The Photo Exchange

Photographer David Hamilton — Sisters

Posted in Uncategorized by Jim McKinniss on September 11, 2013
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Photo copyright by David Hamilton

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Photo copyright by David Hamilton

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Photo copyright by David Hamilton

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Photo copyright by David Hamilton

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Photo copyright by David Hamilton

A friend of mine informed me of David Hamilton through his book titled “Sisters” and so I did a Google search.  I found some of his beautiful photos which led me to make this post.

The following text was lifted directly from Wikipedia:

David Hamilton (London, 15 April 1933) is a British photographer and film director best known for his images of young women.

As much of Hamilton’s work depicts early-teen girls, often nude, he has been the subject of some controversy and even child pornography allegations, similar to that which the work of Sally Mann and Jock Sturges have attracted. In the late 1990s, conservative Christian groups in America protested unsuccessfully against bookstores that stocked Hamilton’s photography books.

As The Guardian wrote, “Hamilton’s photographs have long been at the forefront of the ‘is it art or pornography?’ debate.”[3]

In 2005 a man was convicted for being in possession of 19,000 images of children, including photos by Hamilton. The images were found to be in the lowest indecency rating. In response, Glenn Holland, Hamilton’s spokesman, stated: “We are deeply saddened and disappointed by this, as David is one of the most successful art photographers the world has ever known. His books have sold millions”.[3] Following the conviction a member of the Surrey Police in Britain stated that possessing Hamilton books was now illegal in the UK. Surrey Police later made a formal apology for this statement and admitted that no legally binding decision had been made on the work of David Hamilton.[4]

In 2010 a man was convicted of level 1 child pornography for owning four books, including Hamilton’s The Age of Innocence as well as Still Time by Sally Mann, which he purchased from a bookstore in Walthamstow, London. His conviction was overturned on appeal in 2011, with the judge calling his conviction “very unfair” and criticising the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) for prosecuting him. The judge concluded that “If the [CPS] wishes to test whether the pictures in the books are indecent, the right way to deal with the matter is by way of prosecuting the publisher or retailer – not the individual purchaser.

By Jim McKinniss

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