The good, the outrageous and the subtle perfections


When it comes to the issue of photoshop, I am a bit torn. On one hand, I love that photographers now have these advanced technologies they could use to better perfect their pictures because lets face it, sometimes we all want that large zit on our foreheads to be removed. Many of us also want to be photoshopped inside the USS Enterprise beside Uhura. (Okay, maybe that’s just me, but moving on)

Photoshop is undeniably, a great tool to have. Look at how flawless my skin looks. Not that it isn’t already flawless, but loook…


However, like most things, we tend to go overboard with it as is seen in photo below. (My waist has not and will most likely never be that thin and the fact that the designer preferred a grotesque shape to my actual one says a lot about what we promote through photoshop)


Anyways, no worries, this is not a post meant to further denigrate photoshopping because I think we can all agree that it has to some extent become harmful in the idealistic concepts of the human body it portrays. No, this is a post praising the artistic use of photoshop and to show how sometimes, less can be more.

When I first became aware of Brian Gomes photography, particularly his “Made in Guyana” calendar, I was happy yes, but not particularly bought over. I was interested because anything that helps to destabilize the belief that we should be ashamed of our bodies in its natural form is something I am down with because this belief has caused considerable agony to persons over the centuries, particularly women.

Side note- (I am not sure whether Brian would have been the inspiration, but a flurry of photographers shooting naked women suddenly became the rage and unlike Brian’s work, I found these to be exploitative.)

I saw one of the shots from the calendar online and while I considered it beautiful and expertly shot and lighted, (forgive me, I don’t know the terminology of photographers) dare I say it did not really move me. This was in part due to the fact that I never really take close looks at photographs online, its a quick look and I’m done with it. Regardless, the one photo I saw convinced me to buy it because aside from liking to support the creative arts where I can, I like pretty things and the picture even on one glance was pretty.

Away from the confines of my computer screen, able to see the details, I turned from page to page in joy that at least one photographer is getting it right! Whether the imperfections in the photographs were left to make some grand statement or not, I absolutely loved every red patch, generous waistline and stretchmark showcased.

Behold this glorious shot! (I’m sorry, I’m really excited about all this) there’s not much smoothing of edges and while its hard to see in this shot (maybe my eyes are bad) her stripes are on full display


There are those who I would have shown the calendar to after I received it and the majority seemed to be of the belief that the photographs should have been more edited or that he should have used thinner models in some cases. No need to say that these people were quickly shut the fuck down because if you think that representing different body types and leaving ones imperfections is a bad thing in high art then it really is unfortunate that society has worked such a number on you.

Photoshop should not necessarily be used to cover, that in my opinion is a lazy photographer’s way of displaying the human form. I love as much accurate representation as I can get and as such, I believe that it should be used to enhance a subject rather than change or thwart it in some way. That’s why I love Brian’s calendar, because the usage of photoshop seemed to be  more about bringing the images more into focus rather than changing them. In an age where men and women are told that our bodies are not good enough because that’s not how the media portrays it, it is refreshing to see real women at least, represented realistically.

Maybe if I get over my camera shyness I’ll pose for one of Brian’s calendar. If you have any difficulties identifying me in the future, just look for that bronze butt with the stretch marks.



  1. Frankly, I would like to be next to Uhura, so its not just you. I won’t try to defend some of the offending photographers (in your view), except to say that many of them are often asked by the subjects / models to do those things to them, and as such sometimes become accustomed to just such an approach and use that anytime they are doing model / fashion / glamour shots.

    As for Brian Gomes, I own every Made in Guyana Calendar, not because I want to see naked women but because I think that his artistic approach to it is admirable. The 2015 calendar and the 2017 Calendar are to be the best ones so far, but that is just my opinion.

    It is nice to read you views, and I wish that more people thought the same way, but then variety and differences in opinions are what makes this world so interesting. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Alicia T. Phillips says:

    It was an interesting read! I like your bluntness very much, Akola.
    I find, I could be wrong, that here in Guyana mostly, majority of people “look down” on the nude body. It shouldn’t be showcased I guess. But from an artist’s perspective, the nude is so beautiful, in all its various shapes and flaws. It should be celebrated.
    I’m really impressed with the artistic concept of Brian’s work. Just beautiful!


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