If you haven't watched last night's Game Of Thrones, major spoiler below!
Over the last few episodes, Game Of Thrones has taken a heavy hand with writing and depicting violence on the show. Some viewers were outraged, especially about the violence against women, with the recent rape of Sanasa Stark and with last weeks burning at the stake of the sickly child Shireen Baratheon. Many have been asking, 'have they gone too far?' I jumped to the shows defence after the scene with Sansa in an article last month, (Reek) but after last night's season finale, I am rethinking my stance.
Although last night episode would have clearly been written and filmed long before recent audience reaction but it still felt like a huge F U from the writers and producers to those who watch. Cersei's naked walk of shame was brutal to watch, one of the most horrific scenes yet. I have been looking forward to Cersei getting what was coming to her since season 1, but there was no enjoyment or satisfaction on what they put her through in the finale. The show's final death, well that was certainly a jolt to fans of the show. Kit Harington has become of the shows biggest draws as far as the actors are concerned and although his character's storylines have been slow at times, he was to me, become the heart and soul of GOT. You have to question a series that would kill off arguably one of it's biggest draws...
Television has come a long way in the last 20 years, but for all the creative brilliance on TV, some shows seem forget... they are still, a TV show. Wether on cable or network, viewers tune into to a TV for different reasons than when they watch a movie. Most viewers may like the ocassional jolt, but they watch TV for the familiarity and predictability it brings to what have become increasingly out of control real lives. Writers for some shows think they're clever to ignore or challenge this, but more often than not, it backfires. Look at any show that loses the core themes and characters that brought viewers in to begin with and you see a show on a downward spiral. Every show has an endgame, whether spoken or not. With GOT, to me, it was the eventual coming together of the remaining Starks (as well as Jon and even Theon). One by one the family has been killed off making this reunion less and less something to look forward to. Sansa, and especially Arya had weak stories this past season, with Jon, having one of his strongest. I would not be surprised if the actor returned as either another character, but as of last night, he was cold stone dead. I have long learned never to say something as dramatic as 'I'll never watch again!'. I would never stick with it. But I can tell you, when last season's finale ended, I was already salivating for more. After last night, meh....
If you have been checking out FH for awhile, you will remember the work of SANDRO and MAYKSON gracing the pages of FH in the blogs first three or four years. Check out those posts HERE: The London based artist have just launched their magazine, issue #3 of SANDRO and MAYKSON Men! Be sure to check out the issue, it's FREE just by signing up with your e-mail!
'Nude Modeling has given me confidence in my body. I'm not in perfect shape, just an avereage looking guy, but comfortable with posing nude. It's mostly something I do just for fun. Plus... I really enjoy being naked, and sharing the view with others.'
South Carolina's Ben has always had a passion for both photography and the nude body. With his location however, and the fact there were not exactly a plethora of models around to shoot, Ben did what he could to gain experience with his craft. This meant, once getting his first digital camera, he began with the only subject around, himself. Since posting his images on Model Mayhem, Ben began being shot by other photographers, but... when going through his images, I wanted the focus should be on the images Ben had taken of himself.
You can feel the confidence, bravery and freedom Ben feels when alone, outside and naked with just himself and his camera. There are poses and expressions I am not sure would be quite the same if there were another person behind the lens. Ben has the advantage of doing things, many of us do when we're by ourselves. Then... he gets to see the visual account and then decide which images he is comfortable to sharing. I have spent countless hours out in the woods, with just myself and may camera. When I returned home however, my camera was full of squirrels and rivers, flowers and tree's. I would love to one day walk into the woods and come back with results similar to Ben's, especially the beautiful confidence and creativity displayed in within his captures.
'I set up my camera with a tripod and use a wireless remote. It's a lot easier than when I first started and was running back and forth setting the timer. It usually takes a few shots to start with, going back to check that the focus and exposure is set right, then I can take a whole series of photos in one spot before moving on to set up for a different viewpoint. I usually set up to get an overall full body shot with the surroundings, and then afterwards end up cropping down or rotating some of the photos, to vary the view so they do not all appear to be taken from the same static position.'
'I like shooting my own photos, because I have control of both the photo and the pose, and I can see along the way what works and how I can make adjustments to get the shot I want. It's still a lot of trial and error, and sometimes it is nice just to relax and let someone else use the camera.'
Posting his nudes on-line...
'I gradually worked my way up to it. At first I only shared images where my face was not visible. I found it hard to get many good shots like that, and most of my favorite images were those with my face showing too. It seemed stupid to have a lot of good photos that I didn't let anyone else see. I find that when viewing a photo, I am most often first drawn to a person's face, rather than other parts of the anatomy. A headless body or image with the face somehow obscured simply is not as pleasing. The more I saw myself pictured naked, the more I became comfortable with it, and eventually got the confidence to share everything with others.'
'I really like getting feedback from others, and hearing when someone is enjoying viewing my photos. I know I'm not the typical well toned model, but knowing that others are enjoying seeing me pose nude has made me comfortable with my body, and not ashamed to share all of me just as I am. Of course posing nude is always a good incentive to get in better shape. Over the past year I've lost about 50 pounds, and got more confident to share some angles that might not have been as flattering before.'
With the Woods:
'I choose pretty secluded locations, so there's not much chance of being interrupted. There were a couple times people did come by, but I heard them coming in time enough to quick get dressed. It's hard to narrow it down a favorite location or image, but I especially like the ones out in nature where I'm actually down in the water.'
Best asset or body part that gets the most attention...
'I guess my ass. It's one part where having a little extra padding can actually look good. It certainly gets plenty of comments.'
As for what's next, there are no limits on the things Ben would love to try. He has talked with several photographers on MM about possible future shoots and there many he hopes to work with one day. Ben especially loves the work of Patrick Lentz and would love to step in front of his lens in the future. 'I would really like to do some shots in abandoned buildings or industrial settings. A shoot with a group of others, or posing for an art class would be fun too!'