A Photograph is Judged

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This topic contains 2 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  tfandrew 10 months ago.

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    A couple of weeks ago, my wife and I attended the annual meeting of the Guild of Photographers, a UK association of, mostly professional, photographers. My wife is a member. The Guild runs a monthly photography competition and the chief judge of that competition offered, as part of the meeting, to comment on photographs members brought him. My wife booked a session with the judge. She saw it as an opportunity to experiment – to test the judges’ likely reactions to certain pictures without risking them in the actual competitions. She included this picture, complete with our “Fantasy Dabblers” copyright mark.


    This picture of Ariel and Tillie was taken in the Restrained Elegance dungeon in March this year. It was part of a fantasy story of sorceress Ariel enchanting and capturing poor Tillie. It was also a chance for me to light and dress the dungeon in a different way.

    Based on what she had seen of competition entries, my wife thought glamour was as “alternative” as the was likely to be acceptable. She was ready for negative comment on the content of this picture. The judge’s actual comments were –
    1. You’re supposed to be being tough on the captive. You shouldn’t allow her anything to lie on; and
    2. You’re being tough on her: you shouldn’t allow her clothes.

    Regular members of the site will know Hywel, too, gives his dungeon captives something to lie on. It appears that an important UK photographers group may think that unrealistically kind. It may be. But I think it is also a reminder that what we are really watching on RE is fantasy fun.

    I’ve put this post in the “General” forum because it is mostly about the attitude of a mainstream photography organisation to fetish and bondage photography and how close I think a lot of RE material is to the mainstream. But my wife hopes everyone enjoys the picture too, and your comments are welcome. Photographically, my wife has made some changes to this version from the one the judge saw.




    This sounds to me like a specific example of a more-general phenomena: People who are only marginally familiar with a given genre will have inaccurate or outdated ideas about the genre’s conventions and stereotypes. Or they’ll confuse closely related genres with each other and lump subgenres together.

    So someone with only a vague understanding of “Mystery fiction” might wonder why Miss Marple doesn’t down shots of cheap whiskey like Sam Spade, or why Sam Spade doesn’t smoke a pipe like Sherlock Holmes. Or someone with only a vague understanding of comic books and cartoons might be shocked by not-for-children things like Omaha the Cat Dancer or Japanese hentai anime.

    Or someone with only a vague understanding of bondage & fetish photography might expect the captives to suffer more nudity and less cushioning than they actually do.

    • This reply was modified 1 year ago by  Sablesword.


    Thank you, Sablesword. You make a good point. I think my wife and I were mostly amazed this judge didn’t just turn horrified at the thought of bondage but you take it to the next stage. Thank you.

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