Not sure whether to categorise this as a beauty test or a fashion test. Makeup: Mutsumi Shibihara, Hair: Gigi Hammond
London-Based Fashion, Beauty and Advertising Photographer Hugh O'Malley
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Although he was something of an evil despot, suppressing his people relentlessly, I also found him rather comical.
Here’s some pictures of Kim Jong Il looking at things to remind you of what a clown he was:
The legend has it that he died while travelling by train. Oh ‘Dear Leader’, you will not be missed.leave a comment
Just in case any of you think I’ve unfriended you anwyhere, I thought I’d let you know that I’ve removed my profiles from Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus as I felt I was wasting time on them and I find some of their practices abhorrent. In particular facebook’s attempts to become the second internet which involves knowing even more about you including your music tastes and where you happen to be in geographical space at any moment in time. Not to mention facial character recognition. Just a bit too creepy for me, thanks, especially when it’s all in the name of selling advertising.
I also dislike the way twitter forces people to think in soundbites. While I admire attempts to be concise and clear in thinking, I have the feeling that complex thoughts are not well expressed in 140(?) characters and encouraging people to think like this is a definite dumbing down of our culture.
This desire to disconnect from these services occurred after a recent trip to China where most social networking services – facebook, twitter, even youtube are blocked by the Chinese government. While I don’t condone censorship in any form, I came to realise how little I need these services and how much time I waste on them. Shortly after my return, I stared reading ‘Jaron Lanier – You are not a Gadget A Manifesto’ which seemed to reinforce my decision:
“Online culture is filled to the brim with rhetoric about what the true path to a better world ought to be, and these days it‟s strongly biased toward an antihuman way of thinking.”
I may start a facebook page in the future for my Photography but I no longer want to have a public profile.leave a comment
Fashion Photography is dead, long live Fashion Photography.
[This article appeared in Labb Magazine volume II, August '10]
I got a call from a production team recently asking me if I wanted to go on TV to discuss retouching. It was when that Twiggy campaign came out and everyone was banging on about how ‘ohmigod, she doesn’t look like that in real life’. I knew the topic was a real hot potato and being the evil photographer I am that fritters away my days with nubile young lovelies, eating the drugs and generally having a rather swish lifestyle living in the glamorous fashion world, (daaahlinks!!!) I knew that I was the designated whipping boy du jour and politely declined this golden opportunity to get my fingers well and truly burned and make a fool of myself on national television (again). If they’d seen me in the frozen foods aisle in Iceland (perhaps it’s all one big frozen food aisle in Iceland) trying to figure out which fish pie is cheaper per 100gm yet simultaneously least likely to give me cancer, they might not have been so quick to put yours truly on ye olde speed dial. It’s not all glamour chez moi a Hackney, innit?
Later, in a bout of Esprit d’escalier I wished I’d gone on and ranted about ‘you can’t handle the truth’ or about how tv presenters lie when they wear make up and what the hell is reality anyway since cubism and post-modernism and Lacanian fragmented mirroring and … Anyway, I digress, my point is that I saw the big gaping hole they were digging for me.
Earlier this year I met twiggy at the Burberry show and she seems like a perfectly lovely woman but young is not a word you might casually use to describe her so if someone lightened a few ‘laughter lines’ would you blame them? Hey, I didn’t hear any complaints from the ol’ Twigster. Did you?
Have these people just discovered retouching? Are these the people who still haven’t gotten over the myriad betrayals of Santa, the Tooth Fairy, the Easter bunny, weapons of mass destruction and ‘I won’t come in your mouth, I promise’ and want revenge? The Pixies have a line in (song?) ‘La vida total es una porceria, porceria’ which roughly translates as ‘all life is a shitty con job’. Now I find that sentiment a little pessimistic but nonetheless I can empathise. The media in genera can play hard and fast with the truth when it suits their ends but then again, let’s face it, fashion photography was never about reality and we know we’re not in Kansas any more, thanks very much, you bolshie French complainers who want a Parental Advice: Explicit Retouching label on every advertisement. Let them eat cake.
Ok some careless dickhead made that Ralph Lauren model’s hips narrower than her head. Go crucify Tony Blair, instead please. He still hasn’t got his comeuppance for having that sexed up dossier guy assassinated. Go get him and leave Karl Lagerfeld alone! The man has enough pain in his life already!
Nevertheless, I appreciate how some of that stuff could understandably mess with a teen girl’s dietary habits but I blame the parents for not educating their runts about. Me, I get enough reality on my doorstep. perhaps when I am wealthy enough to knock together two town houses in chelsea and call it my studio like that famous singer from the 80′s who shall remain nameless. Ok you twisted my arm, it’s Bryan Adams.
Digital technology has moved fashion photography back solidly into the realm where it belongs, into the world of fantasy, the world of illusion, the world of, dare I say it: the world of Art, and simultaneously unchained us from the ties of long delays between capture and realisation and allowed us the instant gratification that we all want and need.
Take an image by Javier Vallhonrat and I think you are as rewarded by the lushness of the vision, as impressed by the perfection of the execution, and seduced by the rhetoric of the psychological dramas unfolding in a painting as you would be by the pre-Raphaelite’s work. Go spend an afternoon in the Tate and track down their work and you won’t think that our ancestors were all square dullards tightly bound and primly tucked. The rich sensuality and lucid yet dream – like quality of the work was a revelation to me.
Fashion photography too can be a vision of perfection, an ideal world we know we will never live in. Ok I may never have a whole suite of Louis Vuitton luggage, or loll about with writhing hot models in some curiously run down yet simultaneously chic location, or spend a boozy weekend with Abramovich and Dasha on a Yohji Yamamoto themed yacht replete with anti paparazzi death rays and multiple helipads (just in case, ok?). I accept your unattainability and raise you some. The genre has been variously proclaimed as dead, dying or on its knees for years now with many proclaiming that they had exhausted the limitations of the genre and moved on to moving image or to other artistic pastures.
The massive growth of the internets and all those lolcats saw quite a number of publications taking early retirement as advertising budgets plummeted and not only that, those tiny fiddly lil’ banner ads don’t need much in the way of photography. For a while, work became thinner on the ground for photographers but as Warren Buffet said: ‘it’s only when the tide goes out, that you find out who’s swimming naked.’
A long time ago Mr Magritte told us: ‘Ceci n’est pas un pipe.’ More recently, David Lynch had his protagonists warn us in Mulholland Drive – ‘No ay Banda’ and De La Soul told us that ‘this is a recording.’ I think the point is that it’s not reality, it’s an ideal vision, Not a philosophy, more a divertissement. not the road but an often beautifully illustrated map.
Copyright Hugh O’Malley 2010leave a comment
I took these at Liverpool street. Been interested in camera shake/blur and wanted to try it outside of the studio. Intrigued by the results and want to experiment a little more.
1/2s exposure, f9.0 @ 100isoleave a comment
The Burj Khalifa is currently the tallest building in the world. It was originally going to be called the Burj Dubai but the emir of Abu Dhabi bailed out Dubai financially and he got the honour. Dubai has hardly any oil left hence the effort to build it up as a tourist destination. Abu Dhabi has lots of oil.leave a comment
a very sweet blog post about my work by Ekaete Inyang who works for Sketchbook Magazine: My Irish Love. Thanks Ekaete, Much appreciated!leave a comment
Have just added google follow widget. Please follow the blog by adding yourself at the right sidebar. Thanks, Hughleave a comment
I was away in Dubai and India for 2 months – December and January and a little bit of feb. I’m not crazy about winter and London goes completely dead for the last 2 weeks in Dec and the first 2 of Jan. so I sublet my studio and took off with my girlfriend to sunnier climes.leave a comment
This got me excited.
I had been moaning previously about Nikon’s low pixel count here. I think they heard my gripes and have answered them.
Now the £5k price tag is a little out of my budget but what always happens with these big releases is that they release a prosumer model a few months down the road. Don’t believe me – you can check out the likelihood yourself on this chart on DPreview.
Excited as I was about the idea of purchasing the Canon 5ds Mkii, I think i’ll hold off a few months and see what the future holds.
I’m heading off to India next week for about 2 months. I’ll post a few shots here when i get back. In the meantime it might be a little quiet…leave a comment
it’s always such a thorny loaded debate and one i’ve been struggling over recently. I’ve always had Nikon kit but recently i’ve been intrigued by the Canon 5ds Mark ii. A beautiful full frame camera that also shoots video at a pretty high quality.
This is the video that intrigued me – Reverie – by Vincent LaForet. Ok the actual mood is a little bit cheesy but the quality blew me away. The shot of the city at night in the helicopter… the reflection in the guys’ mirrored shades while he’s in the helicopter. And that’s from an SLR.
I know Nikon have produced something similar with the Nikon D700 but the quality isn’t as high and the megapixel count is so much lower.
I never worried about pixel count too much until a jewellery client told me, half way through the shoot, that he wanted to use one of the shots on a billboard. I made a tiny little *gulp* and wondered if my D200 could handle that kind of magnification. Not something i would have even thought about if I had been on the 5d Mark ii. But hey, it’s not even out yet. Let’s see what happens when it hits the market.leave a comment
if anyone could provide me with an invite to FFFFound i would be forever grateful…
Hughleave a comment
I’ve just signed the lease on a new studio in Hackney and have started to move my equipment and pieces in . I already have a few clients lined up including shots for a personal trainer, a jewellery client and a hair and beauty client. Itching to get back to shooting as it’s been a few weeks of down time with holidays and all.leave a comment
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