Pros: Easy relaxing experience. Natural poses and live-like emotions on the faces.
Cons: I know at least ten more people who could have done the same.
I like photography a lot and I really miss the fact that I will never be a great photographer. In fact I will not even be a decent nude photographer. I just do not have time, equipment, gut and, probably, I just dont feel it. Live photography of people, faces and nude is the most difficult and it takes a lot of efforts to make good shots consistently.
In spite of the fact that I cant do such things myself (I need time to write reviews at the end of the day!), I still like good pictures, nude in particular. This is just a second nude photographhy book I decided to actually buy and I did not have a chance to look in it before I got it. The first was "Graphis Nudes" a collection of artistic nudes photos.
This one, as it follows from the title, is a collection of photos by Petter Hegre, a well-known nude photographer.
The First Question
Obviously I wanted to know who is that girl on the cover? Who did not? Her name is Marketa Belonoha, born in Czech Republic in 1982, she is now, allegedly, the highest-paid nude model in Eastern Europe and is supposed to be called Ing. Marketa Belonoha after receiving her degree in Informatics Management (I did not know that such thing exists at all, still it is a great achievement for nude model). Anyway, good that she already thought about what to do after she turns 28. Too bad there are so few like her in real life
Now when we answered the most bothering question, we can finish I meant go back to the book.
What will you see?
The book itself is a collection of young women (girls) photos, as you might have already guessed. There are 192 pages and size is 28X22cm vs 32X27cm for a large format "Graphis Nudes" (11X8.6 inches vs 13.6X10.6 inches), a bit small for portraits. Pictures are arranged in mini-chapters for each girl listed alphabetically (they got names? Wow!). The idea, as I understood it, is to show womans beauty in a casual settings: most pictures are made inside apartments or other types of rooms. The models behave themselves naturally and it does look very realistic. There is a very strong Eastern European theme there and, I bet, more than 50% of the models are of Slavic origin. If you want to make a free quick peek into the book check out http://www.hegre-art.com/books/100nakedgirls_4.html This is probably due to the fact that Petter is married to a Ukranian nude model and they run this business together. Somehow I dont feel good about these nude marriages, but thats none of my business.
What you wont see?
There is something that strikes you all the way through the book. As you might have already guessed, there are 100 naked women there, all of them are in supposed to be natural poses and with natural face emotions, but man, there is something very different about them and those women you see walking on the street. In Petters eyes beauty is just a visual perception, not an intrinsic quality, not something most of us understand it is. We love people for what they are, for their inner self, for something more than a model-type look. I think that if you claim natural emotions and looks, you should also keep in mind that most of the "natural" women are not models, they do not necessarily have large shaped breast and they do not necessarily have nice soft skin and no single gram of extra weight. I really think that this book would be a lot better if it reflected reality of life, not just its visual extremes; I would have never gotten to a 100 men book given his criteria, but some still find me a nice person :-) Coming back to "Graphis Nudes", it has quite a few overweight women and men, but these are great pictures and are some of the best there!
What should you look somewhere else?
Quite honestly, I cannot call Petter a great photographer, he is a good nu photographer, he shows a whole range of different poses, tries to invent something new, tries to get his model to show some lively mimic, but I refuse to call him a revolutionary photography or even distinguish any unique style. He made so many pictures that you cant call that "art" anymore, just a job. At any rate, it is my own opinion and I understand that many people look for exactly that kind of lively images and not the glamour Paris Hilton type pictures we see every time in US Weekly.
Basically, if you look for a real art photo try "Graphis Nudes", its a really great collection of pictures which are technically demanding and very unique.
Who Is Mister Putin?
For those who are sill guessing who is Petter, here is a short BIO:
Petter, as you could guess from his name, is Norwegian, born in 1969. His best achievement (accordingly to Wiki) is 2001 annual Erotic Prize award Basically there are at least six more people getting this award since then and I could not find any of them but Petter not even awards website.
Again, I am not saying he is a bad photographer, I am just saying that he is not great and there are plenty of people with less known names who do exactly the same job, or even better and certainly more original.
So, Should I Buy The Book?
Well, certainly! If you click on the link on this page, you will make me some cash for writing this review! More seriously, I would recommend this book to those who really like life-like portraits, models in natural environments or just want to look at something different from glamour and overly technical photography of todays digital world. This is a relaxing experience and a book worth having on your shelf to attract peoples attention while you are busy with your car and they wait for you in the living room. At any rate $26 is nothing for this book.