Photograph - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward

There were only two photographers in the last century that I admired for the window that they gave me into how they perceived Eros. One was Paul Outerbridge and the other Helmut Newton. Both had grace and elegance. They were never pornographic because I believe that pornography involves in supressing one’s built-in sense of what is good taste.

I will confess that in my past I approached the idea pornography but always that good taste would damn me back into the “tasteful”. And yet the worst thing anybody could ever tell me about my erotic work was,”Alex it is tasteful.”

Since went on this side of 60 (I am now 73) I have found that not only does my good taste persist but it has piggybacked on subtlety. I believe that both Outerbridge and Newton must have felt that duality as they took their photographs.

Photograph - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward

While I am certainly no Newton I do attempt to break that barrier and delve into erotic subtlety. One of the elements of this subtlety is for something in a photograph to not be quite right. The photograph can flow but it must also have a little bang to stop you somewhere.

I thing that I am getting there and I as I move to my little house with a little photo studio I look forward to shooting some of this subtle stuff.

It will not make me feel younger. On the contrary I will be satisfied to be what I am becoming, a grand, refined but dirty old man.

Originally published at

Into Bunny Watson. I am a Vancouver-based magazine photographer/writer. I have a popular daily blog which can be found at:

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