A THOUSAND WORDS - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward's blog on pictures, plants, politics and whatever else is on his mind.


Rebecca In Red - Revisited
Saturday, December 19, 2009

If there is anything that I have been doing with some sort of continuity this almsot past year, it is my informal study on how people look at images now that the internet is such a big player.

I don’t think that much hullaballoo would result now if Vanity Fair were to put a nude pregnant actress, body painted) in a handbra pose on its cover.

Demi Moore’s picture by Annie Leibovitz in August 1991 happened in a digitally unawakened era. Vanity Fair would have to up the ante by placing Elin Nordgren in a similar pose but with the banner, “Tiger is not ever going to hold this baby in his arms.”

My photograph of Rebecca which I took sometime in August 1995 caused a bit of stir when I had it up at one-person show at a gallery at the end of that year. The very large giclée (a well made inkjet print on very good artist's paper) was purchased by local photography collector and philanthropist Yosef Wosk. People kept asking me, “Why would anybody want to buy a large photograph of your granddaughter?” My answer was the one given to me by Wosk himself which I remember as, “Alex I was unsettled by your granddaughter’s mystical expression.”

As I look at it now I can see that if I posted it here and mentioned I took it yesterday I could be accused of some sort sexually unethical behaviour on my part. The internet was not as prevalent in 2005 as it is now and the web youth and child exploitation police were in their infancy. They would perhaps object to two little flowered straps on her shoulders. They would object to the not neutral red tinting.

Yesterday I took 20 eposures of Rebecca sitting at the chair by my computer. She objected and put a condition, “I will pose if you will play Risk with me.” I hate playing board games but I thought that my “sacrifice” was worth it if I got Rebecca’s cooperation.

The picture you see here (at the very top) is the Fuji, b+w instant print that I took before I resorted to “real film” (as Rebecca calls film!). I scanned today Sunday and as I studied it (and particularly when I tinted it red) I realized I had a close facsimile of my iconic portrait of 2005. But I did it one better. This version (my mouth salivates as to what must be in the can or as latent images in that roll of 220 Kodak Plus-X) does not have the straps and is much tighter. By cropping in I have eliminated part of Rebecca’s beautiful charm which is her glorious hair. This picture is a safe version of the one from 2005 and will not cause stir with anybody I know. She now looks more ageless than ever before. Is she 6, 10, 12, 20 or even older?

Oh how photography can lie while it reveals!


Previous Posts
Twitterizing Time

Between Child & Woman

Were We Made For This?

A Photographic Relationship

Seduced By Rosemary - A Hilarious Consequence

Bauman Rare Books & The Old Man And The Sea

My Scary Girls Weren't Scared

Seriously Serious Children

Agave attenuata, Lauren Stewart & Emily

Agave attenuata - Bloedel Conservatory

January 2006

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