Category Archives: Glamour

Bob Shell: Letters From Prison #8

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Photo: Bob Shell, Copyright 2018

 

 

Letters From Prison: Part 8, 2018

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Letters by Bob Shell, Copyright 2018

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As I said earlier, in the early 70s I was working for a small TV station in Roanoke. I did a little of everything; ran a camera, directed, produced live TV shows, even introduced late night horror movies on Saturday nights, even filling in for the weatherman on our local news a time or two. It was a real shoestring operation, and when we picked up our paychecks we had to rush to the bank and cash them because those brought to the bank later frequently bounced. The best paid were the engineers, so I went down to Atlanta and took a crash course in electronics at the Elkins Institute, took the government test and got a first class FCC license. Suddenly I was an engineer! In those days the FCC required that an engineer be present at the TV transmitter at all times when the station was broadcasting. Our transmitter was atop Poor Mountain near Roanoke, to get the widest coverage. I got to work there on a “road” that was really just a fire trail. Luckily my car at the time was an FJ40 Toyota Land Cruiser with four-wheel drive, a real mechanical mountain goat that could go anywhere. Amazing vehicle that I kept into the late 80s, and was sorry to part with. I retired the Toyota in favor of a Citroen DS21. Eventually I owned seven of these wonderful French vehicles, ranging from early 60s models to my last one, a beautiful sky blue 1972 model, the last year they were sold in the USA. I bought all of the special tools, shop manuals (some in French), and learned to do all my own maintenance. These cars have an active hydropneumatic suspension, that makes them seem alive. The softest ride ever. Jay Leno says his DS21 is his favorite of all his cars to drive. Of the many cars I’ve owned I could say the same. I stuck with the Citroens after they stopped selling in the USA because parts were sold by Peugeot, but then they also pulled out of the USA and parts became harder and harder to get. I ordered from Holland for a while, but finally gave up and sold my last one to a homesick piano tuner from Paris.

I seem to have gotten sidetracked into automotive things. I love a number of things, and cars are just one more. I can’t bear owning any mechanical device without knowing how it works, so all of my cars, household appliances, and cameras have been taken apart and reassembled. My old friend Marty Forscher was the dean of camera repairmen. He ran Professional Camera Repair in NYC for many years until he retired. He told me he taught himself how to repair cameras by completely disassembling a Rolleiflex, putting all the parts in a box, shaking it up, and then putting it back together. I did the same with an old Pentax Spotmatic, and only had a few parts left over!! So I signed up for the old National Camera home study course in camera repair and learned to do things the right way. For years after that I made money on the side fixing cameras. But that ended when cameras became heavily electronified, and required specialized tools and equipment that were brand specific and were too expensive for anyone outside a factory repair service. No room anymore for a generalist mechanic. I did for a while sort of specialize in repairing the Swiss Alpa cameras that were literally built like Swiss watches, but they went out of business and that work dried up. So my sideline of fixing cameras came to an end except for an occasional favor for a friend and tinkering with my own equipment. Today’s digital SLRs are foreign territory to me and too expensive to risk messing up.

That being said, I took to digital very early on and learned Photoshop before there was even a version number. I believe I shot the first totally digital magazine cover (for PIC magazine in London in 1993 or 1994.). I’ll tell you all about PIC next time…..

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About The Author: Bob Shell is a professional photographer, author and former editor in chief of Shutterbug Magazine. He is currently serving a 35 year sentence at Pocahontas State Correctional Center, Pocahontas, Virginia for involuntary manslaughter for the death of Marion Franklin, one of his former models. Mr. Shell is serving the 11th year of his sentence. To read more letters from prison by Bob Shell, click herehttp://tonywarderotica.com/bob-shell-letters-from-prison-7/

 

 

Also posted in Blog, Erotica, Men, Models, News, Photography, Politics, Popular Culture, Portraits, Travel, Women

Blink Optical: The Place to Shop for Eyewear

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Marc Jacobs Eyewear

 

Photography and Text by Tony Ward, Copyright 2018

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PHILADELPHIA-

The best place in Philly to shop for eyewear is Blink Optical, located at 415 South Street.  I say this without hesitation mainly because of the incredible inventory they carry, upwards of 3000 frames to examine on a wall of eyewear that is almost overwhelming to take in at first glance.  On a recent visit in search of a new pair of sunglasses  I was greeted by a very polite salesperson who asked if there was a specific lens that I was looking for.  My answer was no but if I can’t find anything in this place – with all these choices – something is wrong with me. I proceeded to take the next 15 to 20 minutes carefully studying each frame by working my way up and down the aisle, from one end of the store to the other. It was a process where I really had to concentrate by looking at each individual frame, making sure not to miss the one in three thousand that I liked the best.

By the time I painstakingly got to the very end of the display I noticed a frame that reminded me of a designer I was presently wearing.  I pointed to the frame that seemed to stand alone in the crowd reminiscent of the contours of the glasses that I  currently use for reading. Out of the 3000 frames I selected Marc Jacobs eyewear. Now I have a complimentary pair of MJ, one for reading and the other for cruising.

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Portrait of Tony Ward wearing Marc Jacobs eyewear. Photo: Dwight Ward, Copyright 2018.

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About The Author: Tony Ward is a fine art photographer, author, blogger, publisher and Adjunct Professor of Photography at the University of Pennsylvania. To access additional articles by Tony Ward,  click herehttp://tonyward.com/2018/03/22/diary-portrait-of-a-jersey-girl/

 

Also posted in Art, Blog, Fashion, Fetish, Gifts, Men, News, Obsessions, Photography, Store

Bob Shell: Letters From Prison 2018 #6

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Photo: Bob Shell, Copyright 2018

 

Letters From Prison: Part 6, 2018

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Letters by Bob Shell, Copyright 2018

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I promise that I will return to 2003 soon, but right now I want to talk about the more distant past, specifically the 50s and 60s. I grew up in the small city of Roanoke, Virginia. From an early age I was interested in science and art. Originally, like so many teenage boys in those days, I wanted to grow up to be a dinosaur digger like my idol Roy Chapman Andrews, the man who found the first dinosaur eggs back in the 1920s. I’d read all his books and couldn’t think of a more adventurous life. He once fought and killed a leopard that had jumped on his back with only his knife! If you like real life adventures, read his book Heart of Asia. The title has a double meaning, which I won’t spoil for those who read it. He was sort of a real life Indiana Jones.

I spent a lot of time drawing and painting dinos, but when time for college came I found out how few jobs there were for paleontologists, and faced the problem of finding a career related to science that would let me make a living. Someone gave me a book, the Handbook of Biological Illustration, and I was hooked! During these same years my father, an avid photographer, taught me to develop film and make prints in his basement darkroom. I must have been about 12 or 13 when I developed my first film. But I never thought I’d ever make photography a career. In my later teens I met the two people who would influence my life the most. The first was Andre Pizzini, who was an illustrator at the Smithsonian in DC. He was a classically trained artist who was doing meticulously detailed paintings of tiny moths for museum publications. Later he got me a job there doing pen and ink drawings of moth genitalia (really!! That’s not as strange as it may sound. Some moths look so much alike that they use a ‘lock and key’ system to keep males from mating with the wrong females. Only genitalia of the same species will physically fit, so entomologists use the genitalia as a reliable diagnostic feature.). Later I actually worked for the C.I.A., although I didn’t know it at first. I was drawing mosquito heads for something called the Southeast Asia Mosquito Research Project, which the Washington Post later outed as a C.I.A. front. But all I did for them was draw mosquito heads, honest!

The second most influential person I met through the first: he was Roger Tory Peterson, the bird painter/ornithologist. Roger took me under his wing and got me my first real commissions, to do some paintings for the National Wildlife Federation, for which he was Art Director at the time. These were small paintings used on their Wildlife Conservation Stamps, which older people will remember getting in the mail every year. As well as being my mentor in art, Roger also steered me back to photography. He had become an accomplished wildlife photographer himself, and was making a good side income from stock photo sales. He hooked me up with my first agency. Roger and I shared another interest as well. The last time I saw him, he was well into his 90s. This was at one of the NANPA (North American Nature Photographers Association) conferences, which Shutterbug helped sponsor. Roger had just come back from Antarctica, and looked “fit as a fiddle,” as the saying goes. “Roger, how do you do it?” I asked him. “Young women,” he replied with a wink, and then introduced me to his latest wife, who looked like she was in her twenties.

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About The Author: Bob Shell is a professional photographer, author and former editor in chief of Shutterbug Magazine. He is currently serving a 35 year sentence at Pocahontas State Correctional Center, Pocahontas, Virginia for involuntary manslaughter for the death of Marion Franklin, one of his former models. Mr. Shell is serving the 11th year of his sentence. To read more letters from prison by Bob Shell, click herehttp://tonywarderotica.com/bob-shell-letters-from-prison-2018-5/

 

 

 

Also posted in Blog, Erotica, Models, News, Obsessions, Photography, Women

Diary: Portrait of a Jersey Girl

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Alison: In her Bedroom

 

Photography and Text by Tony Ward, Copyright 2018

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ALISON

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I first met Alison at a print shop in Old City, Philadelphia where I used to have custom prints made.  Alison happened to be an employee of the place and I recall seeing her at first behind a computer looking quite busy fixing a customers photograph by using various Photoshop tools at her disposal.  We became more acquainted when she was assigned to edit one of my photos in preparation for an exhibition of my work.  I liked the results and she became the go to person at the printer whenever I needed anything done.  

One day I visited the print shop and was taken by her striking beauty as it was the Spring and she was wearing a short sheer dress with little to no makeup. I immediately transformed Alison in my mind as one of my new models for a project that required the subject wear Victoria’s Secret lingerie.  Since we were already quite friendly and familiar she agreed to model for me at her home just over the Tacony Palmyra Bridge in New Jersey.  She also mentioned that I could select a number of different options from her wardrobe since she was a Victoria’s Secret customer. The casting couldn’t have been more perfect.

When I arrived at her door on the day of the shoot,  she greeted me wearing a simple bath robe slightly open which revealed her beautiful bust line and a well toned figure. As I entered the charming home Alison proceeded to give me a tour of the various rooms we could shoot in. Then we entered the last room of the tour, her tastefully appointed boudoir like master bedroom.  That is where we began this series of memorable pictures. 

To see more intimate pictures of the sitting with Alison, become a Club Member, enjoy the benefits, click herehttp://tonywarderotica.com/category/membership-account/

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To access additional Diary entries, click herehttp://tonywarderotica.com/diary-hannah-heidi/

 

 

Also posted in Art, Blog, Diary, Erotica, Fashion, Fetish, Hetero Love, Models, Obsessions, Photography, Portraits, Women

Bob Shell: Letters From Prison 2018 #4

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Shutterbug Magazine

 

 

Letters From Prison: Part 4, 2018

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Letters by Bob Shell, Copyright 2018

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Let me talk a bit about what happened to me, particularly because something similar could happen to almost anyone in today’s America. The year was 2003 and I was at the top of my game. In 2001 I had been “retired” from my long-time job as Editor of the photography magazine Shutterbug. Rather than force me out altogether, which would have looked bad to the photo industry, they made me Editor At Large, cut my pay to less than half, but on the bright side they freed me from my contractual obligation to write articles only for them. So I began writing regularly for Rangefinder (edited then by my old friend Bill Hurter), Professional Photographer, Photo Electronic Imaging, Photo Techniques, Digital Camera, Zoom, and several others domestically. I continued to do product reviews for BestStuff.com (who also put together the Gadget Guru segments for NBC’s Today Show). Plus I was writing photo books for Lark Books, a division of Barnes & Noble, working as a consultant for National Geographic on their photo guides, and writing some product instructions for Kodak (if you have a Kodak Gray Card, those are my instructions). I also wrote a section of a book on how to use light meters for Sekonic.

I was happy, working on personal photo projects in my studio in Radford, Virginia. People used to ask why I lived in a small town, and I always answered that it was the lower cost of everything. I was able to have a large studio for peanuts, and since I very rarely did anything for local clients I did not have to scrounge for local business to support myself.

Everything was going great and I was working on photos for a book that was a departure for me, a book of photos of erotic bondage. The book was the idea of Marion Franklin, my girlfriend and chief model. She had the idea and I sold it to a publisher. (The book, Erotic Bondage: Art of Rope came out in 2004 under my pseudonym Edward Lee, a pseudonym I’d used since 1993 for my overseas work — Not really so much a pseudonym, since my full name is Robert Edward Lee Shell).

I’d never really done any bondage photography prior to the summer of 2002 when I did a shoot with bondage pro Maria Shadoes and a friend of hers who was also heavily into bondage, and we played at it a bit. Later I did some with Elkie Cooper, one of my favorite models that I’d photographed for years, ever since she turned 18. She’d gotten onto bondage and had worked for some very fine photographers, including Lee Higgs, whose book Generation Fetish was a favorite of mine.

On June 3, 2003 my world came crashing down. Marion and I had worked all day with Maria Shadoes and her boyfriend Lew Rubens, both bondage pros who spent the day teaching me ties and safety procedures. I’d never had a model injured during a photo shoot and wanted to make sure it never happened. Maria and Marion were our subjects and Lew did some elaborate ties and suspensions with them. I wanted a record of everything, so I took many still photos and also set a video camera up on a tripod to record everything. I’d developed a habit of setting up a video camera and recording all studio shoots.

After we finished for the day we were all bushed. Marion went to sleep on the studio bed, Maria and Lew left for the day, and I walked down the block to the Sonic to get some food, since I hadn’t eaten since breakfast. I was gone maybe half an hour and came back to the studio to set things up for a shoot planned for the next day. After a while when I walked by the bed I couldn’t hear Marion snoring (she always snored softly) and tried to wake her up. She would not respond, so I freaked out and ran to the phone and called 911. That’s when my nightmare began. To be continued…….

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About The Author: Bob Shell is a professional photographer, author and former editor in chief of Shutterbug Magazine. He is currently serving a 35 year sentence at Pocahontas State Correctional Center, Pocahontas, Virginia for involuntary manslaughter for the death of Marion Franklin, one of his former models. Mr. Shell is serving the 11th year of his sentence. To read more letters from prison by Bob Shell, click herehttp://tonywarderotica.com/bob-shell-letters-prison-2018-3/

 

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