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Sunday, May 16, 2021

Lighting can be everything


When I first saw this Russ Warner photo of Mr. McCune, I thought, "Oh no, this is one of those that somehow darkened over time."  Then I slowed myself down and took a good long look, finally 
coming to the conclusion that not only was it meant to be this way, but it's quite beautiful.
FWIW, Warner appears to have been the only photographer to get Bob to pose frontally nude.
Perhaps the fact that both were competitive bodybuilders had something to do with it.

 

8 comments:

  1. The oil job helps make this a gem. I know you do not go for oil, but this is exceptional. I think you mentioned somewhere that Warner often stripped at his photo shoots. Do you think he might have done this shoot stripped naked to put McCune more at ease posing naked?

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    1. I'm not irrevocably against all use of oil. It has its place. Although I have posted at least one nude selfie that Warner made with a timer, I don't recall seeing stories of him working nude with models. I'm not saying that it couldn't have happened, though. I just didn't know about it.

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    2. I know I read that somewhere. Sorry, I was thinking it was you.

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  2. I think photographers in the past paid far more attention to lighting and the use of tone shadows as a result of the absence of colour. This was studied to great effect by the film studios of the silver screen era - I read with great interest that to get the right tone of grey, the forecourt of what was used as the lamasery in the valley of Shangri-La in Lost Horizon (1937) was painted pink. That is possibly why there is a discernible hint of Hollywood glamour to Russ Warner's photo above.

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    1. I pick up the Hollywood element, too, along with a hint of George Platt Lynes, who photographed movie and stage stars. Of course, it is extremely unlikely that Warner ever saw any of Lynes' male nudes, but there might be a crossing of influences there somehow.

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  3. An amazing image. Half way to sculpture. The heavy oiling and darkness is magnificent.

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    1. Right, and I had to take another, slower look to appreciate it.

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    2. I could look at this for hours...so inspiring..

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