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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Robust, Beautiful Unadorned Bodies Form the Base of Fantasy!
This book contains many nude photographs done in ways that would cause the book to receive an R rating if it were a motion picture.
Boris Vallejo is well known for his fantasy illustrations of strong men and women. To create those illustrations, he often creates photographs of his models rather than having them pose for extended periods of time. This book contains...
Published on 28 July 2004 by Donald Mitchell

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not like his paintings
Being a fan of Vallejo's fantasy art, I wanted to have a taste of his photographic images. He paints by using photos of the models, so I thought it would provide an interesting comparison. Unfortunately, I found this book rather boring and unimaginative. First off, I dislike photobooks with absolutely no text (apart from a couple of pages of introduction). Would it harm...
Published on 11 Sept. 2001 by Kostas


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Robust, Beautiful Unadorned Bodies Form the Base of Fantasy!, 28 July 2004
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Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 127,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
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This book contains many nude photographs done in ways that would cause the book to receive an R rating if it were a motion picture.
Boris Vallejo is well known for his fantasy illustrations of strong men and women. To create those illustrations, he often creates photographs of his models rather than having them pose for extended periods of time. This book contains many images that he has used for that purpose. For long-time Vallejo fans, part of the interest in this book will be seeing the models he was using. This allows you to see more clearly what Vallejo adds through selecting the models, posing them, and employing his illustration style.
Since these images were created as intermediary subjects, they do not have the usual focus on composition, lighting, or personality. As such, these vibrant people often come across like partially decayed statues done in marble by a long-deceased Roman or Greek sculptor.
The most interesting part of the photographs themselves is that they reveal aspects of the human form that you have probably not seen before. Most of the models are female bodybuilders (including Mr. Vallejo's wife and sister). Most of us have an image of what bodybuilders look like in a competition. These photographs are less extreme, taken when a model is usually not "pumped up" to competition shape and with less extreme poses. Because there is little use of filters (and no retouching that I noticed), these people reveal their warts and scars as well as their muscles. I found the contrasts to be fascinating. Rather than making the images less attractive, the contrast for me made the most beautiful sections of the model's body even more idealized. In many cases, it's a jaw line, or a neck, or part of the curve of the shoulder that draws your attention. But by being in very good shape, there's a lot of muscle that creates slightly exaggerated curves in many places against taut skin that makes for very appealing shapes.
In some situations, the models pose with all kinds of fantasy gear, including weapons. This actually enhances the contrasts in favor of seeing the person has more powerful -- to hold such a dangerous weapon while unclothed requires great self-confidence.
I also came away from this book having a greater appreciation for Mr. Vallejo's illustrations. They are much closer to real life than I would have ever imagined. I had always found them to seem exaggerated, and thus unfairly dismissed them as overdone. But his illustrations are not much more than an idealization of the real thing, as portrayed here.
I would normally tell you what my favorite images are from the book. Since there were no names, titles, dates, or page numbers, it is hard to reference them. From a photography perspective, the image of the pregnant woman was clearly one of the best. I found that his female photographs were more appealing than his male ones, probably because the models were less distorted by muscles. The women seemed healthy and vibrant, rather than muscle-dominated. But that's probably just a matter of personal taste.
After you finish this book, perhaps you should think about how you can use photography to help you accomplish important tasks in your life. Where would it help to have real-life models? Where can a photograph record reality better than any other method, including your memory? If you move 20 years into the future, what would you miss if you had not photographed it?
Be open to appreciating people and beauty in new ways!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not like his paintings, 11 Sept. 2001
This review is from: Bodies (Hardcover)
Being a fan of Vallejo's fantasy art, I wanted to have a taste of his photographic images. He paints by using photos of the models, so I thought it would provide an interesting comparison. Unfortunately, I found this book rather boring and unimaginative. First off, I dislike photobooks with absolutely no text (apart from a couple of pages of introduction). Would it harm or detract from the photographs to add some sort of text/caption/explanation, anything to provide you with some info? About the actual photographs, although the models are nice looking and enough to provide variety, they are rather uninspired. Most are black and white (which suits the theme best), but lack this something that will attract your eye and/or imagination. These are good stills for using for sketching and painting, but rather boring for what this book is intended. I thoroughly recommend his other books, though, especially 'Dreams' and 'Mirage'.
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Bodies: His Photographic Art
Bodies: His Photographic Art by Boris Vallejo (Hardcover - Dec. 1996)
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