John Nell on Photo.net

John Nell on Photo.net

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Four very different approaches to portraiture featuring girls, all by the same photographer, John Nell (even calling himself, rather grandiosely “Photographer John Nell”). He’s a bit of a mystery: I can find just one site that carries his work (tho’ admittedly there are over 4,500 shots, consisting of over fifty folders), and they range from almost-creeper street captures of young women (all over the world: he’s clearly a great traveller), to posed shots like my first choice. He seems to be present at a lot of ballet shows, street festivals, local fairs and amateur fashion shows (the penultimate beauty, for example) – usually snapping the more attractive young women, but with enough captures of younger girls to make up two folders (here and here – they’re called “Children” and “Children 2”, but any boys are purely incidental): with about three hundred images in total.

The portfolio encompasses a lot of general tourist material, well photographed – but more cheesy than arty. He also seems keen on rather out-of-date frames (two that I removed from the photos in my mini-gallery): which obscure the really memorable shots. The first image is lovely: a very pretty model with an always-popular animal addition – but the effect is charming rather than sentimental, given that the dogs are in tension with the girl, not being petted or anthropomorphised.

The last has all the air of a classic: beautiful focus and composition – the girl’s pose examining the wonderful over-sized figure a great mixture of awe and surprise. And finally the girl competing in an egg-and-spoon race on the beach is just the perfect shot of a pretty girl in her bloom.

Here are the rest of the ones I liked the most, followed by a mosaic gallery of all the also-rans:

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……his age, nationality, photographic background etc. are a blank: he’s been uploading to Photo.net since 2009, and the site says he’s an active poster – and people are still leaving unreplied comments and questions right up to the present. Some of his captions are misspelt, which could indicate that English isn’t his first language, or just that he writes them in a hurry. The commenters are all full of praise, some wryly mentioning his tendency to only photograph the young females of the species in the countries he visits: but then I said “almost-creeper” above – he clearly isn’t into upskirts or anything like that, purely admiring and capturing the beauty he sees around him….

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