Photography and Text by Jessica Moh, Copyright 2017
This project’s theme was erotica. If we were to state the dictionary definition of erotica, it would be, the literature or art intended to arouse sexual desire. To me, the first connotation of “erotica” that I think of is somewhat negative. However, I wanted to use this project to portray the other alternative side to the word “erotica”.
I chose to use a high ISO and to present my pictures in black and white. I drew heavily from Professor Ward’s work and as he said in lecture how he only uses color photography if he was trying to showcase the color, which in my project, was not the focal point. To me, black and white photography evokes a sense of mystery and because there is no color, it adds to the uncertainty of the photograph. I used natural lighting because I wanted the model to have a unrefined glow on their skin and to add to the soft impression the photos produce. In the editing process, I decided to add more noise to the images because I wanted an “old-school film” feeling and again, the grain helped soften the image.
Compositionally, I chose to really focus on the details of the model and to highlight the little things that build the eroticism of a person. For example, lips or hands, could be seen as erotic and intriguing to one person, but another person may be drawn to a person’s religious beliefs or talents. My interpretation of eroticism is what makes a person interesting and intriguing, for instance having the talent of playing the violin, not so much the physical attributes. I kept the focus very specific in every photo and did not want to reveal the identity of the model. This project was drawn on a lot of personal interpretations and I think that it really pushed me to experiment with a different form of photography and to test different ways of editing my photos.
About The Author: Jessica Moh is a sophomore enrolled in the College of the University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2020. To access additional articles by Jessica Moh, click here: https://tonywardstudio.com/blog/jessica-moh-simple-combinations/