Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Picture perfect

What makes the perfect spanking picture? Difficult to say, isn't it? Everybody's equation of perfection would be different, I'm sure.
In my real world job I get to work quite a bit with photographers, so I take an interest in what is - and isn't - a good image in an editorial context. A friend sent me an online lecture by the photo director for National Geographic, who's called David Griffin.
I've just been watching it - it's worth a look if you're interested. He's got an interesting insight. And he uses funny examples, which helps make the point.
Everyone has a great photo in them, he says. But a great photographer has to have great photos to deliver time and again. 
What Griffin says is that although we're bombarded every day with moving images, the still image still has the power to make a connection at an emotional level - if it's really exceptional. It's like the mental image you have after a car crash, that frozen flashbulb moment that encapsulates all the emotional power of the experience.Anyway, it got me thinking about how there's now a deluge of spanko images coming at us where once there was so little. Old Janus and Februs images are remembered like old friends, now nothing much stands out. 
For me David Griffin's flashbulb moment seems to apply to what I see in the spankosphere to some degree. Stills register, video mostly doesn't and it's the still images where I can find my way into the emotion - the ones where I'm sitting in that car that's heading for a collision.I like this picture because I feel like I'm sharing her apprehension, like its me that's going to feel that nasty big paddle. It makes me want to ask questions like what was it that she did that was so very bad?
But there's not so much good stuff around, is there? Maybe that's why I'm so much in love with spanko art. With so many photos out there it's harder and harder for something to leap out at you, but a great piece of art - a Stanton, a Malteste, a Jim Black or whatever - nearly always makes the connection.


  1. I enjoy the people and action is some videos, but I wish more production effort went into photos. A video is usually like being trapped in time. A good still is the start of a story I want to finish. I love good drawings. I think fantasy for me may be the best reality.

  2. I agree with you OFG, one can view a video 2 or 3 times and the same scene just becomes more fixed in you mind, and then nothing changes. But a picture like the first one above can conjure up all sorts of scenarios, and can be appreciated time and time again. Like you I remember pictures from Janus and Blushes magazines that left a very lasting impression on me.


  3. Sorry, that first picture is just breath taking.


  4. It has to be said that the images from Janus etc did have the advantage of pre-internet rarity value. There just wasn't as much competition.