One Model – One Light

Nude Photography with one light (and one model)

nude photography with one light
In The Heat of the Night

Keep it simple stupid is often pretty good advice. These photographs were taken in my studio with one light and one model. OK sometimes I used a reflector to lighten the shadows because the cameras dynamic range doesn’t match the human eye. What’s dynamic range? Free downloadable PDF on Exposure. Continue reading

The Concept – Take Better Photographs of Nudes

It is a common misconception that better technique will help you take  better photographs of nudes. I recently took part in a critique where a photographer put up a technically perfect but aesthetically boring picture of a nude. He commented that he had no concept or message when taking the picture but would like to do more ‘artistic’ work. I suggested that if he worked on having the former then the latter might naturally flow.

nude woman holding bananas
Forbidden Fruit

 I always try and get my students to have a concept or reason for taking a picture. This doesn’t have to be a highly intellectual artistic message which will emphasise the need for world peace. It can be as simple as documenting a walk or taking a portrait that tells the viewer something about that person. Think about a simple holiday snap. The reason for taking it may simply to provide a record of the place you visited, which is perfectly valid but, as soon as we add the idea of showing that it was really pretty, or a complete dump, what a good time we had, the people we met or even how much we drank the dynamics of our picture taking change. We are trying to produce a picture in response to our feelings about a place and convey an idea. As soon as you as a photographer start to work towards a specific theme or concept the creation process becomes much more interesting and creative.

Empty houses, at the end of their lives seem to contain imprints of the previous occupants. There is an idea that ghosts are created by distortions in time which give us a glimpse into the past or future and figures appear to walk through walls because the is or was a door there at that time. Trying to create a picture that explores that concept resulted in a picture that has been praised and panned in equal measure.

Unfortunately this doesn’t prevent you from producing a picture that the majority of viewers think is crap but, and it’s a big but, if you are happy with the result and it conveys or shows what you wanted to show then stick with it. Monet, Van Gogh and Cezanne didn’t get rave reviews at first.

Because digital photography is an instant process many photographers think that, with luck, they may go out and take that award winning picture today, although they are not quite sure where or what of. Most artists have an idea, work on sketches and then create various canvases to explore that idea. Great photographers do the same. Read an interview with a landscape photographer. They will say that they scout locations, think where the light will be at different times of day, examine what they want to convey about the landscape and then make several visits until they achieve the result they want.

So How Much Technical Knowledge Do I Need.

Any artist must first learn their medium; you wouldn’t expect sit down at a piano and compose a sonata or pick up your kids water colours and paint like Rembrandt (who painted mostly in oils by the way). But the elements of composition and lighting are as important as technique.  (see Composition or Technique? on my other site Writer and Photographer).

Photography is a technical process so you must learn elements of your craft in order to be able to capture everything you want to in your chosen medium but digital cameras are able to handle a lot of the technical aspects of photography for us. We have a greater chance of success in recording a given subject with a high degree of technical accuracy and can therefore start thinking more about creative ideas earlier on the learning curve than our predecessors.

Ironically the freedom modern cameras give us means that some photographers think less about the artistic creation process due to its technical ease when we actually have more time to think about concepts, ideas, composition and all the elements that make a great photograph.

Nude or Naked Portraits?

These pictures are created with the help of many talented women. The finished images are a result of a collaboration between the photographer and subject rather than an imposition of a style on them. Some of the subjects are models but here you are projecting elements of their character and personality; they are part of the creative process and not merely a blank canvas on which to project my viewpoint.

Sisters Naked portraits
Sisters

Some appear in naked portraits; the art historian *Kenneth Clark defines a naked human body as exposed and vulnerable as opposed to nude which carries no uncomfortable overtone. In one sense the women in these photographs are nude as they project an image of balance and confidence. In another they are naked but they are not vulnerable or embarrassed*, they are confident in their nakedness. Continue reading

But is it Fine Art Nude Photography?

It is very difficult to separate the artistic (fine art nude photography) of the nude from the erotic and the sexual.

    When is a nude an attempt to produce a meaningful picture
and when is it merely a body displayed for erotic titillation?

Even the word artistic carries certain connotations. Many of the paintings that are now considered works of art by old masters were created for his Lordship to hang in his personal salon. In a later era it conjures up an image of a 1950s bloke in a Trilby accosting a gent with the words  ‘Oy mate – want to buy some artistic postcards?’ Continue reading

Photo Painting

More on Boudoir Photography

I’ve been experimenting with (Ok mucking about with) photo painting using  Corel Painter to convert a photo into a painting.

This is one of the first results. There’s a link to a YouTube video by Thomas Churchwell that shows you how at the bottom of the page.

Glamour potopainting using Corel Painter Essentials

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Photographing Nudes on Location – Woods

nude woman in woodland
Dryad (A Dryad is a female tree spirit from Greek mythology). Art print from digital original
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If you go down to the woods today.

Shooting location photography, especially nudes is always challenging (and fun) but does need a certain amount of planning. Continue reading

Photographing Nudes on Location – Deserted Buildings

Nudes on Location – Deserted Buildings

A abandoned doll lies in the corner of an empty room. Pink plastic glowing against the decay of the deserted building, a reminder of lost inhabitants.

The walls seem to hold echoes of the past. It is easy to visualise the ghosts of previous occupants wandering through their empty rooms. Maybe it takes a creative leap to see them as attractive naked women but when photographing nudes on location you can capture whatever you want. This is about interpreting an idea to create an interesting image Continue reading

Studio Nudes

A Quick Guide to Studio Nudes

Producing studio nudes gives you a choice. Use a plain background, strip away the real world, and produce an image that depicts the human body only. Alternatively add props or build a setting to create an illusion. These tactics along with extensive make up are used to produce glamour images  but can also be used to produce pictures that depict the models personality.

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Slightly Strange

A collection of female nude photographs that are slightly surreal – slightly strange.

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Personal Space

Nude womandoing splitsPersonal space nudes is a collection of portraits of women depicted in their environment. They are surrounded by treasured possessions and sometimes the detritus of real life. Stripping away clothing means the viewer only has the surroundings from which to glean information about the subject.

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