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  • Writer's pictureJo Sutherst

Surfaces and Strategies – Work in Progress Portfolio – Final Version


The traditional font (see blog post) sets the project up with a classical feel.

The white text on black is an indication that the project is presented in monochrome.


Sculptures invite the viewer in and they often touch actual sculptures in galleries, running their hands over the forms. This is obviously not something that can happen here (nor would it be very appropriate), but the impression of tactility is part of the strength of the image.

The model freely offered this pose and commented on her modelling site that “I think I worried Jo. She didn’t know I could bend like that haha.”(, 2017). She did shock me as I had no idea that she was so flexible.

A comment from a viewer of the image on the site commented “Bloody love this – beautiful body scape! (, 2017).

The image has a range of tonal values with no blown highlights. The blacks are rich and velvety. This helps to make the image engaging for the audience.


By turning the legs through 90 degrees, I was able to create an interesting landscape.

Again, the tonal range is strong and enhances the detail in the lumps and bumps.

This is obviously not an image of a young nubile youth. We are a society obsessed with the culture of youth and so do not we usually expect to see these types of legs being photographed. My intent is to challenge that and to try to beautify the older generation through images like this. The influence of Coplans is evident here. However, Coplans tended to use much harsher lighting and I have tried not to do that. The contrast and clarity have been increased to show the detail in the forms, but the resultant image is gentler in the tones used.


The image has since been re-edited to increase the tonal range and to make it less grub-like in appearance.

The image may appear to have an unhealthy appearance to it, yet the owner of this body moved her body into a position to get this shot. She is a gorgeous woman, who you would not associate an unhealthy lifestyle with if you saw her clothed and walking down the street. This body of work has opened my eyes (and hopefully those of the viewer) to what lies beneath the surface of our clothes.


It was great to hear the owner of this elbow exclaim “that’s mine!” as she came into the exhibition.


When she stands up, you would not know that the owner has these saggy looking parts. In fact, her art nude photographs reveal a toned body, with no hint of this memory of a major life event.

I have included this image as the identification of the part of the body is not immediately obvious. Also, as previously mentioned, my intent with this work is to challenge the obsession with youth and to beautify the older generation through images like this.


In this image, composition and form were of the utmost importance to me when taking the image. The composition conforms to the golden spiral. The eyes of the viewer are intended to sweep around the male form, taking in the minute details in the image.

The skin is smooth with soft hairs that delight the viewer. The eyes are drawn up to the little mole at the top of the image, before they drop back down into the image again for another viewing.


His back and other parts of his body are covered with these harmless moles (he is regularly checked at the hospital for those of you who are reading this and are worried). He describes his back as a ‘map of the universe’.

Again the tonal range and richness of the black really emphasise the speckledness of his back. The composition is reminiscent of the back portraits that Weston and others have done. However, shooting slightly off to one side at a shallow angle have enabled me to show more texture across the back.


The image is elegant and empathetic; the tones rich and sumptuous. Bodies of all shapes and sizes deserve to be presented in a way that makes everyone seem more worthy of publication, and not just the ‘commercial’ body types.


There is a bit of strength in the muscles that mirrors the strength of character of this model to dis-robe before the questing gaze of the camera. This was out of his comfort zone, but he worked through this to achieve shots like this.

The amount of hair is quite remarkable. However, it does not repel or disgust the viewer but seems soft and fluffy like a teddy bear. The hair grows in really interesting patterns, which engages the viewer and encourages them to stop and stare.


The model who this belongs to, has issues finding paid work because she does not conform to society’s ideal. However, it is far easier to photograph any model who is comfortable in their own skin, as she is.


The model that this belongs to has all sorts of different and wondrous parts to her body, several of which appear later in this portfolio.


The temptation was to turn this shot through 90 degrees to create another human landscape. I did debate that, but feel that a vertical form is a more effective and impactful shot.

The tonal range and the richness of the black enables the viewer to enjoy the texture of the skin.

The lighting and angle of shot have really worked well in this image to make the spine appear really prominent, more than it seemed in real life.


The form has been described in many ways by viewers. My favourite is that it reminded someone of an “asteroid spinning its lonely way through space”.

My scars are from many operations and were described by one viewer as like Chinese symbols. I wear my scars with pride – they are part of me and remind me of the events I have been through in my life.

The tones help this to be a serene shot that is full of minute details that again makes the viewer stop and stare. They may have questions about the scars that cause them to further study the image.


The image is full of details that make you look closely. The skin tags are captured well and enhanced with the lighting and post processing. I find them fascinating to look at and hope that the viewer does too.


The shot was taken with a 85mm/1.4 prime lens to get as much detail as possible. There has been some cropping as part of the post processing to make sure that the framing of the image was exactly as I wanted.


This version replaces an earlier version that seemed too soft to me. The tonal range of this image is better and the form is more in line with the rest of the portfolio.


The neck structure has a monumental feel to it, rather like an effigy carved into the cliffs. My husband commented that it reminded him of the root structure of a Banyan tree.

The eyes of the viewer are drawn into the central features and details by the soft focus of the chin and the foreground area.


For the final image, we again return to the human body as a sensual landscape.

This shot was a serendipitous meeting of creative minds in the studio and is one of my favourites of the whole portfolio.

The interesting crop has been created by the clothing worn by the owner. Whilst I like this, I can appreciate that to others this may be slightly jarring.

In a webinar, this image was described as being like a 3D scan. Others see “an asteroid floating in the darkness of space” or an “unrolling scroll”. For me, this is tremendous because this image is creating a narrative of its own.

REFERENCES (2017). 404 – PurpleFail / Portfolio hosting and networking for models, photographers and related creatives / PurplePort. [online] Available at: [Accessed 17 Aug. 2017].

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