYS HERE:

Kudos to The Traitors

'Contestants in the game move into a majestic castle and work as a team to complete a series of dramatic and challenging missions to earn money for the prize pot. Some contestants are traitors some are loyal.'

More specifically the kudos go to actor and host Alan Cumming who breathes life into the new Peacock reality series The Traitors.  Based on the Dutch series De Verraders, Cumming welcomes contestants, some reality celebrities, some everyday people to a Gothic Scottish mansion.   Channeling his inner Bond villain, Cumming purrs hilarious one liners as he winks and gives knowing looks to the camera and viewers.

In addition to his hosting skills, Cumming also dazzles in multiple plaid suits and multi-color berets, setting as much of a tone with his wardrobe as his skilled hosting abilities.  Although I've watched my share of reality shows, I usually avoid those shows that brings reality players together to compete.  It seems like just an excuse to squeeze another few seconds from their fifteen minutes of fame.

I'm glad I read some fantastic reviews for The Traitors though, as it has motivated me to give the show a shot.  The first thing I learned was that the contestants are really secondary to host Cumming and the overall atmosphere set by the game.  Although the nightly 'murders' aren't really, you still get caught up in the the suspense of who won't make it to breakfast in the morning.  

The contestants are overall more likable than expected, especially the non-celebrities who are for the most part really overshadowed by the reality stars.  Cirie is as watchable as she was on Survivor, and Kate Chastain as horrid as she was on her final seasons on Below Deck. Rachel Reilly really surprised me as I liked her much more than I did during her time on Big Brother.

As for hotties to enjoy, there are more than a few favorites in the mix.  I've never seen The Bachelor, but I did enjoy meeting Arie Luyendyk Jr.  There's also Olympic Swimmer Ryan Lochte and Big Brother's Cody Calafiore. Cody is still looking good, but really waste of space on this show. As much manipulating as he did in the Big Brother house, he seems out of element here. 

Even with the questionable haircut, I still love me some Kyle Cooke from Summer House.  I haven't watched that show in awhile, but Kyle was and is, always entertaining.  If you're on the fence about giving this show a shot, I say go for it.  Even if you're not a reality fan, Alan Cumming makes it worth a look.

The Friendly Orderly

'Like you, I didn't fit in with the other children. Something was wrong with me. All the teachers and the doctors said I was... Broken.'

I know I'm almost a year behind, but I just started watching the forth season of Stranger Things last weekend.  I love the show, but sort of forget between seasons how much I enjoy it.  I wasn't really that motivated to start season 4, but I've been loving every minute since I finally started.

The Duffer Brothers are really quite extraordinary story tellers and directors, especially how they weave together so many stories, so many characters and so many locations, themes and moments.  As with previous seasons, the enjoyment comes in part with how the writers and creators will eventually bring them all together in the final episodes of the series.

With Johnny Depp in Sweeney Todd

The cast is stellar as always, and my favorites continue to be Gaten Matarazzo and Joe Keery.  I love the characters together and their relationship always provides some comedy throughout the horror and drama.  Sadie Sink is also a stand out this season, and enjoyed her character more than I did in previous seasons.

The male cast is looking better than ever and Joe Keery gets an extended shirtless scene, swimming, fighting and just looking hot and sweaty as he battles many demons.  There are also some great new additions I may feature later and it's also nice to have Dacre Montgomery back, if only briefly. 

I think my favorite new addition is model turned actor Jamie Campbell Bower who plays, among others, the friendly orderly.   I won't spoil it if you're behind like I was, but the mysterious orderly has more on his mind than just keeping an eye on Dr. Brenner's charges.  Check out more of Jamie, and his rear nude scenes in a few historical dramas on the NEXT PAGE HERE:

Masterful Magic: Atlas Kolbjörn by Shax Carter

'I have nicknamed Shax Merlin because he must be a wizard to make me look as good as he does.'

There is definitely a bit of magic in photography, and a bit of Merlin in all great photographers.  Sure, skill is certainly required, but it also takes a slight of hand to summon rays of light to cascade so beautifully over the human body.  Striking images of the male form combine both reality with illusion, they blend what is present and visible, with all that an inventive imagination can conjure up and create.

Thanks to a suggestion from Unlimited Male, I was first introduced to the work of photographer and filmmaker Shax Carter last summer.  I first featured Shax's imagery last September spotlighting his creative collaborations with model Jason. (HERE:)    Shax shared that when he meets a model that inspires him, and that he enjoys working with, he likes to make them the focus of his work over a period of time.

Shax's work with Jason included several shoots that spanned the course of a year.  I really loved seeing seeing the changes in both the work, and Jason's look, throughout the three shoots that I featured on the site.  Shortly after posting his work with Jason, I noticed images from his work with model Atlas Kolbjörn on Instagram.  20 year old Atlas has a great look I was immediately drawn to.  He bends his youthful good looks with a mature confidence that brings a unique energy to each images that Shax so beautifully captures.

I didn't want to get ahead of myself, however so decided to wait until I finished the series featuring Jason before bugging Shax about featuring Atlas.  This proved beneficial as like his work with Jason, Shax and Atlas were in the middle of a series of shoots.  Starting last spring, they have worked together  three times, the most recent, a winter shoot completed at the end of December.  As eager as I am to feature the most recent shoot, I wanted to start at the beginning, with the images from their first two shoots together.

Shax and Atlas connected on-line, and were both eager to work together.  New to modeling, Atlas was looking forward to building his portfolio and focusing on the working great photographers to focus on the professional side of the modeling industry.  After checking out Shax's portfolio, he was anxious to get together and see what they might create together.

'The first thing that struck me about Shax's work was how clear the images were.  Since I'd never done modeling before. I have since nicknamed Shax Merlin because he must be a wizard to make me look as good as he does.'

For Shax, the goal of the first shoot was predominantly a chance to meet, get to know each other and to gauge Atlas's level of comfortability.  Shax describes Atlas as initially very polite, yet at the same time, he could tell he was looking forward to the shoot and to capturing some great shots.  They initially started off with portraits and worked through various poses with different pieces of wardrobe.  As they continued to shoot, a creative rapport quickly developed. 

'I'm pretty positive that this was Atlas's first shoot ever, and we worked our way into shooting a few nudes, after first doing portraits, different wardrobes and underwear shots. He was comfortable with everything from the beginning, there was no awkwardness. As we progressed, he was comfortable just sitting around and relaxing while I changed lenses/lighting. '

'Shax was super fun to work with because we would feed off of each other's ideas. He would give a suggestion and I would build on it until each shot was masterful.'

This series of images are all from their first shoot together.  Shax brought several wardrobe options to the shoot and asked Atlas to bring along some of his favorite pieces as well.  Even though his was his first official photo shoot, Atlas exudes a confidence and natural sensuality in front of Shax' lens and I especially love so many of the creative poses they were able to capture.  If you want to see the results of their second shoot together, check out more on the NEXT PAGE HERE:

Atlas Kolbjörn on Instagram \ Twitter
Check out Atlas' new website HERE: