I wasn't going to watch this summers edition of Big Brother, none of the news about the show, especially the many twists peaked my interested. But that was before finding out Cody Calafiore was entering the house...
Some of you might remember from my previous rants that I truly hate and worry about the avalanche of television violence thrown at American every day. I know there are some well done individual series, but between all the Law & Orders, CSI's and other procedural, Americans get a daily dose of creative ways to murder, decapitate, sexually violate, rape and torture another human being. A&E, once a respected channel for Arts should be ashamed of there 24 hour a day Criminal Minds marathons. Minds is not only one of the sickest of the genre, it plays many days all morning and evening, the perfect bay sitter for our unattended children and youth.
Somewhere within this group of human mutilation shows, I know there is some quality. The sites and sounds required to find it however, don't seem worth the journey. I don't object to violence within art whatsoever, it is the uncreative and mass copycatting of the genre, especially now, being shoved down society's throats that I find repulsive. You can bet most if those 'citizens' calling the FCC about a nipple or butt crack flash on prime time, put down the phone, pick up their chips and chomp them down enjoying a good ole bloody killing on tv, especially if the victim is a sexy half naked blonde beauty queen.
Just before closing my eyes and heading off to dreamland, it is not a child abduction, rape and murder I want to be the last things my eyes capture and memorize. I have gotten into the habit of needing a good sit-com to help wipe away the stresses of the day. Over the last couple of years I have run through most of my favorites and thought I was almost done. For awhile it was repeats of Seinfeld, Everybody Loves Raymond and Modern Family. Although I liked (not loved) Big Bang on first airing, I don't find it nearly good enough to qualify for second viewings.
Thankfully, one of the superstations is now airing two episodes of The Middle each night. I had seen episodes before, but until my new nightly viewings, had not realized what a truly great show it is. The writing is top notch, as is the acting. It is funny how much I enjoy Patricia Heaton. Even though she annoys me in person and on talk shows, and her political leanings are polar opposite to mine, she has given men hours of laughs between Raymond and the Middle and I thank her for that.
All three Heck children are great characters and wonderfully portrayed but Charlie McDermott's Axel is my favorite. It is not just the obvious, adorable and often shirtless, I love Sue and Brick as well, but McDermott's Axel has grown over shows runs, his younger siblings still seem to be repeating story arcs over and over. McDermott is a skilled actor, annoying the shit out of you for his stupidity or uncaring attitude one minute, then winning you over with his vulnerability before the 30 minutes are up. The 24 year old actor has grown along with his character and one part of the many reasons spending a little time each night in The Middle is a nice way to end a day.
'It was a beautiful June day at a remote creek in Upper Bucks Pennsylvania and I was set to capture the essence of the male body in nature. I love wet bodies and the creek was an exciting prospect to get some great photographs.'
When plunging into Philadelphia photographer Tom Blanchard's portfolio, it was this series of images that kept drawing me back. The combination of naked bodies combined with the beauty of the creek, are visually breathtaking. There was also something than the visual, Tom's images almost appear to come to life as you view them.
The water in particular is not just seen in Tom's images, but felt. As the creek slides up, and flows over each of the models naked bodies, you can virtually feel the coolness of the water as it hits their skin. I especially love how each of the models interacts with water and how beautifully the pose within it and draped over the rocks. The combination Tom captures, of skin and sunlight skimming across the running water creates an energy that has you longing jump in and join them for a dip.
'I love the natural setting and the play of water with the male body. Funny thing is this was my very first nude male shoot! They were taken over a two day period where a fellow photographer was kind enough to allow me to join him on a shoot to "get my feet wet" ... and they did!'
Professionally trained, Tom got his degree in arts back in 1989, the film era before photography turned primarily digital. Tom worked as a full time photographer for many years before deciding to leave it for a corporate job which provided more financial security. Over the years, Tom began shooting less and less and eventually ended up selling pretty much all of his professional equipment.
One of the main reasons I love working on FH is it provides a creative outlet, especially with my job which doesn't allow for much artistic creativity. Tom as well needed an outlet for his artistic needs and after his time away, returned to photography as a stress reliever from his day job as a analyst. After acquiring all new gear, Tom decided this time to focus his lens on what he was passionate about. After meeting up with the local photographer mentioned above, Tom began a new phase of his work, jumping into the creek and shooting these three magnificently sexy men.
'All three models were experienced which made for a wonderful shoot. Vincent, Tim and Darren were all a joy to work with. I enjoy shooting men of all ages. Maturity has a way of conveying lives experiences and a connection to that which I wanted to connect in my final images.'