Film photography is not better or worse than digital photography, they are simply different tools, different processes and, consequently, different experiences.
The difference in experience of film and digital photography are not only in the process of photographing, manipulating and printing the photograph but also in observing and appreciating the print result.
With technology, mobile apps and computer photo editors can mimic the appearance of film photography but the ink print from digital camera does not have the same visual feeling and experience of optic print on silver gelatin from a film negative. Of course that for one to really notice the difference, and experience the difference, one has first to become used with analysing them because the difference is not in something one can spot on the image and point at to someone else with one's finger; It is rather something one just senses with one's eyes and literally feel as experience. It is actually true about experiencing any work of art. We do not have the same experience of looking at a painting through a screen, for example, because on the screen we are not looking at canvas and ink – and so we can not feel its texture, mass and pressure – but looking at pixels on a flat screen. It is no wonder that people who are used to appreciating works of art tend to spend more time looking at them than people who are not used to it; They are seeing and experiencing something more they know the artwork has.
One of the most evident differences of experience filme photography has been the higher dynamic range of large and middle format film negatives. The larger the film negative the less the print is enlarged when printed, or shirinked when photographed, conserving visual feeling of tangibility of elements in the image – the spatial distance between elements in the image. In other words, it feels the elements in the image are more alive, more real, more tangible and less abstract. Digital photography has been trying to use technology to obtain similar experience of film negatives and in some aspects, like dynamic range, it has succeeded to a certain point. Nonetheless, at the end we still are not looking at the same thing, and so not experiencing the same, when looking at ink printed from digital photo and when looking at silver galating from optic print.
The process of photographing is another aspect that differs digital from film photography. This process is not only relevant to the photographer because the process is part of the message; in any communication. See the actors in a theater and compare their acting from a movie. Because a different creation process gives them different experiences, the way they express their experiences will be different as well. The artist's expression is the main point of a work of art, so his process of working – which includes the tools they use – is relevant for the understanding and experiencing a work of art.
What does photographing with film negative mean to me? It means spontaneity with my creation and being more connected to the subject I am photographing. The reason for both is because film photography has no instant result screens for me to check the result of what I am doing. Without the distraction and certainty of a screen showing me the result I am forced to rely on my senses and trust it, which means being more attentive to my senses, my body – emotion – feelings and the moment, as I become more connected to them. Screens and tools settings of digital cameras are a distraction from what I am photographing and my experience with it, because the attention becomes towards the instant result, towards the control, instead of the experience of the moment. This instant result and control kills spontaneity, in my experience, and I like spontaneity; it is when the other selves in myself emerge and express themselves. The result in the message means trust, honesty, exploration and discovery.
Photographers can focus on the subject, their feelings and experience of the moment with digital photography as well but the fact it is a choice it is very hard to remain focused once the photographer becomes curious about the result. Regardless of the capacity of the photographer with the medium, the medium itself interferes in the message. Colours have meanings and communicate things, as well as the material of a work: wood, plastic, ceramic, etc. Different mediums also have different capacities and limitations. As McLuhren said: "The medium is the message". Choosing film photography is a choice of communication related to the message the artist wants to transmit. I also photograph with digital photography but for different kinds or work.
This is all to say that film photography is not merely a nostalgia, if it is at all. Choosing between digital and film photography is like choosing between oil and acrylic painting. Oil painting is older technology and acrylic painting has many advantages, such as fast drying. Many painters still prefer to paint with oil painting, not merely for the nostalgia but because it has a different experience than acrylic. This is the reason film photography is alive among artists.
This photograph was shot from the stairs in the Rathaus Subway Station in Hamburg (Germany). On the up part of the photo we see the Rathaus Towers (City Hall tower) scratching towards the sky.
Here, again, the wide angle effect that widens the part of the stairs that is near us, creates a sensation of invitation to the stairs path into the image.
In the photo we find many lines crossing diagonally towards the center of the image where we find the tower: The stains handles and the side edge of the stairs, the top part of the construction of the stairs and the top part of the Rathaus building on the top left side of the image. They all work creating an imaginary line to our eyes working as a path to them, inviting our eyes to look back at the tower whenever we scan them over the picture.
I also like the mysterious feel of the scene, with the tower half hiding behind the building too, creating this curious sensation of desiring to climb the stairs in order to be able to see more of it. The contrast of light and shadows also helps with such mysterious feelings.
The scene also reminds me of the experience of dream effect. Which nothing is very clear and forms are confused.
It is interesting to think that our visual culture tends towards the pornographic visual; The visual that exposes everything in all its details. It is a visual aspect that has its attractiveness but it leaves no much room for the viewer's imagination and personal experience of the scene. This is the reason I tend to the classic visual language.
The pinhole photograph like this one (photograph shot with no lens), helps with such dreaming like effect because it naturally has a soft focus, for having no lens to make shapes highly defined.
This is a pinhole photograph (a photograph made without lens) of Hamburg City Hall and its fountain.
I like how the building stretches up towards the sky as if it is stretched above us, the viewer has a kind of ghostly like scenery.
The black and white image transmits a sense of past and coolness. Such coolness feeling is sensed through the building and expressed by its own antique architecture, as well as enhanced by the white snow and the contrast of the gray sky.
The stretched edges of the photo, created by the ultra wide angle image, has a dynamic feeling, as if we are approaching or distancing the building, or, as if the building is approaching us or distancing from us.
It is clear the contrast of beautiful colors is the catch of this photograph. The predominant blue color on the background matches well with the subject, the Coneflower, because the blue color, in our mind, refers to innocence, purity, cleanness, and natural, specially because it is cognitively associated to clean water and clean skies, as the one in the photo itself.
The petals pink colors also refers to innocence but in a more child and feminine sense. While the green color of the stalks symbolizes nature, or a purity from nature. Together in this photo these colors combine and confirm the symbolism inherent in them by each other. At the same time they contrast in tones enhancing each other.
There is another aspect in this image that makes it interesting. image point of view is from below the height of the subject. For our mind it is as if we are looking up at something above. Wherever is represented as being above our eyes or higher than us transmit the feeling of what the pictured subject can do to us, contrary to the opposite and common image of flowers photographed above them and which suggests what we can do to them.
Such perspective makes us feel powerless but at the same time makes us feel the subject powerful. It is especially noticeable when looking at large prints. Such visual message is also confirmed by the subject framed in the center of the image.
I took many photos exploring different angles and perspectives, because it gives me a good feeling of the power of nature.
Close ups have this power to make us feel more the presence of the subject, because we can see more of its details, especially when looking at large prints.
This is a single Pale Coneflower and like all flowers it is beautiful at its own. But a beautiful subject does not make a good photograph, contrary to popular belief. A good photograph has more to do with how the subject is composed, framed, the angle it is portrayed and other things which all carry meanings that we read consciously or unconsciously, based on our cognitive experiences.
A beautiful subject can make us forget it all about the photograph and appreciate the subject alone. To be honest, this is a very simple photograph which caught my attention because of the beauty of the flower alone. But as a photographer I don't look only at the subject but at the photo as a whole, because it is from it where we find the photographer's expression that carries their personality, identity and sometimes messages.
What I like in this photograph is the flower leaning to the left side of the image and because of its shape it suggests a imaginary diagonal line crossing its extremities in the right and left side. Diagonal lines feels harmonious and suggests dynamics, even if there is nothing happening it proposes that it is alive, symbolizing vigor.
The green leaves on the right side of the image point our attention back to the flower making it stand out to our eyes as the main object. The leaves are also elements that help to compensate for the flower leaning on the left side of the image, creating a harmonic visual balance.
This is the stairs to Rathaus subway station, just in front of Hamburg Rathaus (City Hall) in Germany. In the background you can see the city center architecture and its urbain feel.
The wide angle image creates a sensation effect that invites us, the viewer of the image down to the steps. This inviting feeling to its steps path is like inviting us to the scene itself. It also has this feeling of the image hugging us. I like this inviting feeling.
The black and white photographs have a cool feeling which is enhanced in this image by the traces of snow and on the ground as well as by the buildings' architecture.
Black and white photographs also give more focus on the texture of the buildings.
This is Lübeck Holstentor, the first medieval construction we face when entering in the old medieval town.
The wide angle creates this stretching effect which makes the building look powerful and asserting its presence in the image. The long exposure reinforces this visual effect with the "moving sky" (the movement of the clouds).
The long exposure is not an option, it is the only feature of the pinhole camera which this Holstentor was photographed, because pinhole cameras have no lens.
This dynamic visual effect by the wide angle and long exposure works here as if suggesting travelling in time.
Lübeck is officially known as the Hanseatic City of Lübeck, is a medieval city in Schleswig-Holstein, in north Germany, and one of the major ports of Germany, on the river Trave. It was the leading city of the Hanseatic League, and because of its extensive Brick Gothic architecture, it is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The old medieval town of Lübeck is on an island by the Trave river.
This is the garden with a fountain of the beautiful and well preserved Schwerin Castle in Germany
The wide angle photographs help to have a view of its totality. It is interesting to notice that the fountain in the lower part of the images is as if bending towards us out of the way of the garden in front of it. A visual sensation I enjoy very much.
In the background is the castle, distantant and calling our attention for its tower. Image as a whole has an interesting visual line created by the composition of the elements. On the top is the tower, then the castle below it, then the sidewalks and colunes on both sides of the image towards us. This creates a visual effect resembling a triangle, which turns the image visually interesting and harmonious in my opinion.
Schwerin is a city in Germany known for its palaces and beautiful architecture. It became an independent city in 1160 by Henry the Lion. It is the oldest city of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. It is globally known for its romantic Schwerin Palace, situated on an island in Lake Schwerin. The palace was one of the main residences of the dukes and grand dukes of Mecklenburg until 1918 and is the official seat of the state parliament since 1990. The city also has a largely intact old town, thanks to only minor damage in World War II.
This photograph has a different texture I find difficult to describe. It is more noticeable in the blurred background, especially in the green tones. It is not quite the same but it reminds me of the feeling I normally get through my film photographs.
The reason for such a feeling is clear to me, is the rusticity aspect of it. We get such feelings most from colors and shape texture which is normally obtained through the silver salt grain in film photographs. This photograph is digitally made though, but a certain texture on the colors was obtained that gives some similar feeling of rusticity.
The rustic feeling is a feeling of tangibility, as if what we are looking at was handmade, like film negatives and silver salt grains that are tangible. This photo is not but it has the feeling to me.
I think the color temperature also helps with such feelings, the dark warm color of green, orange and pink. Also the contrast with the deep blacks. Such rustic feelings have the power to make us feel welcomed like at home, the place where we have the most intimate contact with objects.
It's ok when the average public criticises or doesn't understand some photographs' meaning, but it's strange when those who were supposed to be aware about photographs or visual language miss the aesthetic meaning of good representation on nude.
"Is nude necessary?" a photographer asked. "I think you can make a photo appealing without the model being naked" he said.
There are many kinds of nude photographs. Some are made to be sexually appealing and some are not. It is actually much easier to make a woman sexually appealing wearing accessories and clothes that help to extol their body features than represent them purely naked who can only rely on poses and their actual body shape to extol their body features.
Everything in a visual representation has a meaning. Through a dressed model you can tell, or at least have an idea, about the epoch, taste, age, culture, social class and even personality of the person photographed or of who the photographer is trying to represent, just by the clothes. The same with the make up, location and gestures.
When you want to concentrate only on the body form, texture and expression everything else becomes a noise, or a distraction. Even colours, in many circumstances give meanings and become distracting when you want to concentrate on shapes and texture. This is why black and white images are often necessary as well as nude images.
I don't mean that works focused on body expression and shapes have to be nude. There are many ways of trying to do it with appropriate clothes. But with clothes it will not be possible to represent and appreciate the full and natural body shape and texture.
It also doesn't mean it has to be a full body frontal nude, because the frontal nude are often a distraction too, depending on the level of appreciation, theme and the way it is represented. It will be a distraction for those who are not used to it.
In other words, not all nude or even frontal nude representation mean to be erotic or pornographic. We can also be sure that there are a lot of erotic and even pornographic suggesting images everywhere we look at in our daily life through advertises on TV, magazines and billboards that apparently sell services and products but after all they actually sell life style, which also include idealised sexual attraction and sexual power. Often it is too explicit to be true, so we accept it or just ignore it.
This photo of a Japanese Anemone has a kind of purity on it. It is a very simple image and I believe the best visual works are the ones that can provoke strong feelings or assert deep ideas through simplicity, with no distraction.
The white petals certainly help bring this idea of innocence which is intrinsic in the color symbology itself - reason why traditionally brides wear white. But the string sensation of visual purity is highlighted by two other main aspects of this photograph itself.
The first aspect is the fact that it presents a few elements to look at and, by that, I don't only mean the flower alone but also the color shades and textures. Our eyes don't have to travel much beyond the flower and for very long to have the complete picture formed on our mind. Nonetheless, the two elements behind the Anemone flower, together with the flower stalk, form lines that work as trails to our eyes pointing them to the center of the image, to the main subject, when our eyes go beyond it. These elements drag our attention back to the flower in a pleasing and natural way.
A second point in the blurred green background. The green color brings the feeling of nature to our mind which is also related to the symbolism of purity. The green color tones in the background vary from dark to bright but not strong enough to become a distraction, not forming shapes and lines distinct enough to interfere with the main elements. Around the flower is almost an empty space feeling but with this purity tone of green color that makes the subject enhance as a pure and innocent element.
This image is from a walk among Switzerland mountains, a couple of years before moving to sought Germany. This was one of the experiences that convinced me to move to Sough Germany, not only because the fast travel to Swiss Alps but specially because I wanted to have more contact with nature.
This photo don't cease to please my eyes and I believe it is not only because of the beautiful white mountain in it. The contrast among colors - the blue sky, the white snow as well as silver color of the mountain and the dark green three in the foreground - is defensively a big factor for the visual pleasure in the image. The green foreground contrasting with a completely different landscape in the background suggests there is something beyond to be reach that feels kind of alien to us - to where we find ourselves. It is this feeling of strangeness, beyond and not accessible [yet] that generates the feelings we call passion - The curiosity and desire to access of what feels alien/mysterious to us. I believe this contrast of landscape, which suggest where we are and a place beyond and completely different, provoke a kind of visual - and so corporeal - memory of the passion feeling.
An other aspect is in the composition of the elements and framing. The diagonal line crossing the image and dividing its foreground and background is visually very pleasing to me. Not only because it creates it is the delimitation of the two different landscapes but specially because it separates the right (tree) and left (mountains) elements in the image. In short, it help our eyes naturally descant through through the image, the tree, the foreground landscape, the mountains in the background, the sky and back again. Such kind of visual "travelling" is the pleasure we aim through the work of framing and composition; A pleasing visual exploration and experience.
I took this photo with film negative, which I prefer because it doesn't distract me from the visual experience and contemplation of what is in front of me; No screen in the camera to check how the photo look like. The manual camera makes me pay more attention to light, texture and colour shades in order to better capture the image.
A friend of mine told me this pink Garden Cosmos look very girly, telling me it is funny to think of me, a beard man, photographing such "feminine feeling" images. On the other hand, my psychology never had such strong gender division. I agree with her about this photograph looking girly, because of the delicate flower shape and pink color, but what kind of flower don't look feminine? As a man I like to contemplate the "feminine" world which normally is associated to charm, elegance and beauty. What makes this particular image look girly is the innocence feeling transmitted by the flowers and their pink and yellow colors.
Otto Rank wrote that we all have both feminine and masculine psychology with one being more strong than the other. Siri Hustvedt said that she sometimes dreams she is a man, mostly because as a writer she incorporate the male characters in her stories. She says that she is a woman but sometimes she is a men (when she dreams and writes). So I guess that sometimes I am a girl when I photograph, letting emerge my feminine psychology in my dreams and work.
This is a tower of a palace in Schwerin. One of the very few towns where the old German palaces and castles survived the wars. In this photo perceptive I combined four elements which makes the image stand out as harmonious and pleasing to my eyes. The main one is the the palace's tower which transmit a classic fairy tale feeling. Then the old bridge architecture that feels like matching and confirming the tower architecture and epoch, as if it is not the past that is being presented to us in our time but we who are travelling back in the past. Around it the nature, looking a bit wild, as if natural, transmitting the idea that the ambiance is not staged, is not purposely build to entretain people like a Disneyland, it is not a theme park with their perfect gardens and bushes, it is, instead, a real place around natural landscape with its real nature; A place with real long past history. The lamp post is the element that remind us that the scene is what is preserved from the part in a more modern time.
The contrast of colors has its charm as well, but the real pleasing visual feature that makes this photograph feel in touch with the past is the film negative grain and colors characteristic. It was photographed with real film negative around 2016 and I know that there are image editing programs that simulate the film negative look effect in digital made photographs, but believe, it is not the same. The film photographs, even the digitized ones we see in screen, has very different grain characteristics than the digital made photos. This difference is what makes film photographs transmit a feeling of more tangibility and craft. The digital made photos are beautiful and they have a quality of their own, but sometimes it feels too "electronic", specially when attempting to represent the past feeling and craft feeling.
This photograph is from a time I used to go around with my middle format Bronica camera to photograph Dublin and around Ireland; This time in Wicklow. I took this photo in 2012 and in it we one of the medieval Irish towers we sometimes find in the country landscape. When one looks closer they find out these tower don't have a door on the ground lever but, instead, the door is on the high top of the tower with no stairs to it. They were build like this in order to be accessible only with a high ladder brought to it, which monks in the medieval age would do to take whatever is of high valuer to hide in the tower during unsafe times like in wars and invasions.
One of the main characteristic of the image is its kind of stony scenery, not only because of the rocks in the river and landscape but also because it is complementary to the stone building back in the scene. It is like the scene is saying that the building is in its right place, where it belongs to, a rough old construction in a rough landscape.
A second interesting aspect of the photo is in how it is framed, with the river crossing the lower half of the image vreating a diagonal visual line in it. Such line creates two visual perceptions: The first in the invitation it offers to our eyes leading it from the foreground to the back ground of the scene where we find the main subject of the image. Of course we eventually would extend our look to the image background and back to the foreground, but such visual like helps making this vidual exploration of the image a more pleasing experience. On top of that, river streams always suggest a travel to its course.
The second visual perception aspect of the river is the feeling of dynamism; the water in movement. The photo is a long exposure which gives this smooth water shape in movement - although the main reason for the long exposure was the dark orange filter on the lens which I used to create a nicer contrast and texture.
Finally, there is also the the elements balance between the big stones in the foreground and the tower in the back ground. They are the two spots point which incite our eyes to travel forwards and backwards again. They both leans a little to the right side of the image, and it is the river stream line in its diagonal position pointing to the left that compensate the weigh of the two main image's objects leaning on the right side.
Many people think that I photographed this beautiful Spider flower in studio but it was actually photographed in a park near home, in the later summer of 2019.
I am not the kind of photographer who like to create the idealistic perfect image in image manipulation programs. The less time working in computer the more time I have to contemplate and photograph the world outdoor. So it was very luck to find this elegant flower looking so perfect. I have been looking around for this flower this year (2020) and I haven't found them as beautiful as the this one I photographed last year.
The dark background is an effect archived by using a small but powerful speed light; In short, everything that is lit by natural light is eliminated and only what is lit by the strobe light appears in the photo. The natural light exposure is controlled by the exposure time while the speed-light is controlled by the lens diaphragm aperture (light intensity). It means that the the powerful strobe light can be cached in the photo in its short exposure tume while the natural light can be eliminated because it is not strong enough to be registered in a such short exposure time.
What called my attention to this three Coneflower flowers in particular was the contrast of the dead flowers in the background. I like images that suggests the contrast between life and death, which remind us that life can be very beautiful but it is temporary and short. Have that in mind is maybe what makes us appreciate and contemplate life despite all its imperfections. Such conceptual contrast is accentuated with the technical contrast of the bright light and colors of the three alive and vivid flowers against the dark background.
I photographed this flower at the start of August of 2020. This year I decided to photograph with natural light in order to obtain a different effect than the photographs I have from last year. This photo was also shot with a longer lens in order to obtain a stronger blurred background - called as shallow DOF (Depth of Field) in the photography language. I made two photographs of these flowers with the same frame, so they look very similar, with the difference that this one the background is less blurred to show more the dead flowers in the back ground.
These two Fulvous Day Lily in the center of the photo feels powerful, as if asserting themselves in the scene. The reason for that is the combination of many visual aspects.
The first of these visual aspects is the centered subject. Normally, when the subject of a image appears in the center it suggest its presence affirmation and power. In the center of this photos we have two elements and both pointing in opposite direction of it other. Such composition characteristic visually indicates that they both have this asserting power independent of each other - reason why we see photos of bad-boys or bad-girls crossing their arms in the center of images giving their backs to each other.
An other point is the dynamism the composition creates; Because they are pointing each to opposite direction, from the center of the photo to its margins, it feels the subject is experiencing a wider visual field that we can't see, what we see is limited by the edge of the the photo. Even without seeing it, the feeling that there is a wider visual field being experienced by the subject of the image (no matter if such subject is just flowers or inanimate object) that is limited by the photograph edge, transmit the sensation that we are approaching the subject, or that the subject is the main attention around. Its presence is being strong asserted.
On top of that, which collaborate with the aspects mentioned above, there is the back ground leaves that despite blurred they form lines which feels as expanding from the center to the edges of the image, which I believe to be what gives a strong touch of dynamism feeling on photo.
When I decided to rely only on the natural sun light this summer (2020) for the flowers photographs I was a little bit apprehensive. It is because in the previous year I worked with strobe light and light modifiers for the better control of the light and shadow results. Relying on the natural light only means giving up such control and I wondered if it would be a big loss in my results, but it wasn't at all.
Without strobe light I switched to tele-lens in order to take more advantage of the shallow depth of field (DOF) - the blurred background - and enhance the main subjects.
Without mentioning the color and light contrast I feel the description above is what makes this photograph special.
I feel attracted to this three Japanese Anemone because the way they are distributed in the photo feels like there is a certain dynamism in it, as if they are moving like in a dance. I think what enhance the most this visual feeling is the background.
Intentionally or not, any element on images that form visual lines suggest trails that works unconsciously for our eyes, such trails, when well composed on the image, makes it more comfortable, and so pleasing, for our eyes to run and explore the elements of the image. After all our eyes are in constant movement scanning quickly all the details of the visual that we perceive as a whole in our mind. It is as if lines suggest and lead the direction of our eyes so it doesn't have to "jump" from one element to an other in a rough terrain.
The flowers stalk in this photo feel doing just that and it may be what they do in most photographs of flowers and plants; point the direction of the main element to our eyes. Here we have the three flowers distributed in the image and the many stalks point to the direction of them. Even the very blurred stalk on the left of the photo is doing such job pointing to our eyes the direction back to the flower on the bottom of the image.
The diagonal lines on images often suggest dynamism; that things are moving, that things are happening, and so they are alive. I guess the different direction crossing by the lines formed by the stalks is the reason it feels to me the flowers moving like a dance.
There are many other reasons to contemplate the photo, such as the color contrast and shapes textures, but I feel the description I gave above is what makes this photo in particular stands out.
I once had a Brazilian flatmate in Dublin who had just arrived in Ireland. In one of our first conversations he told me about the “prostitutes” in the bohemian neighbourhood called Temple Bar. I was surprised because after couple of years living near Temple Bar I have never seen a sex worker. During the conversation I realized the women he was referring to, as sex workers, were just women wearing mini-skirt – which is a very common women outfit in Ireland and UK even during winter. For the new comer from Brazil women showing more legs than he was used to see in public had an automatic association to prostitution.
In my first couple of weeks in Freiburg – Germany -, when I was looking for a place to live, I was eating in a bar with my mother when a group of 5 men joined our big table. During the conversation they learned we are Brazilians and told us with a big enthusiasm they were going to spend their holidays, in the following month, in Brazil. After a while I asked one of them, who didn’t share the same enthusiasm than the others, if he was going to spend his holidays in Brazil as well. He answered with a gesture of showing his wedding ring on his finger. I suddenly thought he was suggesting that his friends were going to Brazil with sexual intentions, specially because sex tourism in Brazil is very common and many people in Sough Germany have the image of Brazilian women as being easy to take to bed – Since Brazilians are often very attracted to foreigners. Maybe I misinterpreted his gesture, maybe he was just saying that he is not as free to travel as his friends who are single, because of family responsibilities, but I could not help thinking about sex tourism through his silent message.
I think it is interesting the fact that among Brazil, Ireland and Germany the first is the more conservative and moralist when the subject is nudity, which is a false morality to protect them from their own dirty minds. Different from Germany with many parks and saunas where people can spend their time - on their own, with friends or with their families - completely naked . During German’s summer toddlers are running and playing completely nude in their gardens while in Brazil parents are concerned about their toddlers private parts, or even underwear, being exposed in public. In Brazil there are some isolated beaches with nude areas but in general nudity is not tolerated or allowed - not even topless regarding women. In Brazil nudity is automatically associated with sexual provocation. Ireland and the UK don’t have the open air or sauna nude culture as in the Nordic countries but nobody minds women showing their skin. Once a naked woman, walking in the streets in the UK, was stopped by a policeman, not to reprimand her but, to inform her about the law saying that her being nude in public is not an offense, but if somebody complains for feeling offended then it becomes an offense.
Any bath place is supposed to be a place where people don’t need to wear clothes. In South France, where it used to be common for people to be nude in the beaches, people, and specially women, feel less comfortable with nudity because of the new generation of young men who automatic associate nude women as a sign of “available to sex”. Women, then, became more frequent victims of harassment.
When I started with photography, in Ireland, it was always easy to find people to photograph, especially women. Soon I had my first boudoir photo shoot which for my surprise ended as nude photo shoot. It was a woman who contacted me looking for sensual photos but during the photo shoot she felt comfortable enough to just take out her clothes and continuous the shooting naked. Thanks to her I had photos for my portfolio which brought me more women wanting nude photos, especially after I developed a classic visual language with film negative photos that people became attracted to. Most people associate nude photography with pornography - anything can be turned into pornography in fact, it only requires the viewer imagination and intention – but it is not how I see my work. As a man I am naturally interested in women's beauty and women's bodies but it doesn’t mean I have the sexual view about people I photograph for being naked but the opposite; I have a big respect for people who trust me and my work since most of my photo shoots are just me and the model.
Some people, especially in Brazil, quickly ask me if I sleep with the models I photograph because they can’t help associating nudity to sexual activity. Nudity, instead, gives people a sense of freedom. I only photographed a couple of nude men and it was more evident from them their enthusiasm for being naked - and for having a creative image of their body's expression. I first released it when I was photographing a woman who the body seemed stuck during my posing direction. I told her that she doesn’t look comfortable and that I could not get good body composition from her. She then asked me if I could see her private parts, to which I replied saying that I am too focused on the body composition, lighting, camera setting, framing , focus and the image narrative that looking at her private parts never crossed my mind. It seemed to me her worries came from the fact I was photographing her with an old manual film camera, with a slow focus ring in the lens; Because of the system it takes me a little extra time to find the focus before I press the camera shutter release. I tried to explain about the camera to her but she was satisfied with my first explanation; She didn’t want to hear about my camera but go on with the photo shoot, this time feeling completely free with no worries about what in her body may be exposed, even if it appears in the photo. It is through people's eyes where we confirm who we are .
We fear people's judgement which makes us feel self-conscious. When we are self-conscious, we feel uncomfortable, dissociated from the place and people around us, alien to our surroundings, causing us to cover who we are looking for privacy. Being naked and being accepted as we are without clothes means self-confirmation and so self-acceptance. It gives people more confidence about their body and so about themselves, because they can do whatever they are doing and forget about themselves, feeling more connected to whatever they are doing, enjoying the moment completely and so feeling free. Many people ask me how I convince people to take their clothes off or how I convince women to have certain poses when naked. I never needed to convince anybody to do anything, it was all their decision in the first place, their self-disclosure, to the joy of appearing in the world and deed without equivocation and without self-reflection that are inherent in action.
In Germany it is much more difficult to have people who want nude photo shoots. Instead of paying me they want to be paid. Often it has to do with the fact that Germans are more cynic for feeling suspicious about people's intentions, especially those who they don’t know. German introversion makes them feel more alienated from people and so more self-conscious, which explains the awkwardness that often Germans have. But this cynicism and uneasy feeling among strangers is not the main reason, it seems. I believe the main reason is because they are more used and so comfortable enough with their naked body in public. Instead of photo shoots, for the creative expression of their body freedom, they rather go to saunas and nude public parks where they can enjoy the freedom of their body without the need of interaction with another person, but on their own or with their family in their introverted manner.
The ancient Greek had the Polis, the public space where people could interact and become equal to others, which separate them from their private life where people had their own individuality. This public space was for Theseus what enabled ordinary man to bear life’s burden, for providing the safe space for public interaction, but it was also where people hide their individuality in order to become equals and so respect each other . The medieval Christianity thinking and social tradition had no Polis separating the public and the private. People became equal to each other not through a political space designated for political interaction but through every individual, where God becomes ubiquitous in every person's eyes, turning their presence public and their action as action towards God itself . Consequently, people had to hide more of themselves in order to preserve their individuality. I feel Germans keep something of this separation of public and private tradition, with their closed friend circle as their Polis where they can interact and express themselves to each other as equal, while outside it they can be “naked”, with no need to hide their individuality in order to preserve it; Or as Germans like to say, “being direct”. The Irish, maintaining a more medieval Christian tradition, have the public space on every individual eyes who they can interact and express themselves with, in order to bear life burden, but hiding their individuality in order to preserve it. The photo shooting seems to be for the Irish the private sphere where people can be free from the public “burden” but, at the same time, they can appear to the public by showing their individual expression through the photo results, since it is only through others’ eyes we can confirm ourselves. It also seems to be the reason the so-called “German directness” is interpreted as rudeness for most westerns. Politeness is in fact against directness; Hiding our true thinking and wish to act, our individuality, to respect those through whom we see ourselves as in the eyes of the public arena – God ubiquitous. Germans feel free to not hide their true feelings because what the Irish see as public for the Germans is seen as private, the space where people can have their individuality, action without the public “burden”. The German introversion seems to be a preservation of their individuality on what for the Irish is supposed to be public.
In today’s society there is no such thing as private space other than our own home . The patriarchal family was supposed to be the private kingship where one can have our individuality freedom apart from the public, the reason the Greeks, originally a matriarchal society, created the Polis as contrast to the private patriarchal kingdom . God ubiquitous came to replace the Polis during Medieval times. The Equality among people is what is replacing God ubiquitous in today’s society. Universal equality invades even the patriarchal family – the private kingdom – in order to assure people’s basic equality rights.
Different cultures find their way to appear and to hide. In order to keep prolific with nude photography, after moving to Germany, I started photographing myself; this time with pinhole cameras which work with long exposure photography. I never felt completely comfortable being nude in public - especially coming from a judging and mocking culture that is strong in Brazil, where the public and the private are merged and confused as attempt to find their individual expression and, at the same time, afraid of losing both all together – but doing my creative work that now included my own body expression made me feel very good and more comfortable in my own body. Like a work of art, which we create from our own expression, the body then becomes a work of art – or it has always been - through which we find our individuality in our nudity and, at the same time, our public expression through the image result. The public where we confirm our own self narrative, which without we have no identity.
 HUSTVEDT, S. A Plea for Eros. Separata de; HUSTVEDT, S. A Plea for Eros: Essays. NY: Picador, 2006
 ARENDT, H. The Life of the Mind: The groundbreaking investigation on how we think. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1977.
[3,4,5] ARENDT, H. On Revolution. London: Faber & Faber, 2016.
 ARENDT, H. The Human Condition: Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2018. Second Edition.
 RANK, O. Psychology and The Soul. Mansfield Center, CT : Martino Publishing, 2011.
When we are born is when our existence starts. When we die is when we cease to exist. We appear and disappear. From the beginning of our existence we develop to the best of our appearance then we deteriorate until our disappearance.
As alive beings we react to what appears to us. Every smell, shape, color, texture and everything else that is perceived by the body causes it to emote.  We may consciously or unconsciously notice our body emoting, still, everything that appears to us tells us something about our own existence. 
Because we perceive appearance we also want to appear. "Whatever can see wants to be seen, whatever can hear calls out to be heart, whatever can touch presents itself to be touched. It is indeed as though everything that is alive has the urge to appear, to fit itself in the world of appearances by displaying and showing, not its inner self but itself as an individual" (PORTMANN, 1967). 
As we perceive appearance and want to appear, our existence in this world presupposes a spectator.  It means, nothing that appears exists in the singular, it appears to something else who senses the other appearance; everything that is is meant to be perceived by somebody. Every subject is also an object. The appearance guarantees its objective reality. 
Emoting, the body reaction to senses stimulus as emotion, is an automated body activity. Feeling is the nervous system reading of emotion and association of emotions to memories. As Antonio Damasio explains, emotions work in the body field while feelings work in the mind stage. 
When something appears to our body, and we are conscious about our senses perception, it disappears to our mind. The contrary is also true, what comes to us as thoughts - mental pictures and words - ceases to exist as physical to our senses even if the object in our mind is still in front of us.  Our mental pictures - our memories and feelings associated with them - keep the image’s existence in the world of ideas, of what ceases to exist from our physical body perception. It is as if the physical world stops to exist when we are penetrated with thoughts. In the opposite direction, the experience of body senses makes the mind silent, and the object experienced with our senses feels real. Being capable to silence the mind, as in a meditative state, is to be willing to let go what temporarily appears to our body senses. 
From shocking experiences of surprise and fear to great pleasures, the most impressive experiences are the ones that make us speechless, unable to describe, because our body, and then our brain which works constantly reading and interpreting our body emotions generating feelings and memories , are still processing the information; or because the object that appears to us is still very present to our body senses.
It is said that great works of art are the ones that make us speechless by silencing our mind, even though we always attempt to talk about them. Eventually we turn away from the attention of our body emotion experience and we drive our attention towards our mind - feelings and memories of the object we sensed the appearance of.
The stimulation we call art characteristically require us both to look very attentively and to look "beyond" (or "thoughts") what is understood as impediment, distraction, irrelevance. (SONTAG, 1983, p.134). 
Just as the great love experience, it is the one we perceive through our body - the body emotion intensity that drives our attention to it and quiets the mind - when we experience the best of other person existence; the height of their appearance to our senses. When the love experience is through the mind it only makes our body to emote to our imagination and memories expectation instead of the real object or person. The very samey is true when contemplating and experiencing art (both as creator and as spectator).
To have consciousness means to appear to oneself, but appearing to oneself (our mind) is not enough to guarantee its objective reality ; only what appears to our body. Only through the eye of an other person the individual becomes an object to himself (HUSTVEDT, p.370) . Through artistic expression such as painting, writing, sculpture and photography we are always communicating to somebody, a spectator, to whom we want to appear; Even if the spectators is one's imaginary self, the individual self narrative (where is formed the person's sense of identity).  It is as if the urge to create is an urge to appear in another object through which our existence can be perceived beyond our own. The artistic work is also where the artist appears to themselves, this time not only through their self narrative mind but through a materialized self to be experienced through the body senses - the body emotion - in the objective world. As if it confirms our existence to ourselves.
The same is the people's reaction to our own appearance which confirms to us our own existence. When such interaction is lacking we feel invisible. The body feels angry to confirm its existence. It feels empty. It feels as disappearing, resulting in anxiety, apprehensiveness about its own existence, which can only feel rested again once the senses is fed with the interactive reaction of its appearance to another person, confirming then its existence.
In such a perspective, the dream which we always have when sleeping, regardless of our memory of them when we are awake, is a mental stimulation to our body emotion to confirm its existence; A mental self assurance to confirm the body is still reacting, still alive. 
The anxiety to create something beyond our own where we appear through, to guarantee our appearance and self perpetuate through, comes from the awareness of our own death, which is the great anxiety one can have as a human. We fear our disappearance. Because of such fear we create culture, traditions, society, family, mythology, religions and, along it all, art. 
The common scientific sense which is highly materialist understands appearance as a function to the body preservation and survival. What if our complex body function is what works for our appearance sake?
Despite the mind, the body has its own impulses, its own automated behavior, its emotion. Even mono-cellular and protocell life reacts by what appears to them as a bodily impulse. What Spinoza called Conatus; the power of existence.  What ancient tribal peoples in the east called Mana, the energy from which everything appears from.  To be, is to possess desires. Homeostasis is what defines life, the impulse to preserve, perpetuate itself and guarantee its existence, self-confirming through its self-display.
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 EDEL, L. Henry James: A life. New York: Harper & Row, 1985.
[4, 9] HUSTVEDT, S. My Louise Bourgeois. Separata de; HUSTVEDT, S. A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women: Esseys on Art, Sex, and the Mind. UK: Sceptre, 2016.
[3, 5, 7, 11] ARENDT, H. The Life of the Mind: The groundbreaking investigation on how we think. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1977.
[8} WATTS, A. Tao: The Watercourse Way. New York: Pantheon Books, 1975.
 SONTAG, S. A Note on Bunraku. Separata de; SONTAG, S. Where the Stress Falls. England: Pinguin Books, 2009.
 HUSTVEDT, S. Embodied Vision: What Does It Means to Look at a Work of Art? Separata de; HUSTVEDT, S. Living, Thinking, Looking. England: Sceptre, 2013
 SACKS, O. The Lost Mariner. Separata de; SACKS, O. The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat. London: Picador, 2011.
[14, 15, 17] RANK, O. Psychology and The Soul. Mansfield Center, CT : Martino Publishing, 2011.
 SPINOZA, B. Spinoza Reader: The "Ethics" and Other Work. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1994.
Photographers have a big outdoor culture. Most people interested in photography are usually also interested in outdoor activities, which they combine with photography, such as travelling, hiking, sports, nature, architecture, street photography and so on. No wonder that most photographers, and so most photographs we see around, are about registering experiences especially now with the social media self exposure.
Because of the fact photographs register the appearance of physical objects in the real world it was popularised by people wanting to register the tangibility of others they feel attached to and places to keep as memory, and so experiences that are related to such memories. But photography didn't influences people on such tangibility registration alone. The publicity industry took a huge opportunity offered by photography to use the image tangibility feeling and image experiences to induce people to feel, and so desire such objects, and experiences they see on images. Since publicity images are everywhere we go, including in our homes through screens. We are all very much influenced and have the vision adapted to the tangible publicity language.
Such publicity visual language is so influencing that most people, including most photographers, use such language as reference of photography quality, with a lot of people trying to learn and copy the publicity image technique, to copy such language, and present it as skilled photographers.
The lockdown and social distancing caused by Coronavirus brought many photographers to share their innovative, creative and tutorials on how to practice photography without leaving home, as if photography indoor is something unusual. After all, most photographers are after new places out there in the world and new experiences in such places, expecting to obtain the new, the unusual or simply the experience. The good photo are often associated on "how good" a place is or how good the experience suggests the object's appearance, its tangibility.
I feel the photography [visual] culture lost a lot along its materialist and technician path. Despite the artistic feeling of the activity it seems most photographers lost (or are lacking) the most artistic thing one can have: the abstract vision.
"What the greatest minds have ultimately sought from art is knowledge, a true and metaphysical knowledge, capable of reaching beyond the external appearance of phenomena in order to lead us to their intimate essence". - 'Seeing the Invisible on Kandinsky' by Michel Henry.
Many of the greatest photographers from the past didn't have to go beyond their yards to find endless inspiration. Helmut Newton said once he could always find the perfect location and inspirations just around the corner. Georgio Morandi spent years painting nothing but bottles on plain background. But how can one find so many inspirations and be so prolific in a single place or even with a single kind of object and subject? The answer is Abstract vision. While most people only could see endless bottles in Morandi paintings, he could see his hometown's rich landscapes.
When we look beyond object appearance and tangibility we discover a new and wide world. With my still photographs I photographed the human feelings and vices using only bottles, food, candles and masks; pretty much the very same objects for hundreds of photographs, working only with light and composition to create new scenes, narratives and feelings. The same with self portrait works I did in a single corner in my apartment, using the same few objects and my body composition to create hundreds of expressions in photographs.
It seems the photography culture needs to rediscover still art photographs and turn back to the abstraction vision so photographers can discover they don't need to go far in order to find inspiration, to be prolific and to enjoy the most of the activity. It starts by enjoying one's own vision first, before looking into the viewfinder to find out how things look like from the cameras' mechanical point of view.
The naked woman holding a mask symbolizes where we come from and the birth trauma, which is the origin of all human anxiety, according to Otto Rank. The word “anxiety” comes from the Latin root word “angere” which means to choke or strangle. The first struggle of human life is going through the narrow birth canal, which squeezes and chokes the baby when coming through.
The experience of birth trauma is similar to other anxieties, with the same physical symptoms of a panic attack. Unexplained tachycardia, headaches, extreme pressure on the skull, a feeling of drowning or suffocating, etc.
The separation of mother and child, and its birth trauma, isn’t limited to physical sensations but also causes the loss of the ideal state. Such a first world experience has a serious impact on us and makes us especially sensitive to all kinds of losses, wishing the returning to the prenatal ideal state, normally reflected in the social human interaction and intimate relation, because every person is born twice. The second time is when you earn your place among the people, by being accepted by your community where you develop a sense of identity and belonging.
Rather than a sexual symbol for the male pleasure, this image of a naked woman means something deeper. The sexual frustration is often a social frustration, of feeling socially excluded, away from the ideal state.
Without the social interaction and fulfillment the person starts overthinking. Living solely in the world of thinking gives the person umberable desires. The desire to fulfill the starving body. An urge to act and fulfill the senses, which ground us in the contact with the material world, the sense of being alive and belonging.
Ideology; everybody has one if you understand that ideology is just a set of ideas and beliefs that is based on the individual or group psychology and behaviour rationalisation, and which is not necessarily good or bad.
Every country and society has many ideologies. Among them one emerges as the dominant one, which will impose its psychology and behaviour based on its understanding of what is acceptable and what is “normal”. It means what makes sense from the point of view of one’s own psychology (and which may not make sense to others’ psychology, since truth is only a measure defined by a set of parameters that allow us to interpret our own limiting understanding of the complex rich reality. Such parameters will vary according to different ideologies and their psychologies).
People in every society will tend to fit in the dominant psychology and behaviour, even if it is not originally their own psychology and behaviour, in order to fit in the social expectations and standards and to become socially accepted, politically recognised, economically successful (or finding more chances for such success). Those who have more difficulty fitting in tend to be excluded in a way or in another, depending on their group size.
Regardless of whether one adapts well or not to the dominant ideology repressing one's own psychology to fit in will always cause a negative psychological effect. These negative psychological effects are sometimes well noticeable and sometimes they are not. There are times it becomes the dominant ideology of a group, as part of their group identity often recognised by the group members, but they seldom identify their ideology as being based on a repressed psychology rationalisation.
An ideology and its physiology tend to see themselves as logic and rational while regarding alien ideologies (the ones they are apart) as irrational, stupid, inferior or mad. This is why many people in the past diagnosed with hysteria were sent to madhouses, especially women whose psychology tends to differ from Men’s.
"The game is played as if there is an objective reality that can be accurately perceived without implicating the perceiver." - What Are We? by Siri Hustvedt.
Despite the fact that men can have, and often have, some of the characteristics which are predominant in feminine psychology, and vice versa, our society, that has a patriarchal materialist foundation, is based most on the masculine ideology and in a conservative society with such ideological tradition many women will have psychological distress caused by their own feminine psychology repression.
In modern societies where women are largely emancipated we find a combination of women well fitting to the dominant social psychology as well as society adaptation to some of the feminine psychology. We notice for example some strong masculine psychological behaviour, such as walking, talking and spontaneous reaction to distress, in societies like Germany as well as the Nordic Countries that is distinct from what we notice in Latin societies.
I said at the beginning that every society has many kinds of ideology in their physiology. Among them all there are two kinds of ideologies that I will give a generalized example based on my understanding so far. The first I like and the second I dislike because of my own physiology.
The first group is the kind who is often questioning things and because of it they are often questioning themselves. Because of it they are more willing to listen to people and ponder about others' positions, even if they already have an opinion or believe about what the other person says, they are willing to still find out if there is anything else to know, if something new will come up, learn and perceive from others. So even judging others they respect others, and even when certain about their views and opinions they don't take things too serious because they know that eventually they might find out something else to learn about. In short they are not absolutist (not religious) about what they have as their understanding, so they are able to adapt to changes and learn through unexpected casual circumstances which they set free.
This first group is often perceived as insecure by the second group, and in fact when one’s question too often his understanding insecurity tends arises and becomes anxiety.
“The things that fantasy can do is to normalize what psychologically is unbearable, thereby inuring us to it. In one case, fantasy beautifies the world. In the other, it neutralizes it” - Against Interpretation by Susan Sontag.
The second group doesn't like to question their knowledge and believe because for them it is more important to have certainty, to be sure about one’s own, than to risk the uncertainty. For this reason they are less willing to listen and ponder what people say because they don't like their certainty to be shaken. For this reason there is less respect among them and they are less willing to adapt and learn things when changes come.
In other words, they are more conservatives. They are absolutists, if you propose another point of view they get offended, they tell you you are wrong, if pointed at a problem in their absolutist rules it is not the rule that has problems but you (for not fit in the rule so finding problems in it).
It's ironic the second group to perceive the first as insecure because the second group is often highly insecure. Because of their insecurity they are attached to their certainty and are afraid of those who question what they have as absolutely true. They need it in order to feel confident and secure about themselves and, at the same time, they fear others’ judgement about them if they don't show they are right and certain about their beliefs.
On the other hand, the second group is more organised socially speaking because their lack of questioning what they have as absolute true, moralistic and rules makes them follow and fit in it regardless what, regardless of circumstances. It means they are more bureaucratic, they also speak a more bureaucratic language, and they are less adaptable to what is not expected. But when changes come they are the ones who have the more difficulty to adapt to, for being socially conservative, bureaucratic and absolutist.
The reason I like the first group is because individualism is more accepted among them. It means being different (according to your own psychology) and still being accepted as you are, even if one looks and sounds weird because it’s of to express you distinctive side. But while there is a sense of socio psychological freedom in the first group it also has the side effects of a social crisis of belonging. Where there is pluralism and fast shifting of trends it’s harder to find out where we belong to. Such a crisis is less noticeable in the second group where people identify themselves in the social predominant psychology an absolute order and behavior which they attempt to fit in regardless of what. But even then, the second group has its psychological side effects which is well noticeable in their tendency to impatience, grumpiness, rage storming, social phobia and cynicism about wherever they don’t identify themselves with, the alien ideologies and their psychologies.
“The most part we call “irrational” is just the Natural; but our “rationale” has become so unnatural that we see everything natural as irrational. Hence our psychology as the climax of men’s self-realization is inadequate to explain change because it can only justify the type representing the existing social order of which it’s an expression” - Beyond Psychology by Otto Rank.
Both groups can be part of any political spectrum. It doesn't make the person more left or more right wing in politics and economics if they are from either of the groups described.
There are things we hide from ourselves but we are not aware of it, they are kept in our unconscious. At the same time we express it through or activities, speech and feelings that generate our thoughts but we still remain unaware of it. Even if somebody points it out to us we tend to not recognize what we are hiding from ourselves and there is an emotional reason for it. What people want to deny the most in a debate is the evidence they are being emotional rather than rational. As demonstrated by Antonio Damasio in his book "The Strange Order of Things", we are essentially emotional and not as rational as we like to believe,
Many people are starving for recognition. The reason of it is because identity is ephemeral in a society where we can dream of and pursue to become whatever we want to. Otto Rank describes the past civilizations with a strong sense of belonging and identity through their activities. Back then, people normally continued to live in the same community where their family had been for generations, working in the same field and business that their family had for generations as well, without ever think of or dream about to become an aristocrat or a noble. Each social group, and their relation to their jobs, had their own distinct psychology, mentality, behavior, fashion and culture where individuals tended to bound together. This distinct social characteristics is where they would always find their sense of belonging and identity. People were recognized by their work and community. David Harvey goes further by presenting how the community's land and landscape are so strong related to the individual sense of identity. It justifies the socialist worker unions in deteriorated industrial economy - conflicting with globalists socialists - fighting to keep their unhealthy jobs as well as polluting industries in their community. Because without it they feel they are losing something about themselves, the sense of identity and belonging that they get from such activities and landscape, because it's where and what their entire community have been living and working through all their lives. With the development of capitalism, and consequently the rise of the bourgeois psychology, as Hannah Arendt describes it, the nationalistic sense of equality as the dominant social ideology influenced people to move from their communities and from their traditional activities to cities, looking for better economic opportunities in different jobs - also losing their "know how" with the development of technology and specialization. The result is the crises of identity we find in society today.
Our identity is presented through our expression and every expression is a message to an other real or imaginary person (sometimes ourselves). Siri Hustvedt explains, there is no "I" without an "other" because the other feedback is what makes me perceive and know who I am. Because we can go after whatever we want to be, by chasing down the best jobs opportunities and neighborhood to live in, we need constant feedback about what we become. Or even worse, the confirmation that we are accomplishing the success of our personality, meaning archiving our dreams that is related to our identity, which is confirmed only by other people recognition. When a person still feel insecure about their accomplishments and recognition they pretend (to other people and to ourselves) they are successful and confident about themselves. The person pretends to have the recognition or accomplishment they don't have as a way to convincing everybody (and even himself) it's true, calling those who don't recognize their successful personality as envious, afraid of them to revel what he has been hiding their fragile image. By pretending the person can play it as if it is true and consequently he feels it as if it's true, often convincing people and even themselves it's true even if deep inside their unconsciousness they know it is not true.
John Berger shows how the glamour was born, the acquisition of the personality image that other people wish to have. The aloofness is the bureaucrat attitude of those who are the gatekeeper of the social recognition and consequently social integration (the group acceptance that gives the person the sense of belonging) through images, as described by Frédéric Lordon. The pretending is in order to not feel excluded, as attempt to protect oneself from feeling miserable for not feeling partially or totally belonging to a group recognized as successful by today's society.
The biggest fear of any bureaucrat is to lose their power. A power that is imaginary comes with insecurity. Certainty is the tool insecure people have in order to convince themselves about who they are. They have to believe that what they are is absolute. They need to believe in the absolute in order to overcome the insecurity.
In a debate we talk about our opinions, knowledge and beliefs but these three things are not just data that we put in and take out our mind, they are identity. Identity is related to people's cognitive experiences because the brain does not compute, it emotes. What we have as truth is from what we trust. Trust we get from what we identify ourselves with, as being from what we belong to or wish to belong to. For this reason insecurity tends to make many people to believe that opinions, knowledge and beliefs are absolute. Or even worst, it makes people believe that science is absolute. When the person believes something is absolute they don't need to question it ever, and they will not like if somebody else questions it. Questioning something the person believes to be absolute if for him as if you are questioning his identity. Changing opinions or point of view demands a changing of how you perceive and identify yourself with the subject, which literally means changing who you are. The person who looks for absolutism doesn't want changes because changes are the cause of the insecurity they are hiding behind their absolutist beliefs.
Many people want to believe that science and logic are absolute so they can convince themselves that their supposed absolutist beliefs are scientific and logical. So they can use personal attack on the identity of those who question them, and their absolutist belief, as no logic or no sense. But science is the opposite of absolute because reality is in constant movement and changes. So it requires the person to always question, challenge and change what they believe to be their knowledge in order to gain and grow their knowledge forwards. Certainty does not allows it. If a person questions the thing they believe to be "the truth" then they may not be certain about their "truth". They they may not be certain about his absolutist views and such uncertainty exposes insecure people to their own fears.
At the end, most people tend to research about what confirms their bias, what they strongly identify themselves with, often pretending they are looking for knowledge when in fact they are looking for their certainty confirmation. Absolutism is not for people who want knowledge but certainty, as the David Bowie 's "Law" song narrates.
Certainty is for the person looking for control (about themselves, about a group of people or about society). The faith of an absolutist rule that will not allows things to change (so people believe). Every search for control, morality and rules comes out of fear. The fear of the unpredictable spontaneity. The desire to force reality/nature to adapt to them instead of adapt themselves to reality and nature symbiosis, with the believe they have the absolutist knowledge and science to impose their wishes upon nature and reality.
Nothing of this is new. It is so old that the Greeks dedicated many of their narratives to it. It's called Tragedy. Stories about heroes who try to run from their fate but they can not. Greek Tragedies teach us about our incapacity to control the reality symbiosis. A symbiosis that we are not able to fully understand. More than that, it's good that we can not control it because it is the over control that breaks life and nature symbiosis, so shifting times come as the symbiosis own self regulation.
If we understand it we become able to stop blaming other people for the changes in society, in groups and in ourselves that make us so insecure. Then we better can recognize our insecurities and fears because we become more honest with ourselves and with other people. Through honesty we start to identify ourselves with people around us then and find comfort in them, feeling belonging instead of feeling the fear of social segregation (the losing of an image and its segregating privilege), the fear of a lack of belonging in a society of ephemeral identity.