Archive for November 2007

Ivana Stojanovska

Born: 1988
Place: Struga
Height: 182 cm
Weight: 56 kg
Bust: 90 cm
Waist: 60 cm
Hips: 91 cm
Hair Color: Brown
Eye Color: Brown
Titles: Miss Univerzum Macedonia (2004), Miss Summer Macedonia (2004)

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I was planning to write about something else for this blog entry, but something happened today that’s just forced me to change topics.

As you may have read here, earlier this year I ordered some books of my photos from the Kodak Gallery online. I was generally satisfied with what I got, but I also have a $33 credit on my account.

I saw that that credit will be expiring in a few weeks and that there’s currently a 25% off sale, so I thought I’d take advantage of both things by ordering a larger, hardcover book. I’ll be going to Las Vegas for a few days soon and I’ll be getting together with my friend Terrell Neasley there, so I thought it would be good to show him a book of my fine art nudes, which I know he’d enjoy seeing.

I planned to use their two-day delivery with FedEx, but because I had a problem with FedEx on my last order, the woman I spoke with on the phone at Kodak gave me a credit for Next Day shipping to help insure that I got it on time. Yes, I was being given Next Day delivery for free – so everything was more than fine.

I then spent several hours last night scanning some new negatives to include in the book and putting together the book online. It all looked good and I expected the book to look great. That, unfortunately, was as close as the book was to get to being made.

After getting home from work today, I just happened to log onto the Kodak Gallery to look at the book layout again, but first I decided to look up the order status. It was there that I found out that my book order had been cancelled!!! The reason given was this: “Cancelled for Terms of Service.” I was shocked! I knew that it was a book of nudes, but I’d ordered books of nudes before with Kodak with no problem – so what was wrong here???

I called up Kodak, and the automated system told me that I should have been sent an e-mail explaining just what was wrong. Well, I never received any such e-mail. So, I stayed on and actually spoke with someone. This phone call lasted for about an hour as I was put on hold as the fellow tried to find out what had happened. First he said that some of my photos violated Kodak’s anti-pornography clause by showing genitalia. I told him that none of my photos showed that. At my request, he dug deeper and deeper to find out what was wrong, and at last he told me this: only one photo was objectionable. I asked him if I could guess which one it was – and I got it right.

The image in question is the one I’ve posted at the top here. It’s a photo of Betcee May in my motel room near Los Angeles when I was visiting there in July. I’d wanted to work with her outdoors, but as I couldn’t find a good location, I ended up photographing her at my motel. For someone like me who likes to work with more interesting settings, a generic motel room is somewhat difficult to work in. Still, Betcee is an experienced model, very beautiful and fun to work with. (She is a natural giggler, I’d say.)

Toward the end of our session, I decided to set my tripod up high and stood on a chair to make some photos from a high angle. I was really trying to think up things that might look interesting, so I asked Betcee to spread her legs wide. I was just interested in the graphic play of arms and legs – not anything erotic – and I asked her to put her hand where you see it to intentionally cover up what Monty Python would call “the naughty bits.” This was all I had in mind.

When I saw the recently developed film, I liked this photo for the positioning of the arms and hands and also the calm, dreamy look on Betcee’s face – a rare moment of quietude between the giggles, actually. So, I decided to include this and another one of her in the book.

I had no idea that someone would find that this image crossed the line from fine art into pornography. I had thought that Kodak was an American company, but obviously it must be located closer to Saudi Arabia or Afghanistan. (Or, as I said to the fellow on the phone, the man reviewing the photos must have been a Republican. The guy laughed.)

Now, as I had guessed that this was the photo in question, I must have felt that this photo was a little different from the other 79 in the book. Yes, I can see how some people might find this image to be more erotic in nature than the others – but come on now! I can understand the objections if her hand wasn’t there, but there’s nothing showing here that’s pornographic – with the exception, I suppose, of the imagination of the person at Kodak reviewing it. I might even understand if the entire book was composed of photos like this, but to cancel the order (and not tell me about it!) for just one photo like this out of 80? That’s ridiculous. (The other photos here are among those other ones, including another of Betcee.)

I was told that the order could go through if I ‘d replace this photo with another one, but I said ‘no.’ This was the photo I chose, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it and I will not change my order. “The Kodak Gallery,” I said, “has lost me as a customer and they don’t deserve my money.” Perhaps they don’t deserve the money of the people reading this, either.

So, valued reader, now that you’ve read my story and seen the photo, what do you think? Am I right in thinking that Kodak is acting like a bunch of idiots here, or do you agree with them that the photo in question is, indeed, too risqué? I’d like to know what you think.

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Maja Sashek

Born: 1984
Place: Skopje
Height: 177 cm
Weight: 58 kg
Bust: 85 cm
Waist: 62 cm
Hips: 92 cm
Hair Color: Brown
Eye Color: Blue-green
Titles: Miss Skopje (1999), Oriflame Top Model Macedonia (2000), Metropolitan Top Model Macedonia (2000)


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Ana Dodevska

Born: 1986
Place: Skopje
Height: 174 cm
Weight: 51 kg
Bust: 86 cm
Waist: 61 cm
Hips: 91 cm
Hair Color: Brown
Eye Color: Green







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So, it’s Thanksgiving Day today here in the United States. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! It’s hard to believe that the year is flying on by. Before we know it (and I mean it almost literally), it’s going to be time to cast our votes in the presidential primaries.

Thanksgiving has traditionally been a day to eat turkey. Why??? I have no idea. I don’t like turkey myself, and my belief is that the whole turkey thing is just a ploy by the American poultry industry to boost sales. There are plenty of other foods out there for people to enjoy, but no – for some daft reason, people must have turkey! One year I went to my aunt for Thanksgiving dinner and as I don’t eat turkey, I remember that she put down a plate in front of me with a knife and fork and an entire salami on it. Well, at least it wasn’t turkey.

Last night I watched the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving special on TV. Peppermint Patty had invited herself and a couple of other kids over to Chuck's for Thanksgiving dinner, so in order to oblige them, Charlie Brown and Linus had Snoopy cook up a meal of buttered toast, popcorn and pretzels. Patty was upset about not getting turkey, but one of the other kids, Marcy, told her that being with friends and family is more important than what’s on the plate. Well said.

Having said that, I have to report that I’ve spent Thanksgiving alone here at home today because – well – I didn’t have any place to go and (unlike Peppermint Patty) I don’t believe in inviting myself over to other people’s dinners. Besides, they’d probably be serving turkey, so what’s the point? Still, I am thankful for many things – hey, I got hit by a car this year and lived to talk about it without too much serious injury – and any day that I can sleep late and not go into the office to my boring job is a reason to celebrate! (Unfortunately, I do have work tomorrow.)

Now, for the photograph at the top. I call this one “Bean and the Babe.” One of the things I look for when I’m traveling are interesting signs and the way that they are juxtaposed next to other signs. This particular photo was made ten years ago during a visit to Berlin. A poster advertising Rowan Atkinson as Mr. Bean was next to some smaller posters of supermodel Claudia Schiffer on a magazine cover. Not only that, Bean was striking a ‘sexy’ pose in his underwear – something we might expect Claudia to do. All in all, it was too good to pass up, so I made a photo of it.

I don’t know how much modeling Claudia is doing these days, but Rowan Atkinson is still around, as evidenced by the second photo that I made a few months ago when I was in the capital of China, Beijing.
P.S. Just watched a movie, so I'm gonna go have some pumpkin pie now!

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Sofija Pelivanova

Born: 1985
Place: Kavadarci
Height: 178 cm
Weight: 54 kg
Bust: 90 cm
Waist: 62 cm
Hips: 90 cm
Hair Color: Brown
Eye Color: Dark brown







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It’s been almost a week since I’ve made my last blog entry. That’s because I continue to be busy getting my backlog of film developed and then having to take care of filing the negatives into pages (and annotating the pages, too). Until I’m finished doing all of that, my time for blogging will be limited, as I only have so much time for dealing with photographically related matters.

The good news, though, is that, after starting out with about 105 rolls of film to develop, I think I’m down to only 36 left. Of course, I will still need the time to file those negatives after they’ve all been developed. Taking care of negatives from three different trips is a lot of work. At last, I have finally begun to develop the much awaited film from my August trip to Tibet – and the results look good, so far.

Today’s photos are from my trip to Ohio in late April. The beautiful girl you see in them is Jacqueline Chantelle. Jackie was a lot of fun to work with and I had the pleasure of working with her on my return visit to Ohio and my friend Dave Levingston about three months later. I hope that I’ll be able to work with her yet again.


I’ve also added another blog to my listing on the right side here. Welcome all to Richard and Lin Bang from Norfolk in the UK. Some of you may know them under the name of Fluffytek. Lin has told me that she writes most of the blog entries and that they tend to be on the controversial side at times, so I’m sure that will be reason enough to check them out. (That and for the occasional bit of British wit and wisdom, I suppose!)

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Radica Lelova

Born: 1983
Place: Kavadarci
Height: 177 cm
Weight: 54 kg
Bust: 90 cm
Waist: 61 cm
Hips: 90 cm
Hair Color: Brown
Eye Color: Brown







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Vera Mesterovic

Born: 1979
Place: Skopje
Height: 185 cm
Weight: 56 kg
Bust: 89 cm
Waist: 61 cm
Hips: 94 cm
Hair Color: Dark brown
Eye Color: Black
Titles: Miss Macedonia (1996), Balkan Beauty Charity (2006)





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I hope everyone reading this (in the U.S., anyway) has had a good Veterans’ Day weekend. I made a big trip on Saturday but yesterday and today I stayed home to take care of things.

I’m continuing to make progress in getting through my backlog of film. I’m almost finished with getting my film from July developed, and the next set of rolls to be taken care of will include the first of my trip to Tibet in August (though that first roll of film was shot in Beijing, not Tibet).

I’ve also been continuing to make 8.5 x 11 inch color inkjet prints of Tibet to put up around my desk at work, so until my Tibet film is developed, organized and scanned, I’ll be posting some of these color digirtal images here on the blog – as I am doing now. The ones I’m posting today (from the top down): a man and his daughter in front of a billiard hall in the Barkhor area of Lhasa; a painted wall with a beautiful door curtain in Lhasa’s Jokhang Temple; a yak head in front of a shop in Lhasa (don’t ask me if it’s real, because I don’t know); and a group of monks at the Tashilunpo Monastery in Shigatse.
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On Saturday I drove from Brooklyn down to Philadelphia for the annual Photo Review benefit auction. I’ve been going every year for about ten years, but last year I couldn’t make it as I’d had foot surgery shortly before and couldn’t drive. I had also planned to donate a couple of photos this year, as I normally do, but wasn’t able to do so due to the injuries I suffered in May when I got hit by a car. (If you started reading this blog recently, you can read about that at http://figuresofgrace.blogspot.com/2007/05/best-laid-plans-of-mice-and-men.html ).

The ride down to Philly went pretty well. I listened to 80’s New Wave rock music on the way down and Frank Sinatra on the way back. (Frankie just seems to sound better at night, doesn’t he?) One of my photos was in the auction – a print that I gave last year but hadn’t sold – and it was bought this time by an internet bidder, though for a price lower than I’d hoped for. Still, at least somebody did want it enough to buy it, so that’s good – and most of the proceeds from the auction go to the Photo Review, a photographic arts publication.

The good news is that I bought three prints myself at good low prices to add to my photo collection: an image from Italy by one of my favorite contemporary photographers, Linda Butler (I’ll have to see if it’s included in her book about Italy); a beautiful outdoor nude by a team named Williams & Russ; and a 19th Century hand painted photograph of Japan. If you’ve ever been interested in starting your own photo collection, benefit auctions are a great place to start as the selling prices are often much lower than those in a gallery. They’re where I buy from.



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Finally, a couple of items I’ve read on blogs recently that made me try to think about……well, what those other people could have been thinking. The first, written last week by my friend Terrell Neasley, reads as such: You have heard me speak on the incomparable Dave Rudin before, several times I might add……. Well, I certainly do graciously thank Terrell for his very kind words, but I don’t think I’ve moved into the category of ‘incomparable’ quite yet! (If I have reached that level, why am I still essentially unknown? Of course, it is possible to be compared to others and still be judged better than them…LOL) I’m looking forward to meeting Terrell when I make another visit to Las Vegas next month.

The other quote, which I saw yesterday, is from an admirer of a totally different source. I happened to see that some people were linking to my blog from Fluffytek’s blog (http://www.fluffytek.com/blog/). That blog is written by a pair of British people named Richard and Lin, and Lin had written this: Incidentally …… if you want to see some exceptional fine-art photography where the model really “engages”, go look at some of Dave Rudin’s work , particularly his shots of Sarah Ellis. They knock my socks off! (Actually Dave Rudin knocks my socks off because he really is gorgeous, but let's not go there.)

Well, the first part of that I can understand. Sarah Ellis is gorgeous – enough to knock anyone’s socks off – and all I really had to do was compose something decent, focus on her and push the button. As for that second part, it’s really got me scratching my head and wondering where those ideas came from. I’ve never met Lin before, so maybe she’s thinking of the photo on my website that the Hollywood photographer Greg Gorman made of me ten years ago. In that one, it looks like I had more hair on my head than I really did and it doesn’t show the gray in my beard and the ten pounds around my waist that I’ve gained since then! (Still, why spoil the fantasy, so if you’re reading this, Lin – yeah, I still look like that photo. Just don’t ask for any proof!)

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Anita Aleksoska/Анита АлексоскаAnita Aleksoska

Born: 1979
Place: Prilep
Height: 175 cm
Weight: 59 kg
Bust: 87 cm
Waist: 64 cm
Hips: 90 cm
Hair Color: Blondie
Eye Color: Brown






Photo: Vladimir Georgiev
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Slagjana Cvetkovska

Born: 01.12.1988
Place: Skopje
Height: 180 cm
Weight: 50 kg
Bust: 88 cm
Waist: 64 cm
Hips: 92 cm
Hair Color: Black
Eye Color: Green







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Ana Isaieva

Born: 30.01.1984
Place: Skopje
Height: 169 cm
Weight: 52 kg
Bust: 87 cm
Waist: 63 cm
Hips: 88 cm
Hair Color: Brown
Eye Color: Brown







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I normally try to make entries on the blog here about twice a week. If you’ve been checking lately, you’ll know that I haven’t posted anything for a week – so I’m behind schedule.

Well, as the saying goes, there are only 24 hours in a day and one can only do so much. I’ve not been derelict, though. Instead of making an entry a few days ago, I’ve been busy getting my backlog of film developed (I think I’m down to only 54 rolls left) and then filing away the negatives and annotating the pages. Then, if I have the time, I try to scan some of those new photos so I can share them with the world here.

Today was a busy and productive day. I think I filed nearly a dozen rolls of recently developed film. Some people at work have been clamoring for me to put up my latest travel photos around my desk, so today I printed about ten digicam photos from Tibet on my inkjet printer here. I went out to vote and then did some shopping. I came back and finally e-mailed a dozen photos to the French magazine PHOTO for its annual contest issue. And I just finished watching a DVD of a great film, In The Line of Fire, starring Clint Eastwood, John Malkovich and Rene Russo. (If you haven’t seen it, see it.)

Oh, yeah. A couple of those twelve photos that I sent to the magazine were images I scanned today after I got back from shopping. I’m posting those two with a couple of others I scanned today, as well. All of the photos were made at a farm in Ohio during my July visit to my friend Dave Levingston. The models in all of the photos are Sarah Ellis and Vassanta.

I had arranged to work with Sarah that day well in advance along with another girl, but unfortunately that model was forced to cancel, so I was fortunate that Vassanta was able to join us on such short notice. It was still a difficult day for me as the sun was very bright and high that day and I did not have much even light to work with. Still, I’d like to think that I made enough decent images to make the outing worthwhile.

As for the French magazine, I’ll probably need to wait until early February to find out if the editors decide to print an image this time around. I think the contest issue (Jan/Feb) is released in France in late December, but it normally doesn’t reach the newsstands here in North America until about a week into February – and they don’t notify you if one of your images is in it. My photos have made it five of the last nine years (including this year), so let’s see if I can make it two in a row.

That’s it for now. The day is not quite over and I still have some bills to pay…….

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Profilot e izbrisan po baranje na Valentina T.
This profile has been removed at the request of the model

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