Jeff Palmer is a recognized leading photographer of the male nude and in this recently released paperback version of his earlier book of the same name the evidence for that reputation is clear. Palmer understands the volume, the mass, the surface, and the ethos of the muscular male.
Presented completely in rich duotones, every page (with the fine exception of some double paged layouts) features muscular men at times fully nude, at times with portions of clothing or drape, at times alone and at other times coupled with another model. The beauty of these images is not simply the beauty of the models (though that is ample), but in the moments of captured rapture, idylls of repose, and passion both active and passive. His use of light and light patterns highlight some of the models' skin: in one he creates striped bands of light and shadow while the model on the opposite page lies languid in a pool with plumeria blossoms, and in others he uses the magic of water spraying on the tanned forms to contrast liquid with solid.
With today's increasingly sophisticated audience willing to forego some phobic prejudices, this beautiful little volume should find a receptive readership. Highly recommended. Grady Harp, November 05