Saturday, April 03, 2010

Iconic Photo

Remember this photo? It was taken in 1976 and was named "Tennis Girl".

I certainly remember it. I first saw it when I went to babysit a young girl who lived not far from us. I was only sixteen. The poster was in the kitchen. I just recall thinking what a nice bottom that girl had.

The photographer, Martin Elliot, passed away recently after a long battle with cancer.

The girl in the photo was called Fiona Butler who is now married with children. At the time she was his girlfriend.

I love this photo.

I love the casual pose the girl has. The natural light falling around her and the shadows that light throws behind her.

The way her right knee bends. The way she holds her tennis racquet. And the way she casually has her dress raised give us a glimpse of her wonderful behind.

It is natural. Not airbrushed. Not overtly sexual but has an air of sweet sensuality about it.

It's gorgeous, unstaged and still fresh.

It has a visual depth to it that you just cannot get with digital photography. A rawness that never, ever shows itself anymore in photos. Every photo now is so slick, professional and posed that it lacks truth. Because we all know what the world really looks like don't we? The dry earth, the green grass and the paint peeling on a timber fence.

We know all the imperfections in our visual space and these days the digital photography seems to dress it all up and make it look not as real. I often do not know what is true anymore when I see an "amazing" digital photo.

These days, iconic is a sought after status but we all know that iconic is random and it takes a generation to achieve it.

So, thanks Martin Elliot for this lovely iconic photo.

And thanks to Fiona Butler for being part of it.

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