Ah, beauty… let’s be superficial for a moment.

Last Sunday morning I picked up a lovely young woman from the train station. Beautiful, in my opinion, kind, and very well willing to take her clothes off as soon as we get home after I introduced her to my wife.

– Excuse me? What’s that? No madam, this is the right blog…

People who know me a bit better know that we also own a photo studio, and like to shoot all kinds of photography; from stock, to corporate sites and presentation shoots and all kinds of model shoots, also including lingerie, nudity and erotica. We are Dutch, and believe me, in the Netherlands that is not such a big deal as it can be in certain parts of America.

Photography is a passion of ours, and we are lucky enough to actually earn some money with it too. Like IT and media, it is another thing that I really am passionate about. You can check out more, by the way, about our studio to simply Google on ‘Cantanopy Photography’ or surf to http://www.cantanopy.com. Nice plug there, heh?

Anyway. We work a lot with models, sometimes for shoots that create their portfolio’s to get into the modeling world, sometimes for family portraits, or – like next week – to work with politicians and lawyers for their business, and sometimes for some esthetically nudes or erotica. It is fun, especially to see the results.

I love the results of photography. Not only are they practically instantaneous, without long developing times and prototyping, but you immediately see if something works out as you have it in your mind.

I actually had a long email discussion with a partner photographer from Wisconsin, about when a staged photo would be good. In my opinion it is if the photo achieves the effect that you are looking for. For a press photo that might be the shock-value, for erotica it is if you can get someone in the mood too, for portraits it is to capture the person’s personality in a single photo. No matter what it is, it requires staging. A photo, is not the same as real life. Especially when it is un-staged. A press photo shows a snapshot, but also only one view. If you see a dirty little kid holding a broken toy, with as a backdrop a building in rumbles, it might sound like a war aftermath. But you should always question the photographer; maybe it was taken on a square in Venice, Italy, where they were at a stage in renovating a building and first had to tear it down, and this kid was literally a kid dirty of playing around in the rubbish there and accidentally broke his toy because of that.

I am not trying to disprove photography here, I only try to show that a photo might be achieving a certain effect through smart staging. As it is with photography. I can let you in on the secret that erotic photography is not an erotic experience on set. It is all staged. It is work, a business. The posing is a job, the nudity has no erotic effect, it is a tool, the model is a prop. She happens to be naked, she is directed in a certain pose, and the photo is taken. On to the next shot. But the result might be one of the most arousing things you have ever seen.

So, although the taking of a photo happens with a push on the button, it requires a lot more work to get to that point when you deal with staging. It is not so hard to understand that.

It is the same with an IT project, and I think any kind of project. It is the result that counts. If it is a game, that it is enjoyed. If it is an application, that is a tool to help people to be more productive, if it is a database, that it stores, orders and maintains data and so on.

If the results are good, the way to get to those results are not so important. If a game is extremely enjoyable, player might overlook bugs and problems. A movie which story is so good, might have bad special effects without having any negative effect.

So, the quality of the result and effect absolutely has priority over the quality of the production itself. One of the best games I remember from being younger was Strike Commander by Origin, seen as one of the best game producers from it’s time. It was no surprise that the coding of it was so extremely bad, amateuristic at times, and a programmer’s nightmare. Still, the result was excellent.

I hear a lot, at work, about how things should be built better. One programmer wants open source, the other one wants another way of organizing and writing code. The CEO wants things to be on time and within budget.

For me? I want a production to do what it should do, within time and done good enough that we can easily re-write code or replace code and add in code to maintain it and stable enough that it will stand strong.

As it is with taking a photo. If I look at a photo that I have taken, with all the posing, propping, lighting, post-production and I am happy about it, and people comment on it. I am a happy guy, and I don’t mind at all our studio is small, not dealing with the top-of-the-line million dollar equipment. As Earl Miller once stated; most of his published photos in the ’90s were actually shot with a Samsung compact 36mm camera, without any special kind of lighting or filters.



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