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Erotic Flashback (Book Review)

Erotic Flashback

My favourite bookshop in Hobart is Cracked and Spineless located in Collins Street. Mostly because they have great photography (and erotic photography) books for sale. My partner picked up a copy of Erotic Flashback by Michael Berkowitz and Adrienne E. Gusoff. The erotic photography of Berkowitz derives influence from a book of 1800s nudes titled Early Erotic Photography published by Taschen. This was the book that brought him around from being a painter, sculptor and performance artist focused on religious themes into the direction of shooting erotic nudes in his Manhattan studio on a 4×5 camera. He uses a standard portrait lens, Kodak Tri-X 400 film and a combination of natural and augmented lighting to recreate that 1800s French erotic aesthetic.

Michael Berkowitz took his first lessons in photography from Alfred Eisenstadt. But it wasn’t until reading the Taschen book he felt compelled to become a serious photographer. And this is where I admire his technical balls. He writes:

I was so taken by the images that I purchased a large format camera, built a set in my studio, hired a model and took some photos. I was so pleased with the results, and the reaction of others to the images was so swift and strongly positive, I became hooked on photography. It felt as if I was doing exactly what I was meant to do. I have never looked back. Michael Berkowitz

This 228 page hard cover measures a hardy 1.5 x 6 x 8.2 inches and fits comfortably in the hand. The card is high quality and the 4×5 images are reproduced at the size of the original negative in sepia. It’s also worth noting this is a true erotica book in the sense that some fingers may or may not on various occasions wander into the various vaginas being exposed. This isn’t a lingerie model photoshoot. These are real women between 18 and 50 years of age from real life without fake boobs or manufactured enhancement. All but a few approached the photographer and requested their images to be created.

We picked this copy up as either new, or possibly second hand in mint condition, from Cracked and Spineless for AUD$25. Another example that shows we don’t need to spend a veritable fortune bringing together a worthy photography book collection.

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About the Author

Steven Clark Steven Clark - the stand up guy on this site

My name is Steven Clark (aka nortypig) and I live in Southern Tasmania. I have an MBA (Specialisation) and a Bachelor of Computing from the University of Tasmania. I'm a photographer making pictures with film. A web developer for money. A business consultant for fun. A journalist on paper. Dreams of owning the World. Idea champion. Paradox. Life partner to Megan.

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