Real Retro

Model Mosh, Feb 2012 in Echo Park, Los Angeles.

Sometimes people assume I’m appropriating old vintage images, in the way someone might scan a 1950s magazine add and mess around with it, but all my photo images are originals.  This was shot February of last year.

I’ve also had a lot of inquiries from people wanting retro or pinup style photos, which is not really where I’m coming from.  In general I don’t like nostalgia at all.  What’s interesting to me is the challenge of creating a scene as realistically as possible via shooting circumstances, props, HMU, wardrobe, processing.   I absolutely despise stuff that is anachronistic without intent- for example, all the styling and look is retro, but the model is covered in tattoos or the processing is 100% modern digital look.  It just seems lazy and ill thought out.

For the record I also hated in Star Trek: Enterprise where the female Vulcan T’Pol was played by an actress with obvious lip/ bust surgery and fake tanning.  I suppose the same could be said for 7 of 9, except she’s a Borg and you expect a little cyborg enhancement with those guys.

The one thing that nostalgia has going for it is, it’s very easy to figure out all the elements because it’s so commonly understood and there’s a cultural feel for what belongs.  Grain belongs in old film photos, as do certain paper textures.  Halftones go with someone being mass printed before computer printing.  A VHS look is common to 1980s images.  Movies like Drive understand this and match logos, music, acting style, etc. to give a very convincing, very specific feel to how a viewer interprets a work.


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I'm a multimedia artist in Phoenix, AZ. Main Site - Instagram @primordialcreative + twitter @dbmillerphoto

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