It’s the picture which has got Richmond tongues wagging. A man in nothing but his woolly hat and hiking boots admiring a lovely Swaledale view. Mark Rasbeary tells me more about photography, nature and the reactions that picture has received.
Please note – if you really feel the uncensored picture might offend you, please don’t scroll down this page any further. You have been warned!
Whether you loved it or loathed it, it’s likely that photograph of Mark Rasbeary will be one of the most memorable local views encountered this year. But what made the retired grandfather clamber to that spot below the summit of Calva and pose in the nude?
“Peta and I had walked up Calva, enjoying our sandwiches by the summit cairn. As we descended, we both stopped to again take in the beautiful vista before our eyes. I felt in awe, at how breathtaking the view was, totally absorbed by the magic.
“Getting naked seemed totally natural too me, a way to feel even more a part of that view. I asked Peta to take the photo, mainly as a reminder of the intense emotion I felt being part of the Dale.”
And so the picture was shared on the popular Richmond photo group Facebook group where both Mark and Peta are regular contributors often posting beautiful images including dramatic sunsets.
But the reaction was something the couple couldn’t have anticipated. While many thought it a bit of a chuckle, there were some who found it to be no laughing matter.
At this point, readers could be forgiven for thinking they’ve lapsed into that episode of the TV comedy series Father Ted with its discussion of the ‘nudey’ scene which ‘left nothing to the imagination’.
“I was shocked at the number of folk who complained” said Mark, “meaning my photo was removed from the group.The outpouring of support from the majority of members was very kind, I believe they saw the photo for what it was intended.
“The comments of one member who considered me ‘unhinged, deranged, a danger to children and that I was committing an offence’ did anger me.That kind of narrow-minded outlook causes our young folk far more harm than a photo, the likes of you can see in WHSmiths or any other card shop.
“When I posted my comments [at the Facebook group] after that member’s libellous remarks, the show of support was humbling.”
The furore prompted something of a dilemma for the moderator of the Facebook group, Amanda Adams who this week released a calendar of members’ photography.
Mark was selected as ‘Mr September’ – and appears there in all his glory – but in a bid to cater for people who found the picture offensive, there is also a version of the calendar available which doesn’t feature the image which can be selected at the point of sale.
So what next for the intrepid naturist who says he enjoys spending as much time as possible outdoors and previously spent two years travelling around Spain and France on a Harley Davidson.
I didn’t post the photo to shock, I wanted to share my joy with the group.
“The photo certainly caused great debate, much mirth and no doubt a headache for the lovely Amanda, our lovely administrator.
“When it was decided to include the photo in the calendar, I was happy, after all it was only a bottom.
“As for future naked photos, if the circumstances are right yes, of course there will be more. They may also be posted on the group, that would depend if I thought the group may like them.
“I love to bring smiles to peoples faces, there is plenty of misery in the world as it is.”
In all his glory: Picture by Peta Robinson