More about "Emerging-Images"
The web-site and domain name was suggested by the
new directions in my photography which are explained on the previous
was living in Mazatlan, Mexico for six months in 2002. I was
studying Spanish, enjoying the community and, on my off hours,
playing on the beaches.
While there I met and became friends with a young woman who was
discovering Mexican culture, but paying her way by selling time
shares to tourists. Her boy friend was in grad school in the U.S.
and she wanted an unusual, spectacular birthday gift for him. By
this time she trusted me enough to ask me to photograph her both
nude and in "boudoir" mode. Her friend, then requested the same.
This was the start of something that actually is a logical
continuation of my commitment to social nudism.
When I began this website four years ago, I wasn't even remotely aware of
my purposes in photographing nudes. I had some ideas but had nothing to use
for inspiration. Most photographs of nude women on the internet are either
deliberately erotic or pornographic. Others are simply studies of the perfect
human body or images of the lights, shadows and curves, with the body merely a
the photo artists whose work I admire fall into the latter category.
While I continue to grow and learn, I now have a better grasp of my
art. I have found three goals for my effort.
The Goals of Emerging-Images
I want to show the beauty inherent in the human, particularly
the female, form at many ages, sizes and shapes. Advertisements and
TV/Media have promoted the idea that only youth has a chance of
being beautiful and that only if she is thin. If a woman is over thirty she has no right to think
of herself as beautiful. If she wears a size 6-8, she's in, larger
need not apply. This is not only repugnant, it is incorrect. Beauty
is indeed in the eye of the beholder and I behold many women of 40,
50, even 70, who can only be called beautiful. Their beautiful
spirit and personality shows in their physical body.
Another goal is to
expose the spirit of the woman posing for my camera. Very
rarely do I have "props" in my photos. Props are a way of
hiding, misdirecting the attention. "Don't look at me, look at my
guitar (or other prop)." I don't mean to impugn
the motives of the models. Rarely are any of us aware of the ways we
manipulate reality. We think that we are all about music, or art, or
cooking, or science. But what we are is much more than these
activities and the very instruments we use to pursue them become a
screen for hiding our personhood.
I want to honor women. They are the source of so much of the
good of life. That's not a blanket compliment; there are women like Ann
Coulter, just as there are those like Elizabeth Edwards. The latter promotes
life and good, the former does just the opposite. However, more
women have contributed to the progress of humanity than not. Mother
Jones, Sojourner Truth, Petra Kelly, Medea Benjamin and the thousands of school
teachers and nurses who are predominantly women. The world is in
trouble with Iraq, the Bush crime family, Darfur, and more. But it
would be much worse without the work of millions of women.
I was introduced to the value of social nudity in the 1970s.
Attending seminars in psychotherapy, I found several serious and
competent researchers who were doing research on group nude therapy,
especially in the treatment of body image issues. (Not "Body
Dysmorphic Disorder"-anorexia and bulimia, etc.) As this
research continued, it was realized that nudity also encouraged
people to be aware of their emotions.
Like most people in this country initially, in my mind, nudity
and sexuality seemed inextricably linked. But continued involvement
with nude therapy, nudism and naturism has taught me that these are not the same and not necessarily
linked. People have been participating in social nudity since
prehistoric times and in the modern era since 1891 when
Charles Edward Gordon Crawford established
a nudist resort in British India. As I continued learning about and
eventually leading nude therapy groups, it became clear that social and family nudity
have many positive effects. (For more information on this subject
see the Federation of
Canadian Naturist website.)
This certainly makes sense. The sexually
stimulating or erotic images are almost always those where the body
is not fully nude; where nudity is not real, but implied. Look at
the beer or car commercials. One difference between the boudoir and
the nude photographs of my friend in Mexico is that the boudoir
(implied nudity and lingerie) is actually much more erotic that the
I continued leading nude therapy groups for some time, but the
therapy profession, in response to concerns about accusations of
sexual harassment and impropriety became very conservative and made doing this very difficult.
The pursuit of further research became impossible and actually
leading nude therapy was proscribed in the literature of the
professional associations. Never-the-less, the value of nude therapy
continues to be evident. At the very least it does help the
participant discover their emotions at a deeper level. It removes
another layer of hiding.
As I began this photographic work, I hoped that this same effect
would help the women who posed expose much more than their bodies;
they might expose something of their emotions, heart and what I
Who is Reinaldo da Silva?
When I originally started this project, I used my real name.
Among the reactions frequently was, "You're a counselor, and a
spiritual one. How can you do this?" So often, the reactions were
not to the art, but to me. Knowing my background diverted attention
from the work and instead to me personally.
I do find such reactions very distasteful. By
reacting this way, the viewer is dishonoring not just my work, but
also the work of the women who have been kind enough to pose. After
a number of these "Oh, my gawd" reactions, I changed the references
to my nom de plume--well, it is photography so maybe its a nom de
foto. (Sorry I don't speak French, only Japanese, Spanish and
Reinaldo da Silva is a name I have previously used when writing articles for
a variety of publications including aviation, computer and
motorcycling. It is a name "borrowed" from a Brazilian friend who
was killed by the Brazilian military during the 1970s and I hope I
am honoring it.
As I think of other things to share. . .
. . . I will post them here. If I receive comments from you and
other readers and deem them worth sharing, those will go here