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Jessica Ashley Miss June 2014 ? Playboy Playmate of the Month

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Jessica Ashley, a graduate of the University of Michigan and a established model.

25 years old
Bingham Farms, Michigan, US

Height: 5′ 10″
Weight: 125 lbs
Bust: 34″
Waist: 25″
Hips: 35″
Cup: C
Dress: 4
Shoe: 10.0
Hair color: Brown
Hair length: Long
Eye color: Hazel
Ethnicity: n/a
Skin color: n/a
Shoot nudes: No ??
Tattoos: n/a
Piercings: n/a

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Emily Agnes Miss May 2014 ? Playboy Playmate of the Month

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Emily Agnes Miss May 2014 Playboy Playmate of the Month

Emily Agness Miss May 2014 Playboy Playmate of the Month

Sometimes refers to herself as Emily Agnesss
Emily Agness Miss May 2014 Playboy Playmate of the Month

Her self description is: Twenty-something living, messing up, and repeating.

Emily Agness Miss May 2014 Playboy Playmate of the Month

Emily Agness Miss May 2014 Playboy Playmate of the Month

Emily Agness Miss May 2014 Playboy Playmate of the Month

Playboy Playmate Emily Agnes Official Website
Click Here for Playboy Playmate Official Website

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Maggi Caruther Miss May ? 2014 Playboy Playmate of the Month

A little dispute going on as to whether Miss May will be Maggi Caruther or the previously reported Emily Agnes.

Shanice Jordyn Miss April 2014 Playboy Playmate of the Month

Shanice Jordyn tweeted that she will be Miss April

 

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Britlinn Vee Miss March 2014 Playboy Playmate of the Month

http://instagram.com/brittlinn_vee and I think she’s great!!!!!!

Ivan Tarazzo

 

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Brittlinn Vee at Red NYC



Playboy Playmate Fan Club Website
Click Here for Playboy Playmate Fan Club Website

 

Amanda Booth Miss February 2014 Playboy Playmate of the Month

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Miss Feb is Amanda Booth who is another fashion model like Roos.

 

  • Height: 5′ 9.5″ / 176.53cm
  • Bust: 34″
  • Waist: 24.5″ / 62.23 cm
  • Hips: 35″ / 88.9 cm
  • Shoes: UK 6 / EUR 39
  • Dress Size(uk): UK 8 / EUR 36
  • Hair: Blonde Dark
  • Eyes: Blue




Roos Van Montfort Miss January 2014 Playboy Playmate of the Month

Roos Van Montfort

 

Beautiful Dutch model Roos van Montfort has been announced as being the Playboy Playmate for January 2014. The New Year rings in with this beauty gracing the pages of Playboy’s 60th Anniversary issue – making her the 60th anniversary Playmate.

Roos van Montfort is originally from the Netherlands and at the ripe age of 20 has already shot ads for clients such as – Max Factor, Burberry, Christian Dior, and Victoria’s Secret. She has even been on the cover of Diva magazine (May 2012 issue).

Roos van Montfort Bio

measurements: 32.5-21-35.5

height: 5’10?

hair: brunette

eyes: brown

birthplace: Geldrop (The Netherlands)

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Future Playboy Playmates…thoughts?

I’m a fan of Alyssa Arce. So, I was wondering where this model as playmate thing can go. Can you see a model like Dioni Tabbers as a playmate or as a pictorial subject?

http://www.imagebam.com/image/2bdab0297442918

And what about using some of the front line page 3 girls like Rosie Jones or Danielle Sharp? Or if you follow the pinupfiles website a model like Tessa Fowler?

For the longest time the playmates have just been boring, over and over retreads. It’s fun after so long to be able to look forward to who the next playmate might be.

H.

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Totally agree.  Never heard of Dioni but, man, she’d make a great Playmate.  Same goes for the bulk of the UK models, Danielle Sharp is one of my favorites (Holly Peers, Rosie Jones, Seren Gibson, Kelly Andrews, there’s a lot to like).  Lots of those models over there have great curves.  I can dream.

Alfred.

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As for future Playmates, I’d love to see Ali Rose. Also, I’d still love to see Bethanie Badertscher become one, but I guess that is not going to happen. It is incomprehensible that she has not.
Shan

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I like to see Bethanie too but she’s just wishful thinking at this point. She was dissed by Playboy several years ago when she tried out, they didn’t even recognize she was just named the CGOY. It shows that there is no connection between the route to being CG and Playmate. If a CG was picked as Playmate, it has nothing to do with the fact that she was a CG, there is no preferential treatment. In fact several Playmates has come out to disown their CG past, because they see it as below their Playmate status.

Also Bethanie was recently married and has become a recluse from Playboy and modeling activities. She also complained that since Manwin started running things in Playboy, they pay pennies to shoot and have no interest in working with them again. So chances of her returning are slim. But she is always one of my favs.

Gary

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The one that I’m still disappointed about not making Playmate is Danielle Burt, here’s hoping that the recent changes in PMOM picking make her return. If not she is definetely the one that got away.

Ivan

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Do a google search for Charlotte Lebon. She’s another model/actress that is just starting out. She’d be an excellent pictorial subject.

H.

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Said it before and will keep saying it
Laura Lynn is a walking PMOY! Discovered at Oregon State – like SJU – and like SJU is sooooooooGND stunning. Laura is small with a stunning body – perfect breasts and butt and beautiful fully shaven pubes. Her face is one of the finest female faces I have ever seen. If I ran PB she would have already been a PM and had she been a PM in 203 she’d be the PMOY 2014. I doubt she will ever be a PM – but she should
Erik
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Yes Eric she will be a good one
Baseball man
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Playmate of the Year 2014

I was just looking at the list of PMOY.  There have been only 2 blondes in the last eleven years.  From 2003 to 2013, only Kara Monaco and Sara Underwood were back to back blondes in 2006 and 2007.  From Santiago to Pomplun.  There were the same amount of Latina PMOYs as blondes.  I personally think that Alyssa is probably gonna be the choice seeing she is doing some modeling outside of Playboy now even getting on celeb blogs, but a blonde is due.  Hard to say.  If it is a blonde, it will be Audrey or Kennedy.  Kennedy is a medical student wanting to be a plastic surgeon.  She would be the best from a PR standpoint.

Jerm cub Fan

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I sure thought Santiago did, but danged if I can find a pic of her with huge bazongas, so maybe I’m wrong
about her having them. My feelings on the subject, is they oughta make it a law, that if they’re good enough
to make it to the center of Playboy, that it’d be illegal for them to get ‘em, or make ‘em bigger. Especially
PMOY’s. Good gawd almighty! A PMOY havin’ her tata’s worked on, is like someone improvin’ on the Mona
Lisa. Shame on both Underwood and Swedberg, I say.

BBN

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India Allen did the same thing!

Steve

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I think India mighta got her chest accessories before she became a playmate……

BBN

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If she did accessories before hand, she expanded after becoming a playmate.  See attached picture that shows the difference between her Playmate of the Month vs. Afterwords.  I *think* the picture labeled “Playmate of the Year Pictorial” is from the pictorial used in the PMOY edition, but it may have been after that.  Regardless, I think it’s safe to say she went under the knife after becoming a playmate.

http://hcd-1.imgbox.com/adu0GKql.jpg?st=98Q2S8HONJWlIrZy3Fabew&e=1388297142

Steve

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The whole deal with India becoming a playmate, was that she couldn’t maintain her weight
enough to continue modeling. The bigger she got, the bigger her titties got too. Not sayin’ she
was ever “chunky” lol, but I can’t tell much if any differences in her boobs, from her original
layout and her PMOY spread. PB is pretty good at takin’ pictures that make a gal’s titties seem
bigger than what they are anyways. Lookin at Julie McCullough’s centerfold, you’d think that she
had some big ‘ol knockers lol. Not saying that you’re wrong mind you……just that I can’t personally
tell much difference.

BBN

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I never really noticed that they are different either.  And to Bob’s point, Playboy models are generally a little bigger than your average fashion model.  That is probably the main reason why I like them better.

And on a note on the pictures, has anyone noticed that Freytag and Wayda didn’t do a PMOM photoshoot since Dec 2012?  I think it has to do more with new Playboy Plus than anything.  I am just speculating more than anything.  I noticed it looking at the Wikipedia page of last years girls.  You can tell I do believe.
 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Playboy_Playmates_of_2013  Here is the link for it.  At the bottom has all the years listed to where you can click on a year to check out there info.

Jerm Pin

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In reference to Arnie Freytag and Steven Wayda…….
I think you’re probably right, as well as them breaking in newer photographers. I can’t really
remember when Wayda came in, but I vividly remember Arnie being the “young gun” at Playboy.
I’m not sure if this means as much of a drastic difference in the way that the photos are taken,
as it was when PB stopped using the Trikklis family (Michael and his daughter Melissa) to do their
videos, but hopefully the hell not. That garbage we’ve been seeing for videos from them for several
years now, is the direct result of having let the Trikklis’ go. Michael Trikklis had been over the videos
from the start, and had basically created that PB style that we all loved.

BBN

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There are more pictures per month now, but you can tell that it isn’t the same.  It seems like they are doing more outside stuff or the lighting isn’t as soft as it was.

Jerm Pin

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You might be seeing more pictures lol……but trust me……in the past there were TONS of pics taken.
That’s how the Cyber club is able to release new pics we’ve never seen before of old playmates. You
hit on something kinda interesting though, with those outside pics. One thing that’s difficult to alter in
photoshop, is the lighting. You can absolutely do a ton of stuff in PS, but getting that just right lighting,
is where the older photographers like Pompeo Posar would earn their keep. If the lighting wasn’t just
right outside, they’d take it inside until it damn well WAS right. Not so with today’s picture takers I believe.
If they wanna do a sunset shoot, they take the gal out when she wakes up at noon, then try to photoshop
that beautiful sunset. Not quuuuuuuite the same effect as the real thing. <wink> Freytag and Wayda are
both masters at their craft, and hopefully they’ll eventually weed out the wannabe photographers, and these
new boys will eventually make a name for themselves as well.

I sure thought Santiago did, but danged if I can find a pic of her with huge bazongas, so maybe I’m wrong
about her having them. My feelings on the subject, is they oughta make it a law, that if they’re good enough
to make it to the center of Playboy, that it’d be illegal for them to get ‘em, or make ‘em bigger. Especially
PMOY’s. Good gawd almighty! A PMOY havin’ her tata’s worked on, is like someone improvin’ on the Mona
Lisa. Shame on both Underwood and Swedberg, I say.

BBN

**************

Back in the good ole days , the pictorials had some kind of theme. These days its just like taking a selfie. Also back in the days, the pictorials were sooo hot. For the past 5 years or so, pictorials are simply very bad. They are just like any other models site. They don’t have the “sexiness”.

What happened to playboy? :(

Someone Someone

*********

I have been told by someone in the know that Freytag and Wayda contracts were not renewed. This is due to the new editors at Playboy magazine. I like Josh Ryan’s shots, but not the others.  PB needed to keep Freytag and Wayda around to school the news guys on the PB style.

Antmanno

********

christina Santiago defiantely got implants done.  I know this b/c we are facebook friends (and is actually pretty decent about responding to fans).  She posts pics all the time and it’s obvious her boobs are enhanced.  She even talked about it being her choice when somone pepole made comments about why she went ahead and had them done.  If you ask me, she looks a MILLION times better now than when she was PMOY.  Mainly it’s because of her bigger breasts.  I don’t like flat chests on women.

Sagaz99

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I do like Ryan’s style, but the others have some experience to get. Using softer light to enhance her body. Need to show the contours of her from from their beautiful legs through their sweet asses to their full breasts to their beautiful faces. Need to use some Lightroom instead of Photoshop all the time. It is a shame to lose both of them due to money.

Jerm Cub Ran

**************

Nice observation. Still people who don’t know anything about Playboy will continue to claim in the media that it’s all about fake blonds with big tits.

Alyssa for me is as much a shoo in for PMOY as there has been in many years. It’s ironical that while 2013 was a relatively good year I still think Alyssa stands head and shoulders above the rest. Last year I said the same about Shelby Chesnes but that was only about my choice. I knew her limitations such as her shyness and her height would get in the way. In Alyssa’s case though she ticks every corner in the box a bit like Jaclyn Swedberg did two years ago. The difference with Jaclyn is that she faced immense competition in the form of Amanda Cerny, Ciara Price and perhaps even Tiffany Toth but Alyssa in 2013 is in a league of her own. She is comfortably winning every opinion poll out there. Some have pointed out that not having a great butt is her one failing. While that may be true I don’t think it’s going to prevent her from getting the PMOY title. As far as I see it the only way Alyssa doesn’t win this is if the powers that be have specific reasons for being against her and/or favouring someone else.

If it has to be a blond then I can accept Audrey. Kristen Nicole I like even more. Shawn Dillon was so badly let down by her pictorial but she does have a great figure which when seen in her pictures from outside Playboy suggest what could have been possible if only someone calling the shots had bothered. Kennedy I would be terribly disappointed with. She reminds me of Jessa Hinton who I never liked and if anything Jessa exuded more charm in her pictures and videos than Kennedy does.

I doubt they would choose a PMOY from a pure PR perspective. Juliette Frette from 2008 was perhaps the best PR possible – a feminist intellectual Playmate. Yet they went for the arguably prettier and sexier Ida Ljungqvist. I am not saying PR factors don’t count but mostly only as one of several factors combining to push a Playmate’s case. The one other factor which of course becomes a major player is the lady’s personal connection with Hef such as was the case with Claire Sinclair and Hef’s woman beating son. This time I am not aware of any of the candidates having such a strong connection. Even that won’t always work. Hope Dworaczyk was chosen ahead of Hef’s present wife Crystal Harris. Anna Sophia Berglund couldn’t beat Jaclyn Swedberg.

Some have suggested Jaclyn’s breasts used to sag and she got this boob job done to prevent that from happening. It’s hard to accept though that after being crowned the epitome of beauty a woman feels the need to modify her physicality.

Maybe Christina did not do it. I remember her being vociferously against it. At the end of the ‘Who Wants To Be A Playboy Centerfold’ show when Lauren Anderson wins Christina is shown openly voicing her displeasure that Playboy refuses to grow beyond blonds with big breasts. She thought she should have won the title and thus proved to the world that Playboy was now ready to accept a different kind of beauty. Her views not mine. :)

Weren’t hers already huge? How much bigger did she want them to be? Or was it for some other reason? I have always loved her tits though not knowing for sure when I saw them pre boob job and when I saw them post boob job.

Most here know my penchant for ranking Playmates in each year. If there is one year where I have completely failed then it is 1987. To date I have not been able to make a ranking which convinces even me. There were just too many super gorgeous women and they were so neck to neck with each other. There have been other years of course in Playmate history having too many beauties but even then one or two have stood out in some way and/or made a deeper personal connection with me. However in India Allen’s year I am just left dazed with too much beauty getting in each others way. :)

I agree with you. It just does not make sense. Allen said she became a Playmate because modelling closed all doors on her due to her boobs being too big. Why then would she get herself a boob job? Even after becoming a Playmate and/or PMOY it does not make sense. Why change anything when you have already won the big title? Why try to enhance your chest when it’s already so big and the envy of so many people?

Wayda did April 2013 but Freytag’s last was December 2012. It’s likely we have seen the last of both these masters.

I too like a voluptuous and curvy woman more than a skinny fashion model. This whole December 2013 to March 2014 hasn’t worked for me with this attempt to blend fashion model and Playmate. Hoping for some girls next door with fresh faces, large breasts and curvy butts in the months to come. This year has so far been such a downer that if it continues like this a Jaclyn Swedberg or Alyssa Arce like just needs to show up and the crown is hers for the taking. Let’s take an example. Shanna Moakler was already a beauty queen when she became a Playmate but in 2001 how many Playmate fans would even rank her in the top half of the year? Instead at least 90% of all Playmate fans world wide worship the much more voluptuous and hardly pageant winner type Lindsey Vuolo. Basically I think these are two specialized professions and it’s extremely difficult for a woman however pretty to excel in both. The one good that can come out of the present attempts is the fashion industry can reduce their previously held tendencies of looking down upon Playboy but as far as the Playmate herself is concerned, barring the odd exception such as Hope Dworaczyk it’s unlikely to work much.

Another problem is the production value which has gone down drastically. Even the queens of the 80s wouldn’t have become what they did if they didn’t have those lavish gorgeous sets to help them. Ken Marcus has been quoted as saying in those days Playboy had no budget. In other words you were allowed to spend just about anything that was needed to get the best possible quality for the final product.

In Playboy TV’s Shootout Wayda is shown explaining just how crucial the light is. He reprimands one or more of the contestants for not doing just about everything possible to get the right light.

Now that you mention about the older cyber club releasing new pictures of Playmates I seriously wonder why Playboy did nothing to try to earn more money from their vault when selling their online business to Manwin.

There could have been two reasons for this – save money and go for a so called modern look. Possibly both.

Even Josh Ryan’s work so far with the actual Playmate pictorials I didn’t find anything to write home about. Looking at his previous work he held more promise but perhaps there is more to come. His best shot from these few Playmate layouts that he has handled is probably Kennedy Summers’ centerfold.

Perhaps the last truly impressive Playmate pictorial set was Arny’s Freytag’s effort for Raquel Pomplun. Many liked Freytag’s work for Amanda Streich but I found her too made up for my liking. Stephen Wayda’s work for Shelby Chesnes wasn’t bad but I say it was more like a tease. Shelby had so much more to offer but it’s as if she was the photographer’s wife and he didn’t really want to share her with the world. :) I adore Shelby but sometimes it seems as if we are yet to truly see her naked if that makes any sense.

I respect your preferences but have to say that it’s kind of sad that the woman who once challenged large and/or enhanced breasts herself gave into the temptation later.

Did you ever ask Christina why she didn’t go nude again after getting the enhancement?

jdeepak

*****

Gotta agree with ya jdeepak. 1987 is a difficult year to rate. Marina Baker, Gwen Hajek, and Sharry Konopski were all so close to my favorite for that year, Anna Clark. They are pretty much interchangeable

gslater

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Thanks slater. To your list I would add Luann Lee, Julie Peterson, Carmen Berg, Brandi Brandt, Pam Stein and India Allen. Only two I like less, Kymberly Paige and Sandy Greenberg, but that too with difficulty and they, especially Sandy, have their own die hards who swear by them. A truly incredible year.

 

The 2013 Centerfolds

Last year, when I reviewed the 2012 CFs, I heralded the arrival of free-lance photographer Sasha Eisenman, who shot Lisa Seiffert’s gatefold. As I mentioned then, the Freytag-Wayda tag-team controlled, with only a few exceptions, the franchise, especially after the death of Richard Fegley in 2001. I suggested that Eisenman and other free-lancers would challenge the duo to do even better work. I was, of course, thinking back to the sixties, when Mario Casilli and Pompeo Posar found competition in the likes of Peter Gowland, Bill and Mel Figge, Stan Malinowski, et al.

Well, to paraphrase the last line of Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises, it sure was pretty to think so. As we now know, the free-lancers have taken over for the long-serving masters. It appears that Freytag’s last CF was December 2012, and Wayda’s was this year’s April (reviewed below). Freytag apparently shot Shawn Dillon–he is credited for her 2014 calendar photo–but for whatever reason he not only didn’t get her CF but we also saw nothing of that shoot in PB+. Obviously the bean counters at PEI decided that shuttering the studio and releasing the masters was cost-effective. PLAYBOY began its long run reliant primarily on free-lancers for playmate photography: Hal Adams, Bunny Yeager, Herman Leonard, among many others. At first glance, it would appear that the company is returning to its roots with free-lance and on-location photography.

The paradigm we have seen play out this year is instead that two photographers, Eisenman and Josh Ryan, have taken the place of Freytag and Wayda–only without the studio and without any connection to the tradition to which both Freytag and Wayda belonged. Freytag, for example, worked with Fegley who had worked with Posar before each developed his own CF style. Contrarily, each of the two newcomers brings his own vision (primarily fashion) to playmate photography, independent of experience in the CF studios. While Eisenman and Ryan (and sometimes Tony Kelly) bring a fresh approach to the signature image and while location shoots have certain advantages over constructed sets, the long line of artistry that began with Casilli and Posar has been broken at not insignificant cost, an assertion for which I will make the case herein.

As I have stated before in my year-end reviews, I am focussed here almost entirely on the execution of the CF image, not so much on the playmate herself. That said, it is difficult to ignore completely my personal playmate preferences, even when analyzing such features as composition and color. Thus, I will observe how the model is presented (or presents herself), with only occasional reference to my overall thoughts about her ranking. With that in mind, here are my CF assessments for 2013:

Failures:

Miss May, Kristen Nicole by Josh Ryan. This profile shot of Kristen works to good effect in that her bolt-on boobs are not so obvious and her glorious blonde mane is wildly seductive. However, the cropping here is hurtful, lopping off Kristen’s right hand, and the background, which makes up nearly half of the image, is essentially lost. The blue fabric adds some color but this would have served better as a layout photo, especially with cropping that preserved Kristen’s hand.

Miss November, Gemma Farrell by Sasha Eisenman. There is much to recommend this CF…except, omg, Gemma has lost BOTH of her hands. This is quite clearly a case of a fine image being cropped to fit CF dimensions and, in the process, ruining it. Gemma looks great here, her implants not so noticeable with her arms raised, her legs beautifully extended on tip-toe. The lacy gown suggests angel-wings, not inappropriately. And then there is the dramatic background, with its vivid blues, definitely a great location find for Eisenman. No doubt, Gemma is holding onto the canopy in order to maintain her tip-toe balance and that might be a reason we don’t see her hands. Still, for those who have access to PB+, it is easy to find shots that could have been cropped to better effect, even at this location.

Mixed:

Miss March, Ashley Doris by Sasha Eisenman. There is much to appreciate about Ashley’s soft, romantic layout but with the CF I can’t get around the fact that she is holding both a bird AND a glass of wine at the same time that her gown is sliding off one shoulder. Come on, how long can she hold this pose and is it even remotely realistic? I like the white wicker, although there may be too much of it, and the flowers are great color spots. Ashley’s beautiful body is on perfect display and she smiles…well, let’s just say she is bearing it. As Mark pointed out in his critique of this CF, Ashley’s bird is a far sight better than Adrienne Moreau’s (also Miss March) but, to me at least, Adrienne looks like she is having a far better time.

Miss January, Karina Marie by Sasha Eisenman. As Peggy pointed out last January, this is fake snow and I am willing to bet that our 60th anniversary playmate is also in the fake stuff. Well, at least there was an attempt to make this a winter-time CF. (As many PMLers know, the most audacious example of snow manipulation is Joyce Nizzari’s CF, which was shot on a deck in FL and had a snowy background pasted in to make it fitting for a Miss December on ski vacation.) So kudos for the snow (fake or not), the snowshoes, the fur coat (faux or not), and those boots, which may remind some of Karen McDougal, even if Karina does not. This is a compelling presentation of Karina’s body but–as was the case for Ashley–Eisenman has Karina just a little too occupied. Pulling on her coat while carrying a pair of snowshoes just doesn’t make much sense; neither does dropping her coat while carrying snowshows (think about it). Another thing bugs me about this shot: that gun in the background. I can’t recall a gun in a CF before (someone will correct me if I am wrong; Zahra Norbo’s would have been a likely candidate). I suppose the gun itself is not a deal-breaker (maybe Karina will go hunting rabbits…) but I don’t know many gun owners who would stand their guns on the barrel instead of the butt. Just saying…

Miss September, Bryiana Noelle by Josh Ryan. Wow, I could be crazy for this CF. I mean, the setting is perfect for Bryiana: her luxurious black hair is spread out gloriously against the dark green vegetation; her tiny body looks powerful in this leafy setting; her skin tones are complimented by the hot orange flower. The netting drapery and the toothy necklace reinforce Bryiana’s jungle-girl persona. So what’s not to like? How about the shadow cast upon Bryiana’s Mons Veneris? This is a case where, if Bryiana had her full bush, the shadow would have been irrelevant. Instead, it makes her look like she has a five o’clock shadow. Defeated Nixon, and it detracts from an otherwise brilliant CF.

Miss February, Shawn Dillon by Tony Kelly. This CF was roundly trashed by some PMLers last January; Peggy called it “INCREDIBLY BORING” (caps hers). I posted a lengthy defense of this image on 2/3/13; I won’t bother to repeat myself here, only to note that one of my caveats about the CF–that it didn’t make much sense for a Miss February–seems to have happened again this year, and again by Tony Kelly. As I revisit this image nearly a year later, I must say that, even with its minor flaws, the CF presents a smiling Shawn as she prepares to take a dive. Really, what’s not to like about that?

Miss August, Val Keil by Josh Ryan. This is an elegant CF and Val’s body is beautifully displayed, although I find her expression a bit off (yet that red lipstick really jumps!). Given the extravagance of her layout, this is a fitting CF, and this is a case where Val’s hands are doing good work, creating tension with the ribbon tie. Indeed, if I just look at Val–as I suspect most viewers do–then it’s hard to find negatives. Finally, however, I consider the set just too cluttered, especially the mosaic-effect of the background and the confusing patterns and mysterious shadow in the foreground. A near-miss.

Miss June, Audrey Allen by Sasha Eisenman. Oh, what a lovely summertime CF this is: playmate at the beach, playing with beach balls. Even better, she is clearly having fun as she is about to launch the multi-colored ball. The pose displays Audrey’s naturalness to good effect. Mark often comments on figural geometry in a CF; I think this one would make Euclid proud. As much as I like this CF (and Audrey is my heart-throb of the year), I do quibble with the cropping, chopping off Audrey’s left foot and her right knee. Also, a slight repositioning of the background beach balls would have cut down on the surfeit of washed-out grey sand. That said, I would have happily volunteered to be on the receiving end of Audrey’s toss!

Miss April, Jaslyn Ome by Stephen Wayda. Oh my, Jaslyn has undoubtedly the best smile in this year’s CF crop and, one could argue, the most perfectly shaped natural breasts, at least in this image. Apparently the last published CF by Wayda, meaning the last CF that has any direct connection to decades of CF artistry, this has only one flaw from my point of view: the out-of-kilter backdrop. As I have noted here before, Wayda often uses bright colors in his CFs, so it is fitting that his swan song has bright neon glowing. But why does the viewer have to think he has been spinning around as his gaze lands on Jaslyn? I mean, I get that the background fits with the layout and it would be super cool to have a burger and shake with Jaslyn, but not if I’m dizzy. Would it have been that hard to adjust that backdrop, which I assume is projection (I also assume that this is the last PEI studio CF, at least for the foreseeable future)? When one considers the superb work that Wayda contributed to PLAYBOY over the years, it’s too bad that his last shot fell just short of clearing the fences. Then again, Freytag’s last (12/12) didn’t even get out of the infield–and I consider Freytag’s oeuvre superior to Wayda’s. Sad.

Successes:

Miss December, Kennedy Summers by Josh Ryan. Stunning in its simplicity, Kennedy’s CF presents her body boldly and without distraction. No out-of-kilter background, no cluttered sitting room, no clumsy cropping. Essentially a bi-color essay–blonde and tan Kennedy; white fur on white background–this CF is a contemporary iteration of the classic figure study. Think Marilyn on red velvet. Really, this is that good (and, fwiw, Kennedy is at the bottom of my 2013 playmate rankings). Everything works, right down to the lighting on the coat’s lining and Kennedy’s fingernail polish. Easily Kennedy’s best look: intense invitation. Accepted!

Miss July, Alyssa Arce by Sasha Eisenman. As Alyssa herself has noted, guys go crazy for hot girls and hot cars. Put the two together and it’s simply incendiary. As impressive as Alyssa is in person (almost everyone’s pick for PMOY), she had me hooked for good when she started talking to me about the Ford GT. I mean, I expected her to gush about the Ferrari but…. Oh wait, I am supposed to be focussed on Alyssa’s CF here…and what a pleasure that is, even without a hot car.

It could be argued that Alyssa has been asked to pose in an awkward position–spread out on stacks of racing tires but, if she is uncomfortable, she sure doesn’t show it. With this year’s second-best smile, Alyssa leans her head against one tire, props her elbows on another, and hooks her right leg over still another. In fact, it appears that Eisenman positioned the tires to simulate a chaise lounge, except for the obvious difference–Alyssa’s lower body is suspended, making an outrageously erotic engagement only a minor repositioning away!

While the set here is relatively simple–tires stacked alongside a wall at a race track–Eisenman’s attention to detail deserves mention. The stockings are checkered flags; the Hoosier logo on the racing slicks is subtly evident; the yellow shoes compliment the orange wall; the lenses of Alyssa’s sun glasses pick up those two colors along with a hint of the blue sky above. For some inexplicable reason, I really like that shadow of Alyssa’s leg on the wall. Alyssa is wearing driving gloves and using her hands to pull her halter top up and out–super fast!

Miss October, Carly Lauren by Josh Ryan. Back in the day, we would have credited Studio West for this delightful CF. Someone would have gone to great trouble to paint a backdrop and gather circus equipment in order to create a festival atmosphere for Carly’s pose. Well, apparently Josh found all of this on location and at his disposal. It is my choice for the best CF of 2013 (barely, in a photo finish with Alyssa’s). While for my money Carly cannot approach Alyssa’s natural beauty and charms, Carly’s presentation here is simply divine–as if she were a goddess on the midway. Standing atop a pedestal (possibly a prop in the elephant show), Carly’s figure is statuesque. The Venus de Milo has nothing on Carly and, happily, her arms are not chopped off; indeed, Carly’s hands are doing good work holding the cluster of inflated balloons (too bad they suggest Carly’s own). Not that long ago, small-town carnivals and circuses had sideshows featuring strippers, often sad girls doing a sad job. This image is a wondrous antidote to that scene. Can there be any doubt that Carly would be a show-stopper?

The gigantic balls (more inflation) are nicely arranged to cover the dirt (better than Audrey’s beach balls) and the hay bale suggests that the elephant is hanging nearby. The background depicting the strongman lifting a horse makes every male viewer of this CF want to hit the weight room! Much has been made about Carly’s curly as opposed to straight hair; it could well be that the fullness of her mane results in the image’s crowning glory. Hard to imagine this working quite so well with her hair straight.

While I find none of this year’s CFs at the level of Wayda’s Britany Nola last year, at least three from 2013 have achieved the high quality that we desire from PLAYBOY. And several others are hurt only by flaws that others might consider merely personal quibbles. However, what this review has demonstrated, at least to this viewer, is that the forethought that was once so evident in the best CFs has now been given over to more-or-less haphazard configuration, that the attention to detail that was once a CF hallmark has been given over to the quick-and-dirty shoot. Even before the studio was shut down and before the masters were let go, week-long CF shoots had become a day’s work, in some cases half that. While there may be exceptions, I have a hard time imagining that either Eisenman or Ryan is thinking primarily about the CF while clicking the camera. Instead, it seems likely that each of them shoots gigabytes of data and then begins to imagine how to make an image fit the CF dimensions. Or maybe they leave that job to someone else. How else to explain some of the crude cropping this year? Because a set is no longer constructed exclusively for the CF, any location can become CF material.

As seen above, this difference has not necessarily led to disaster in the CF (leaving aside the digital vs film debate*). However, when the location shoots are eventually uploaded for the editors’ and Hef’s consideration, a reshoot to fix a problem here or there becomes improbable, if not impossible. Thus, we end up with Bryiana’s five o’clock shadow and Gemma’s impersonation of the Venus de Milo.

Peter and Alice Gowland once told me that their Joey Gibson CF was a reshoot. Apparently, they had sent Hef (in Chicago at the time) images of Joey on the beach with a sandcastle but, according to Hef, Joey’s torso was a bit off. Consequently, Peter, Alice, and Joey returned to the beach and built another sandcastle. While I did not see the original image (it’s probably in the PEI archives, at least I hope it is), I do know that the published image is one of Gowland’s best; indeed, one of the best of that era. And keep in mind, Gowland was himself a free-lancer.

One more observation about the changes we are witnessing in the CF: Peggy has commented on the fact that many of our recent playmates have come from the world of fashion. While we could argue forever about what the girl-next-door amounts to these days, it does seem likely that Eisenman and Ryan will recruit more playmates who are fashion models than did Freytag and Wayda, who did little recruiting on their own. Therefore, we should not be surprised, if these two continue to shoot the CFs, that their images will have a particular “vogue” about them.

Regards,

Dan Stiffler

*Whether it is caused by source or production, a number of this year’s CFs suffer from “dirty” skin tones, always a distraction but apparently acceptable to Hefner.

******************

As I have made clear in various PML posts over time, I love the
PLAYBOY centerfold. The signature image of the Playmate has captured
my attention and charmed me for over 30 years now. There was never
anything like it, and there still isn’t: it lives in a class by
itself. PLAYBOY treats its Playmates much like classic Hollywood did
its glamourous movie stars, photographing them with the intent to
promote an image of opulent dreamlike beauty; albeit with eroticism as
an even larger factor. To me the PLAYBOY centerfold is a work of art
and is the principal reason I was inspired to collect the entire run
of PLAYBOY magazine. The models have been as beautifully photogenic
as movie stars. There is an attention to detail in the centerfold
images that is a pleasure to behold. For decades the technical
quality was stunning as well. And so I am pleased to see Dan’s
detailed commentary about the past year’s centerfolds; and here I add
my own.

At Tue, 24 Dec 2013 00:21:38 -0500, Dan Stiffler wrote:
>
> Last year, when I reviewed the 2012 CFs, I heralded the arrival of
> free-lance photographer Sasha Eisenman, who shot Lisa Seiffert’s
> gatefold. As I mentioned then, the Freytag-Wayda tag-team
> controlled, with only a few exceptions, the franchise, especially
> after the death of Richard Fegley in 2001. I suggested that
> Eisenman and other free-lancers would challenge the duo to do even
> better work. I was, of course, thinking back to the sixties, when
> Mario Casilli and Pompeo Posar found competition in the likes of
> Peter Gowland, Bill and Mel Figge, Stan Malinowski, et al.
>
> Well, to paraphrase the last line of Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises,
> it sure was pretty to think so. As we now know, the free-lancers
> have taken over for the long-serving masters. It appears that
> Freytag’s last CF was December 2012, and Wayda’s was this year’s
> April (reviewed below). Freytag apparently shot Shawn Dillon–he is
> credited for her 2014 calendar photo–but for whatever reason he not
> only didn’t get her CF but we also saw nothing of that shoot in PB+.
> Obviously the bean counters at PEI decided that shuttering the
> studio and releasing the masters was cost-effective. PLAYBOY began
> its long run reliant primarily on free-lancers for playmate
> photography: Hal Adams, Bunny Yeager, Herman Leonard, among many
> others. At first glance, it would appear that the company is
> returning to its roots with free-lance and on-location photography.
>
> The paradigm we have seen play out this year is instead that two
> photographers, Eisenman and Josh Ryan, have taken the place of
> Freytag and Wayda–only without the studio and without any
> connection to the tradition to which both Freytag and Wayda
> belonged. Freytag, for example, worked with Fegley who had worked
> with Posar before each developed his own CF style. Contrarily, each
> of the two newcomers brings his own vision (primarily fashion) to
> playmate photography, independent of experience in the CF studios.
> While Eisenman and Ryan (and sometimes Tony Kelly) bring a fresh
> approach to the signature image and while location shoots have
> certain advantages over constructed sets, the long line of artistry
> that began with Casilli and Posar has been broken at not
> insignificant cost, an assertion for which I will make the case
> herein.
What an excellent exposition, I have nothing of substance to add to
it. I could mention the technical problems with centerfolds that
followed their (IMO) premature abandonment of large format photography
for medium format film and then (prematurely) digital, but I have beat
that horse to death already in this forum. Happily it is (mostly but
not entirely) now a moot point!

Now let’s move on to some specifics.
>> Failures:
>
> Miss May, Kristen Nicole by Josh Ryan. This profile shot of Kristen
> works to good effect in that her bolt-on boobs are not so obvious
> and her glorious blonde mane is wildly seductive. However, the
> cropping here is hurtful, lopping off Kristen’s right hand, and the
> background, which makes up nearly half of the image, is essentially
> lost. The blue fabric adds some color but this would have served
> better as a layout photo, especially with cropping that preserved
> Kristen’s hand.
I think this image is stunningly beautiful. However, it is a
disappointment to me for technical reasons. I am very much distracted
by what I would call the “noise” in this image; it is particularly
apparent in Kristen’s face and in her hair to the right side of her
face. And what is the dirty mess that is in her neck? These
artifacts are distracting to me. I am surprised you would call it a
failure just for the cropping; but the image artifacts make it a
failure for me. I want to love this centerfold but I can’t, and that
is why.
>> Miss November, Gemma Farrell by Sasha Eisenman. There is much to
> recommend this CF…except, omg, Gemma has lost BOTH of her hands.
> This is quite clearly a case of a fine image being cropped to fit CF
> dimensions and, in the process, ruining it. Gemma looks great here,
> her implants not so noticeable with her arms raised, her legs
> beautifully extended on tip-toe. The lacy gown suggests
> angel-wings, not inappropriately. And then there is the dramatic
> background, with its vivid blues, definitely a great location find
> for Eisenman. No doubt, Gemma is holding onto the canopy in order
> to maintain her tip-toe balance and that might be a reason we don’t
> see her hands. Still, for those who have access to PB+, it is easy
> to find shots that could have been cropped to better effect, even at
> this location.
I agree 100% about the cropping: it is the first thing I noticed about
this CF. I remember being actually shocked about that cropping. I
agree with your assessment of this as a failure for this reason.
>> Mixed:
>
> Miss March, Ashley Doris by Sasha Eisenman. There is much to
> appreciate about Ashley’s soft, romantic layout but with the CF I
> can’t get around the fact that she is holding both a bird AND a
> glass of wine at the same time that her gown is sliding off one
> shoulder. Come on, how long can she hold this pose and is it even
> remotely realistic? I like the white wicker, although there may be
> too much of it, and the flowers are great color spots. Ashley’s
> beautiful body is on perfect display and she smiles…well, let’s
> just say she is bearing it. As Mark pointed out in his critique of
> this CF, Ashley’s bird is a far sight better than Adrienne Moreau’s
> (also Miss March) but, to me at least, Adrienne looks like she is
> having a far better time.
I agree with this as well: Ashley is lovely but holding parrot+wine is
too much; otherwise a lovely image. But so awkward.
>> Miss January, Karina Marie by Sasha Eisenman. As Peggy pointed out
> last January, this is fake snow and I am willing to bet that our
> 60th anniversary playmate is also in the fake stuff. Well, at least
> there was an attempt to make this a winter-time CF. (As many PMLers
> know, the most audacious example of snow manipulation is Joyce
> Nizzari’s CF, which was shot on a deck in FL and had a snowy
> background pasted in to make it fitting for a Miss December on ski
> vacation.) So kudos for the snow (fake or not), the snowshoes, the
> fur coat (faux or not), and those boots, which may remind some of
> Karen McDougal, even if Karina does not. This is a compelling
> presentation of Karina’s body but–as was the case for
> Ashley–Eisenman has Karina just a little too occupied. Pulling on
> her coat while carrying a pair of snowshoes just doesn’t make much
> sense; neither does dropping her coat while carrying snowshows
> (think about it). Another thing bugs me about this shot: that gun
> in the background. I can’t recall a gun in a CF before (someone
> will correct me if I am wrong; Zahra Norbo’s would have been a
> likely candidate). I suppose the gun itself is not a deal-breaker
> (maybe Karina will go hunting rabbits…) but I don’t know many gun
> owners who would stand their guns on the barrel instead of the butt.
> Just saying…
This one strikes me as boring, but OK. Part of it is that the model
does little for me. Part of it is as you mention, the props are a bit
much, a bit unbelieveable.
>> Miss September, Bryiana Noelle by Josh Ryan. Wow, I could be crazy
> for this CF. I mean, the setting is perfect for Bryiana: her
> luxurious black hair is spread out gloriously against the dark green
> vegetation; her tiny body looks powerful in this leafy setting; her
> skin tones are complimented by the hot orange flower. The netting
> drapery and the toothy necklace reinforce Bryiana’s jungle-girl
> persona. So what’s not to like? How about the shadow cast upon
> Bryiana’s Mons Veneris? This is a case where, if Bryiana had her
> full bush, the shadow would have been irrelevant. Instead, it makes
> her look like she has a five o’clock shadow. Defeated Nixon, and it
> detracts from an otherwise brilliant CF.
I never even noticed the shadow until you mentioned it. This is for
me one of the better CF’s! But now that you mention the shadow I
can’t un-see it…
>> Miss February, Shawn Dillon by Tony Kelly. This CF was roundly
> trashed by some PMLers last January; Peggy called it “INCREDIBLY
> BORING” (caps hers). I posted a lengthy defense of this image on
> 2/3/13; I won’t bother to repeat myself here, only to note that one
> of my caveats about the CF–that it didn’t make much sense for a
> Miss February–seems to have happened again this year, and again by
> Tony Kelly. As I revisit this image nearly a year later, I must say
> that, even with its minor flaws, the CF presents a smiling Shawn as
> she prepares to take a dive. Really, what’s not to like about that?
I stand by my assessment: I am still bored by this image. The ropes
cutting into her body are distracting. Her smile is beautiful, her
body is beautiful, but IMO there is nothing else to recommend this
image. To me it is stark and bare.
>> Miss August, Val Keil by Josh Ryan. This is an elegant CF and Val’s
> body is beautifully displayed, although I find her expression a bit
> off (yet that red lipstick really jumps!). Given the extravagance
> of her layout, this is a fitting CF, and this is a case where Val’s
> hands are doing good work, creating tension with the ribbon tie.
> Indeed, if I just look at Val–as I suspect most viewers do–then
> it’s hard to find negatives. Finally, however, I consider the set
> just too cluttered, especially the mosaic-effect of the background
> and the confusing patterns and mysterious shadow in the foreground.
> A near-miss.
I find the positioning of her lower body awkward.
>> Miss June, Audrey Allen by Sasha Eisenman. Oh, what a lovely
> summertime CF this is: playmate at the beach, playing with beach
> balls. Even better, she is clearly having fun as she is about to
> launch the multi-colored ball. The pose displays Audrey’s
> naturalness to good effect. Mark often comments on figural geometry
> in a CF; I think this one would make Euclid proud. As much as I
> like this CF (and Audrey is my heart-throb of the year), I do
> quibble with the cropping, chopping off Audrey’s left foot and her
> right knee. Also, a slight repositioning of the background beach
> balls would have cut down on the surfeit of washed-out grey sand.
> That said, I would have happily volunteered to be on the receiving
> end of Audrey’s toss!
This is one of my favorites of the year! Her expression and
positioning are both wonderful. I liked this image so much I didn’t
even notice the cropping, but now that you mention it I could see it
being slightly improved by pulling back just a bit…
>> Miss April, Jaslyn Ome by Stephen Wayda. Oh my, Jaslyn has
> undoubtedly the best smile in this year’s CF crop and, one could
> argue, the most perfectly shaped natural breasts, at least in this
> image. Apparently the last published CF by Wayda, meaning the last
> CF that has any direct connection to decades of CF artistry, this
> has only one flaw from my point of view: the out-of-kilter backdrop.
> As I have noted here before, Wayda often uses bright colors in his
> CFs, so it is fitting that his swan song has bright neon glowing.
> But why does the viewer have to think he has been spinning around as
> his gaze lands on Jaslyn? I mean, I get that the background fits
> with the layout and it would be super cool to have a burger and
> shake with Jaslyn, but not if I’m dizzy. Would it have been that
> hard to adjust that backdrop, which I assume is projection (I also
> assume that this is the last PEI studio CF, at least for the
> foreseeable future)? When one considers the superb work that Wayda
> contributed to PLAYBOY over the years, it’s too bad that his last
> shot fell just short of clearing the fences. Then again, Freytag’s
> last (12/12) didn’t even get out of the infield–and I consider
> Freytag’s oeuvre superior to Wayda’s. Sad.
I loved this CF! I didn’t even notice the off-kilter background until
you pointed it out. I had also assumed that the setting was not a
studio, it all appeard to be the Pink Motel. In the CF image she is
on top of a car hood, and PB+ images show Wayda to have angled his
camera in other shots. I am not sure the background is a projection,
I thought it was on location; though I could be wrong. This is to me
one of the best CF shots of 2013. Stunning. The technical quality is
one of the best of 2013.
>> Successes:
>
> Miss December, Kennedy Summers by Josh Ryan. Stunning in its
> simplicity, Kennedy’s CF presents her body boldly and without
> distraction. No out-of-kilter background, no cluttered sitting
> room, no clumsy cropping. Essentially a bi-color essay–blonde and
> tan Kennedy; white fur on white background–this CF is a
> contemporary iteration of the classic figure study. Think Marilyn
> on red velvet. Really, this is that good (and, fwiw, Kennedy is at
> the bottom of my 2013 playmate rankings). Everything works, right
> down to the lighting on the coat’s lining and Kennedy’s fingernail
> polish. Easily Kennedy’s best look: intense invitation. Accepted!
This CF was to me a disappointment, mostly due to technical issues.
What is going on with her face and hair? It looks grainy with a lack
of detail. Is this a cropping from a further back image? I like so
many of the PB+ images, but not this one.
>> Miss July, Alyssa Arce by Sasha Eisenman. As Alyssa herself has
> noted, guys go crazy for hot girls and hot cars. Put the two
> together and it’s simply incendiary. As impressive as Alyssa is in
> person (almost everyone’s pick for PMOY), she had me hooked for good
> when she started talking to me about the Ford GT. I mean, I
> expected her to gush about the Ferrari but…. Oh wait, I am
> supposed to be focussed on Alyssa’s CF here…and what a pleasure
> that is, even without a hot car.
>
> It could be argued that Alyssa has been asked to pose in an awkward
> position–spread out on stacks of racing tires but, if she is
> uncomfortable, she sure doesn’t show it. With this year’s
> second-best smile, Alyssa leans her head against one tire, props her
> elbows on another, and hooks her right leg over still another. In
> fact, it appears that Eisenman positioned the tires to simulate a
> chaise lounge, except for the obvious difference–Alyssa’s lower
> body is suspended, making an outrageously erotic engagement only a
> minor repositioning away!
>
> While the set here is relatively simple–tires stacked alongside a
> wall at a race track–Eisenman’s attention to detail deserves
> mention. The stockings are checkered flags; the Hoosier logo on the
> racing slicks is subtly evident; the yellow shoes compliment the
> orange wall; the lenses of Alyssa’s sun glasses pick up those two
> colors along with a hint of the blue sky above. For some
> inexplicable reason, I really like that shadow of Alyssa’s leg on
> the wall. Alyssa is wearing driving gloves and using her hands to
> pull her halter top up and out–super fast!
I am not fond of the shoes in this image, but everything else is
wonderful. A wonderful image of Alyssa, as are all the others I’ve
seen. Wow.
>> Miss October, Carly Lauren by Josh Ryan. Back in the day, we would
> have credited Studio West for this delightful CF. Someone would
> have gone to great trouble to paint a backdrop and gather circus
> equipment in order to create a festival atmosphere for Carly’s pose.
> Well, apparently Josh found all of this on location and at his
> disposal. It is my choice for the best CF of 2013 (barely, in a
> photo finish with Alyssa’s). While for my money Carly cannot
> approach Alyssa’s natural beauty and charms, Carly’s presentation
> here is simply divine–as if she were a goddess on the midway.
> Standing atop a pedestal (possibly a prop in the elephant show),
> Carly’s figure is statuesque. The Venus de Milo has nothing on
> Carly and, happily, her arms are not chopped off; indeed, Carly’s
> hands are doing good work holding the cluster of inflated balloons
> (too bad they suggest Carly’s own). Not that long ago, small-town
> carnivals and circuses had sideshows featuring strippers, often sad
> girls doing a sad job. This image is a wondrous antidote to that
> scene. Can there be any doubt that Carly would be a show-stopper?
>
> The gigantic balls (more inflation) are nicely arranged to cover the
> dirt (better than Audrey’s beach balls) and the hay bale suggests
> that the elephant is hanging nearby. The background depicting the
> strongman lifting a horse makes every male viewer of this CF want to
> hit the weight room! Much has been made about Carly’s curly as
> opposed to straight hair; it could well be that the fullness of her
> mane results in the image’s crowning glory. Hard to imagine this
> working quite so well with her hair straight.
I love Carly, and the CF image is beautiful, but in technical terms it
disappoints. Other images on PB+ suggest that it may be cropped from
an image taken much farther back. The lack of clarity in this image
is the only thing that takes it down from being the top CF for me from
2013. Otherwise a gorgeous image. That plus implants takes Carly
down from a PMOY contender for me.
>> Nola last year, at least three from 2013 have achieved the high
> quality that we desire from PLAYBOY. And several others are hurt
> only by flaws that others might consider merely personal quibbles.
> However, what this review has demonstrated, at least to this viewer,
> is that the forethought that was once so evident in the best CFs has
> now been given over to more-or-less haphazard configuration, that
> the attention to detail that was once a CF hallmark has been given
> over to the quick-and-dirty shoot. Even before the studio was shut
> down and before the masters were let go, week-long CF shoots had
> become a day’s work, in some cases half that. While there may be
> exceptions, I have a hard time imagining that either Eisenman or
> Ryan is thinking primarily about the CF while clicking the camera.
> Instead, it seems likely that each of them shoots gigabytes of data
> and then begins to imagine how to make an image fit the CF
> dimensions. Or maybe they leave that job to someone else. How else
> to explain some of the crude cropping this year? Because a set is
> no longer constructed exclusively for the CF, any location can
> become CF material.
I would disagree here: I think from the images I’ve seen in PB+ that
the photographers really are making a deliberate attempt at making a
signature CF image. My opinion is that the photo editors are holding
them back, often by making unfortunate croppings of the images in the
CF. Sometimes this results in very weird looks (Gemma Farrell,
Kristen Nicole), other times the close-in cropping sacrifices image
quality (Carly Lauren, Kennedy Summers).
>> *Whether it is caused by source or production, a number of this
> year’s CFs suffer from “dirty” skin tones, always a distraction but
> apparently acceptable to Hefner.
This, together with cropping issues, is the most significant downfall
of this year’s CF’s IMO… I hope for improvement in 2014.

pw

************
Peggy, do you mean the “dirty” skin tone appearance? Sorry, my email looks a bit jumbled and it’s not clear if that’s what you meant. Thanks.
Margie
***********
[snip]
Failures:
Miss May, Kristen Nicole by Josh Ryan. This profile shot of Kristen
works to good effect in that her bolt-on boobs are not so obvious
and her glorious blonde mane is wildly seductive. However, the
cropping here is hurtful, lopping off Kristen’s right hand, and the
background, which makes up nearly half of the image, is essentially
lost. The blue fabric adds some color but this would have served
better as a layout photo, especially with cropping that preserved
Kristen’s hand.
I think this image is stunningly beautiful. However, it is a
disappointment to me for technical reasons. I am very much distracted
by what I would call the “noise” in this image; it is particularly
apparent in Kristen’s face and in her hair to the right side of her
face. And what is the dirty mess that is in her neck? These
artifacts are distracting to me. I am surprised you would call it a
failure just for the cropping; but the image artifacts make it a
failure for me. I want to love this centerfold but I can’t, and that
is why.

Well, it wasn’t just for the cropping that I called it a failure; it was also for that lost background, which takes up so much space. I mean, what would happen if we shift the frame to the right and capture Kristen’s right hand and lose that meaningless background? Or choose any of the out-takes from this location that appear in PB+, most of which would be more successful than this choice.

[snip]
Miss September, Bryiana Noelle by Josh Ryan. Wow, I could be crazy
for this CF. I mean, the setting is perfect for Bryiana: her
luxurious black hair is spread out gloriously against the dark green
vegetation; her tiny body looks powerful in this leafy setting; her
skin tones are complimented by the hot orange flower. The netting
drapery and the toothy necklace reinforce Bryiana’s jungle-girl
persona. So what’s not to like? How about the shadow cast upon
Bryiana’s Mons Veneris? This is a case where, if Bryiana had her
full bush, the shadow would have been irrelevant. Instead, it makes
her look like she has a five o’clock shadow. Defeated Nixon, and it
detracts from an otherwise brilliant CF.
I never even noticed the shadow until you mentioned it. This is for
me one of the better CF’s! But now that you mention the shadow I
can’t un-see it…

Sorry about that.

>Miss February, Shawn Dillon by Tony Kelly. This CF was roundly
trashed by some PMLers last January; Peggy called it “INCREDIBLY
>BORING” (caps hers). I posted a lengthy defense of this image on
2/3/13; I won’t bother to repeat myself here, only to note that one
>of my caveats about the CF–that it didn’t make much sense for a
>Miss February–seems to have happened again this year, and again by
Tony Kelly. As I revisit this image nearly a year later, I must say
>that, even with its minor flaws, the CF presents a smiling Shawn as
>she prepares to take a dive. Really, what’s not to like about that?
I stand by my assessment: I am still bored by this image. The ropes
cutting into her body are distracting. Her smile is beautiful, her
body is beautiful, but IMO there is nothing else to recommend this
image. To me it is stark and bare.

Second time Peggy has been bored by a 2013 CF, both of which appeared in the year’s first issue. As I stated in my original defense of Shawn’s CF, it is not a “rousing success,” but I do see more to like than does Peggy–and I like everything she likes! FWIW, Shawn ranks fourth on my 2013 favorites list.

[snip]
>Miss April, Jaslyn Ome by Stephen Wayda. Oh my, Jaslyn has
>undoubtedly the best smile in this year’s CF crop and, one could
>argue, the most perfectly shaped natural breasts, at least in this
>image. Apparently the last published CF by Wayda, meaning the last
>CF that has any direct connection to decades of CF artistry, this
>has only one flaw from my point of view: the out-of-kilter backdrop.
>As I have noted here before, Wayda often uses bright colors in his
>CFs, so it is fitting that his swan song has bright neon glowing.
>But why does the viewer have to think he has been spinning around as
>his gaze lands on Jaslyn? I mean, I get that the background fits
>with the layout and it would be super cool to have a burger and
>shake with Jaslyn, but not if I’m dizzy. Would it have been that
>hard to adjust that backdrop, which I assume is projection (I also
>assume that this is the last PEI studio CF, at least for the
>foreseeable future)? When one considers the superb work that Wayda
>contributed to PLAYBOY over the years, it’s too bad that his last
>shot fell just short of clearing the fences. Then again, Freytag’s
>last (12/12) didn’t even get out of the infield–and I consider
>Freytag’s oeuvre superior to Wayda’s. Sad.
I loved this CF! I didn’t even notice the off-kilter background until
you pointed it out. I had also assumed that the setting was not a
studio, it all appeard to be the Pink Motel. In the CF image she is
on top of a car hood, and PB+ images show Wayda to have angled his
camera in other shots. I am not sure the background is a projection,
I thought it was on location; though I could be wrong. This is to me
one of the best CF shots of 2013. Stunning. The technical quality is
one of the best of 2013.

Peggy has caused me to revisit this assessment and I am glad she did. For one thing, Jaslyn ranks third on my 2013 favorites list. For another, I really wanted this last CF from one of the “late” masters to be successful. Overall, I loved the layout in the diner and it wasn’t until I began to give the CF repeated study that I became troubled by the out-of-kilter backdrop.

Well, a bit more study would have shown me that I was wrong about this being a studio shot. As Peggy suggests, it was shot at the Pink Motel, more precisely at Cadillac Jack’s, which is on the Pink Motel property:
Reviewing the out-takes in PB+ (as I did for my Kristen Nicole comment above), I find about a half dozen shots that show Jaslyn on the hood of a car with the neon background. In some of those shots, the neon is in line with the car’s hood; in others, out-of-kilter, although not as much as in the CF. While I am still not crazy about the effect, the fact that this was shot on location (where Wayda couldn’t adjust the background and where he was no doubt working with a time limit)…that does soften my criticism. Thus, what I considered before a borderline CF, falling just short of success, I now happily call a winner, even if only barely clearing the fence. A home run is, after all, a scoring shot.
[snip]
Miss July, Alyssa Arce by Sasha Eisenman. As Alyssa herself has
noted, guys go crazy for hot girls and hot cars. Put the two
together and it’s simply incendiary. As impressive as Alyssa is in
person (almost everyone’s pick for PMOY), she had me hooked for good
when she started talking to me about the Ford GT. I mean, I
expected her to gush about the Ferrari but…. Oh wait, I am
supposed to be focussed on Alyssa’s CF here…and what a pleasure
that is, even without a hot car.
It could be argued that Alyssa has been asked to pose in an awkward
position–spread out on stacks of racing tires but, if she is
>uncomfortable, she sure doesn’t show it. With this year’s
second-best smile, Alyssa leans her head against one tire, props her
elbows on another, and hooks her right leg over still another. In
>fact, it appears that Eisenman positioned the tires to simulate a
chaise lounge, except for the obvious difference–Alyssa’s lower
body is suspended, making an outrageously erotic engagement only a
>minor repositioning away!
>While the set here is relatively simple–tires stacked alongside a
wall at a race track–Eisenman’s attention to detail deserves
>mention. The stockings are checkered flags; the Hoosier logo on the
>racing slicks is subtly evident; the yellow shoes compliment the
orange wall; the lenses of Alyssa’s sun glasses pick up those two
>colors along with a hint of the blue sky above. For some
>inexplicable reason, I really like that shadow of Alyssa’s leg on
>the wall. Alyssa is wearing driving gloves and using her hands to
>pull her halter top up and out–super fast!
I am not fond of the shoes in this image, but everything else is
wonderful. A wonderful image of Alyssa, as are all the others I’ve
seen. Wow.

The shoes?! Really? I thought the color spot was just right to anchor that side of the CF and the clear toes allow the checkered-flag stockings to run full-length.

>Miss October, Carly Lauren by Josh Ryan. Back in the day, we would
>have credited Studio West for this delightful CF. Someone would
>have gone to great trouble to paint a backdrop and gather circus
>equipment in order to create a festival atmosphere for Carly’s pose.
>Well, apparently Josh found all of this on location and at his
>disposal. It is my choice for the best CF of 2013 (barely, in a
>photo finish with Alyssa’s). While for my money Carly cannot
>approach Alyssa’s natural beauty and charms, Carly’s presentation
>here is simply divine–as if she were a goddess on the midway.
>Standing atop a pedestal (possibly a prop in the elephant show),
>Carly’s figure is statuesque. The Venus de Milo has nothing on
>Carly and, happily, her arms are not chopped off; indeed, Carly’s
>hands are doing good work holding the cluster of inflated balloons
>(too bad they suggest Carly’s own). Not that long ago, small-town
>carnivals and circuses had sideshows featuring strippers, often sad
>girls doing a sad job. This image is a wondrous antidote to that
>scene. Can there be any doubt that Carly would be a show-stopper?
>The gigantic balls (more inflation) are nicely arranged to cover the
>dirt (better than Audrey’s beach balls) and the hay bale suggests
>that the elephant is hanging nearby. The background depicting the
>strongman lifting a horse makes every male viewer of this CF want to
>hit the weight room! Much has been made about Carly’s curly as
>opposed to straight hair; it could well be that the fullness of her
mane results in the image’s crowning glory. Hard to imagine this
>working quite so well with her hair straight.
I love Carly, and the CF image is beautiful, but in technical terms it
disappoints. Other images on PB+ suggest that it may be cropped from
an image taken much farther back. The lack of clarity in this image
is the only thing that takes it down from being the top CF for me from
2013. Otherwise a gorgeous image. That plus implants takes Carly
down from a PMOY contender for me.

As I noted later in my original post, production flaws were common enough in this year’s crop of CF, but I did not center my commentary or evaluations on them. Otherwise, this whole project gets too complicated for me. As it is, I tend to stand back and look at the print editions for an overall impression of composition and color, as well as the playmate’s facial expression and figure presentation, and let the noise pass. I then do the closer examination with the downloaded jpegs, which typically do not have the same production issues.

But I do understand what Peggy is talking about. In recent years, there have been several loose CFs that I have decided to leave unsigned, even when I had the opportunity for an autograph, because they are just so jarring to look at. This topic is a well-whipped horse on the PML, but I do agree that Carly’s CF has print problems (I see it especially in the skin tones). And, yes, her implants are a deduction in my book, knocking her down to my middle-of-the-pack.
[snip]
>

>However, what this review has demonstrated, at least to this viewer,
>is that the forethought that was once so evident in the best CFs has
>now been given over to more-or-less haphazard configuration, that
>the attention to detail that was once a CF hallmark has been given
>over to the quick-and-dirty shoot. Even before the studio was shut
>down and before the masters were let go, week-long CF shoots had
>become a day’s work, in some cases half that. While there may be
>exceptions, I have a hard time imagining that either Eisenman or
>Ryan is thinking primarily about the CF while clicking the camera.
>Instead, it seems likely that each of them shoots gigabytes of data
>and then begins to imagine how to make an image fit the CF
>dimensions. Or maybe they leave that job to someone else. How else
>to explain some of the crude cropping this year? Because a set is
>no longer constructed exclusively for the CF, any location can
>become CF material.
I would disagree here: I think from the images I’ve seen in PB+ that
the photographers really are making a deliberate attempt at making a
signature CF image. My opinion is that the photo editors are holding
them back, often by making unfortunate croppings of the images in the
CF. Sometimes this results in very weird looks (Gemma Farrell,
Kristen Nicole), other times the close-in cropping sacrifices image
quality (Carly Lauren, Kennedy Summers).

Well, there is something going wrong and I don’t necessarily see the “deliberate attempt” that you do. I mean, I am quite sure that when the masters were shooting a CF in the studio, even with the 8X10, they had the viewfinder masked or outlined so that the dimensions of the three-page fold-out were evident. I think both Eisenman and Ryan are talented glamour photographers (and Tony Kelly has shot some amazing covers this year) but I’m not convinced that they are thinking 11X23 when they aim the camera. Indeed, you have yourself provided four examples wherein the CF appears to have been drawn from more-or-less generic frames. I would add Audrey’s and probably Shawn’s.

For most of PLAYBOY’s history, when the CF was shot, all parties involved knew that they were shooting a CF. This was true for even the free-lancers back in the day. Bunny Yeager has written about taking three separate boat trips to get her signature image of Sandra Settani. Other than that awful Eleanor Bradley CF, I don’t recall many with such strange cropping as we have seen this year. I attribute that to the photographers shooting full-frame, a habit that can and should be broken.
We shall see…
Regards,
Dan Stiffler
****************************
I don’t really have a lot to say on the CF assessments, but I would say that I greatly enjoy reading Dan and Peggy’s takes on the centerfolds. I remember reading Dan’s assessments of the 2012 CFs and how he admitted he hoped his analysis would inspire Peggy to come out of the woodwork and give her own takes, but it wasn’t to be ultimately.

So it’s nice to see Peggy come back in full force and give her 2013 thoughts. Let’s hope this proves to be the rule instead of an exception.

Brett