Since the introduction of digital cameras, there has been further scope to explore and produce far greater photographic possibilities than with the older analog film formats such as 35mm, etc. However, this convenience has brought a damming downside. With the vast image storage capability of flash storage cards, Photographers are 'taking more' and making less...
The greatest difference that I find in retrospect of the time of analogue film to that of the present digital age is the lack of consideration and conceptualisation behind photographic work. The art of "Image making" in many ways has taken a backseat to a growing swell of "image taking" that occurs now. It would seem that laziness has protruded into the photographer and hampered the image making process. There are countless examples of empty, frivolous images being taken by photographers that stand as nothing more than a haphazard arrangement of pixels at best.
A common example of this would be the growing volume of risqué photographs of young women that are being taken. They cannot be taken seriously because more often than not are irrelevant and empty. Challenging nothing culturally or socially and merely a poorly represented woman in a time where body image alone is more controversial and sensitive than ever. It is here where this typical type of image can be often pinned down and identified for just how empty it really is.
The famous old advertising saying "Sex sells" could not be truer. Looking back over the past 50 years, it is clear to see thousands of examples of commercial advertising were "sex" has been utilised to draw attention and stimulate market growth. When you're enticing the human emotion with advertising, there is nothing more evoking than a sexually charged image - a reaction to such is innate!
Market research says that the average time spent viewing an advertisement is between 2-3 seconds... So naturally, sex, with it's lightening fast mental trigger, possesses the power to sustain a longer attention span from the viewer and greater embed the product within the viewer's mind, hence being adopted by adverting agencies to draw attention to a product.
Historically, the female figure has often been depicted with a sexualised manor by various fashion and portrait photographers such as Helmut Newton, Guy Bourdin, Herb Ritts, Horst etc. Each of these practitioners applied a great deal of consideration and development to their practice of such and whilst often riding the line between what was deemed "acceptable or not" during their period, they were pioneering against numerous challenges that female's faced, elevating the gender's social and cultural status towards a greater level of equality and presence within our world.
They were - "Challenging the state of their time".
DON'T COPY THIERS. IT DOESN'T WORK.