The world of “erotic photography” can span from the truly tasteful to the baseline pornographic, from the salacious to the elegantly subtle. The masters — as underscored in Ellen von Unwerth’s superb Fräulein Book — can make the art seem dignified and worthy of coffee table tome status. The more sophomoric, on the other hand, can make a shot that grabs your eye (and loins), but does very little else to stimulate the mind. Taschen is aiming to highlight the former camp, and with the help of editors Eric Kroll and Dian Hanson (she of the Big Butt Book and La Petite Mort) has compiled a rogue’s gallery of the finest contemporary erotic photographers working in the field today: Ralph Gibson, Jan Saudek, Terry Richardson, Natacha Merritt, Petter Hegre, Richard Kern and many more can be seen throughout. In the 320 pages of Taschen’s about-to-be-released tome The New Erotic Photography Vol 1,  you not only see their photos but also read about their inspiration, their reaction to censorship, how they find models and, lastly, “make a living capturing beautiful women on film and in pixels.” Just looking through the gallery below — and the more NSFW gallery after the Jump — one can see the level of photography involved in the images. As can be expected, some are more graphic shots of gratuitously naked models while others rely on the subtle nuances of the feminine form to give them power. The New Erotic Photography Vol 1 hardcover book is aavailable now for pre-order for only $10.

Another slightly more NSFW gallery from “New Erotic Photography Vol. 1″  after the Jump…

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