Do You Remember Coercion?

Brooke’s Portrait 27

I’ve harped now and again about the crime of coercion, as it relates especially to thick-necked cops or private security dunderheads who threaten to have you arrested if you don’t stop photographing or delete photos you’ve already taken.

Well, it came up in an interesting form, where a Connecticut state trooper is seeking to have a judge charged with coercion for refusing to sign an arrest warrant unless the trooper presents a second warrant for signing, too.  Interesting twist.


Synergy Department

The wisdom and experience is commonplace that artists and models, if both are even the slightest bit competent, will sometimes achieve a synergy that yields special stuff.  It’s the “muse” syndrome.  That’s what it has been for me with model Edith the past few weeks.  Each session yields a richer trove of extraordinary images, and I’m pushed to envision each subsequent session with greater imagination and greater investment.

In our just-concluded fourth session, we had spoken of doing a set in “white face.”  Not    the racially degrading minstrel show-type white face, but rather mime-style white face, “applied” over Edith’s entire body.  When a model like Edith is given a challenge like this, with minimal direction, she runs with it in imaginative directions.  One thing we discussed, for example, was that she would draw her fingers across her face, wiping away the white and disclosing the flesh beneath.  So this is an image from that set:

Edith in White Face


President is Above the Law Department

ACLU commentary on the advocacy by Presidential aides between 2001 and 2004, including legal memos, that justify the U.S. President disregarding protections of civil rights built into laws setting up various surveillance regimes.  Interesting to read, and even more interesting to “read” the heavily redacted original memoranda.


She has such a beautiful back.

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4 Responses to Do You Remember Coercion?

  1. Lin says:

    Wow, what a stunning image of Edith! Seriously good work – congrats to you both :-)

  2. Ron compton says:

    That white Edith image is wonderful. I have tried it, but the body paint I have tried does not go on nearly that smoothly. Would you share your secret?


    • Stephen says:

      I cheat. The effect is 100% digital. Getting there is somewhat complex, but involves reducing saturation and increasing luminosity in the red, orange and yellow channels in Camera Raw; apply Surface Blur filter to the converted raw image to smooth the skin tones; creating a mask for the body and hair; increasing Lightness of body in a Hue/Saturation layer; and applying a white Fill Layer to the body, at reduced opacity. The makeup is also digital, as is the underlying skin color showing through. Masks have been adjusted to let the hair, eyebrows and eyelashes stay dark. A key is to NOT desaturate 100% at any point, letting a hint of skin color show through. Considerable work for each image, but pretty striking in the end, I think.

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