Category Archives: Nudes

reaction to shoot with Heaven (NSFW)

This is a somewhat unusual post, in that it is not about a photographic session that was run, but rather the reaction that occurred when the images were posted on Facebook. So in someways it is a little bit of a rant.

In my last post I shared the story of the shoot with Heaven and particularly the background as to how I came about shooting her. The session went really well, and she was very happy with how it had gone. Once she saw the images she absolutely loved them.

As is my normal practice she chose the top ones that were shared online.

It was then that one female member of the Facebook group complained that the images were creepy and went onto suggest that they were typical of situations where a male photographer had enticed a female model to pose in next to nothing.

Other female posters did not see anything creepy in the images so her opinion was not wide spread.

Now with criticism like this sometime it is better to ignore it. However in this case I decided not to do that, as the poster was making some very wide assumptions that were frankly incorrect. Heaven was not enticed into the shoot, in fact she wanted to do it. She had also had full control over the poses (which had been discussed in advance) and she had chosen the selected images.

The only thing that the poster had correct was that I was a male photographer.

It is the sad fact that there are male photographers who do shoot nude/lingerie images simply as a way of seeing naked women. However not all of male photographers are like this, but to judge our work on that standard is just not right.

I believe that I got through to the poster, however rather than apologise for her mistake, she simply deleted the whole post.

shoot with Heaven (NSFW)

My shoot with Heaven (that’s her real name) started with a post in a Facebook model group where models were being warned about a photographer who was advertising to pay for shoots but was then turning out really creepy and inappropriate.

Heaven is a 27 year old mother of three who had wanted some lingerie/nude shots taken of her and has been involved with the other photographer. Needless to say that she had not had a very good session and the photos quite frankly were crap.

I therefore offered to do a session for her. We met in a foodcourt and went over what she was looking for and the shoot was planned.

I generally like to ease new nude models into the shoot and the easiest way to do this is to start with sheer pieces of fabric. As it turned out Heaven was very confident with her body and we were able to move to nudes fairly quickly.

We then wanted to try a couple of different approaches so I set up a rod at a 90 degree angle to the backdrop, and from it suspended a venetian blind. I then positioned a bare bulb strobe on the other side of it which created nice hard shadows.

We then moved the rod around to in front of the backdrop and hung lace over it to create a window. To create a completely different look I used my lensbaby as this creates a very unique look.

For the final series of nude image we had discussed recreating the famous flower scene out of the movie “American Beauty”. This involved Heaven lying on a fur rug placed on the floor. Fake petals were then used to conceal.

For this shot the camera was placed on a boom arm above Heaven and fired using the Image App. This is a great setup for these types of vertical shots.

As it turned out I did not have enough petals and more were added in post.

While it may seen the wrong way round, Heaven then put on the lingerie that she had brought. We did it in that order to avoid the underwear causing lines on the body.

For the lingerie shots I decided to do something quite different. I had noticed that the light in the room was positioned like a Rembrandt style. So I put my 50mm f1.2 lens on and shot using natural light. I was really pleased with the results and so was Heaven.

When her favourites were posted online I did get a very interesting reaction, but that I will outline that in the next post.

bodyscapes with shelley (NSFW)

A bodyscape is an image that focuses on the shape of the body and its curves, rather than the whole. You use light to reveal and conceal, and they are generally shot with a single light on low power aimed to rim the subject.

This series of images was shot with Shelley after we had completed the timelapse series.

Over the years I have shot a number of bodyscapes and I really enjoy shooting them. The lighting is very much trial and error as there is no real formula to follow. Therefore it is both a technical and an artistic challenge at the same time.

In addition to the naked flesh I have found that using beads adds to the interest. At the end of the shoot Shelley applied oil to her body and we sprayed her with water. This again makes for some great images.

In most cases the face is not shown in a bodyscape therefore they are anonymous. Therefore this final image is not strictly fit the others however the pose does emphasis the shape.

Shelley timelapse (NSFW)

This is another post that concerns a shoot that happened last year. I have been really slack in getting them loaded.

One of the photographers I have followed for a while is Peter Coulson from Australia. He posted a stop motion video shot with a nude model that I thought was quite neat. You can see the video on this link.

As my camera can shoot time-lapse and generate videos from them, I thought that I would give it a try. So I approached Shelley to see if she was interested and she jumped at the opportunity.

In my prop cupboard I have a very unusual helmet that I wanted to incorporate, and I manage to borrow some awesome heels. My original plan was to borrow a military style rifle to use in the shoot, but a week before it was planned a lowlife scum invaded a Christchurch mosque during Friday prayers and murdered 51 innocent people. The rifle was no longer appropriate so we supplemented a baseball bat.

The shoot was relatively straight forward. The camera was set on a tripod and for the first shoot was set to fire 1,200 times at three second intervals. The lighting was provided by my two elinchrom strobes who for the most part handled it well. One did start to misfire towards the end of the shoot and you can see this is the video.

Then we decided to change outfits and use a hula hoop and a mask. For this shoot we only shot 400 frames which resulted in a very short video.

While I was pleased with the results there are a couple of things that I would change.

Firstly video is shot in a very wide format (16:9) so you need plenty of space to shoot it. We shot in my garage that has a low ceiling and my backdrop couldn’t go the whole way across. This meant that in post I had to extend it. If I did this again I would shoot against a plain background so the extension is not that obvious.

Secondly despite the fact that it does take a while to shoot you do need to record a lot of frames to produce a video that is not too short. The 400 frames in the second shoot only generated 5 seconds of video.

Finally I would probably shoot using constant light rather than strobes. While they did handle the job you can see the times that one strobe failed in the video.

Three shoots in the bath (NSFW)

I have always enjoyed doing shoots that involve water, and when it is too cold to shoot with the pool outside will resort to using our bathroom. The bathroom is not all that large and so getting all of the lighting gear in place is somewhat tricky.

I have done a shoot in the past where I carefully balanced myself across the bath. Fortunately, that is no longer required, with the ability to connect the G9 to an app on the iPad, and boom the camera above the bath.

After one of my posts received a lot of attention I had three models all want to shoot in the bath.

For my shoot with Niki I raided the flowers from our camellia tree. These were very useful in creating Facebook friendly images.

Niki

For the shoot with Delaney I raided petals from a plant that grows out the back of my place like a weed.

Delaney

For the third shoot with Bree I wanted to do something a little different and so we built a storyline around her in a red dress and mask. We also used candles and coloured gels to light the scene. That way it was different to the other ones I had shot.

Bree

Since these photos were taken we have completely remodelled the bathroom and I can’t wait to shoot someone else in the new setup.

Playing with light (NSFW)

A couple of weeks ago I did an interesting shoot with a model by the name of Wellington. She wanted to do a series that involved clocks so I suggested the ideal of cooks and gears projected on the body.

She loved the idea and we set it up at a local studio that had a large room. I obtained a series of images and we used a data projector to project the images onto her. The camera was set on a tripod and the only light came from the projector.

I was quite pleased with how the session went.

Lr-wellington-light-27 Lr-wellington-light-24 Lr-wellington-light-23 Lr-wellington-light-18 Lr-wellington-light-17 Lr-wellington-light-7 Lr-wellington-light-1

Getting the light right (Sort of)- NSFW

In an earlier post I wrote the failed attempt with Sian to recreate the images of Mayer George that involved shadows and light on models. By the end of the shoot we had concluded that the shapes had been projected onto the model using a data projector rather than a gobo on the studio lights.

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Image by Mayer George

Sian was willing to give it a second go so I designed a series of shapes in photoshop. We had a lot of fun with the shoot along with a few challenges, with the first of them getting the images to display.

I work on a Mac but have an older laptop that I recently updated to Windows 10. That was the one to be connected to the data projector. I do not know why Microsoft insist on making things harder to do when they update their software, but that is exactly what they. Try as we may we could not get the screen to display the image full screen without toolbars. In the end I went back to the mac and using Fotomajico created a quicktime movie of the images. That at least I could display as I wanted it.

The second challenge was to get the image into a portrait orientation rather the natural landscape. The answer was to put the projector on its side but this meant holding it rather than having it on a stand. So once again I was like a one-armed paperhanger with the projector in my right arm and firing the camera with my left.

LR_SHadow-4LR_SHadow-2LR_SHadow-3The results this time were much better than the first attempt however we still had the issue that the image was spilling from the model onto the backdrop. This does not occur in the ones that I was trying to replicate.

I have therefore come to the conclusion that images were produced by having the model go into a position in front of the projector and then the shadows are drawn so that they only fall on the model.

Maybe next time I will give that a go.

Hanging on the wall

20150725Every two years the life drawing group of the Hutt Art Society holds an exhibition of their nudes. Two years ago it was expanded to include photos, and the current exhibition opened last Tuesday.

I had been preparing for this exhibition for a while and my image “Naked Art Class” was specifically shot for it. You can read all about that image on this blog post. In addition to that image I have three other images entered, with each demonstrating different styles and techniques.

It has been really good observing the reactions of people as they see “Naked Art Class”. Quite a few have big smiles on their faces which is exactly what I was trying to achieve.

The exhibition is open until Sunday 2 August at the Odlin Gallery, which is found at the corner of Huia Street and Mrytle Street in Lower Hutt.

Milky Waters (mildly NSFW)

Those who have looked through this blog will realise that water tends to play a major part in my outdoor natural light shoots. The issue that you run into though is finding a place that is safe for the model as well as not too public so that you can try out options without offending people.

Now the weather in the Wellington region is not really conducive to outdoor swimming pools so it is not that easy to find one. However just before Christmas i saw an ad for a kids paddling pool that was 1.6m long, 600mm wide and 400mm deep. It sounded like it would be perfect as you could shoot full length in relative safety, and at only $20 was pretty cheap.

I had not actually planned any shoots with the pool when i was contacted me by Rebekkah (who I had shot before) who wanted to do a water shoot with Kristara (who I have shot on a number of occasions). They wanted the water to be cloudy so that it was only an implied nude as well as there being flowers in the water.LR_Pool-1

I filled the pool up two days before the shoot in the hope that the sun would have a chance to warm the water because I knew that in unheated water there is a very definite amount of time before the goosebumps start growing on top of other goosebumps.

We had had a really dry January so it was a little bit of a downer that it was planning to rain on the day of the shoot. We decided to proceed because the girls were going to get wet anyway and I knew that shooting with overcast conditions was actually better for the colours and light control than a clear blue shy day.

LR_Pool-3Now the pool holds over 500 litres of water so I was really not sure what to add to get the desired milky effect. Google was absolutely no use as it kept bringing me to examples of using a slow shutter speed to make moving water appear milky. In the end the suggestion was that simply add milk, but how much was the question. I bought a three litre bottle of full cream milk and just before the shoot starting to add it. Just over a litre produced the desired effect.

Both girls were wearing black which when we went to fuller length showed up to well so I suggested that they be removed and replaced with Grape leaves which covered very well.

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Rebekkah had also seen some shots of water running down a face so we tried that. Getting the correct amount of water flow and the angle of the head was a bit of trial and effort and it is not something you can do without an assistant.

LR_Pool-18 LR_Pool-15

Kristara and I had planned a nude shoot in the past which never quite timed right so before she froze I shot a full length in the water.

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You may have noticed no pool edges in the images. Basically they were removed in photoshop.

I am really pleased with the way that the pool performed and the models appear happy with the finished results.

Waterfall shoot with Sian (NSFW)

The second shoot at the waterfall for 2015 involved Sian as the model. I have shot Sian twice before and so I knew she was very comfortable in front of the camera. The shoot happened earlier than the previous one as she wanted to go house hunting in the afternoon.

While these waterfall shoot are intended to incorporate drapes or nudes we actually started with Sian fully clothed as I have had this dress in the cupboard for a while and I wanted to test out shots closer to the top fall. As this part of the location is fully visible from the track I tend the ensure that not to much skin is on display from this point.

I have wanted to use this dress in a water shot for a while and given that this part of the fall is fully visible from the path made perfect sense.
I have wanted to use this dress in a water shot for a while and given that this part of the fall is fully visible from the path made perfect sense.

We then moved onto using a length of a satin type material on the large rock and around the top of the second falls. This material is nearly 5 metres in length and when it gets wet becomes fairly heavy. As such I impressed to Sian that she was in a secure position on the rock before she let the material go anywhere near the water.

This length of satin is about 5 meters so it was able to stretch a long way. We had to be careful though because when it got wet it became very heavy.
This length of satin is about 5 meters so it was able to stretch a long way. We had to be careful though because when it got wet it became very heavy.

We then moved down to the pool at the bottom of the lower fall. Sian was willing to go into it and so we used my monopod as a gauge to work out how deep it was. Once it was determined that the pool was not too deep Sian took a position by the falls. I wanted to try a longer exposure but there was no place to mount a tripod so I attached the monopod to the camera instead. The shot is not completely sharp but close enough for essentially a hand hold at 1/6 of a second at f13.

SIan was willing to go into the pool and go without the  drapes. Her we tried a slower shutter.
Sian was willing to go into the pool and go without the drapes. Here we tried a slower shutter.

We then moved out of the pool and Sian wrapped a length of red organza around her. The shot is nice however the material in the water does not have a lot of live to it unlike the blue organza used in the previous shoot. This was totally due to the angle of the sun not directly lighting up the material.

This red organza spread out great, however where it went into the water falls a little flat.
This red organza spread out great, however where it went into the water falls a little flat.

Sian then agreed to lose the drape and we would slow the shutter down. This image was essentially hand held at 1/13 second at f22. The shot is virtually straight out of camera. I would have to say that it is my favourite image of the shoot. It has a very classical look to it.

My favourite shot of the day.
My favourite shot of the day.

I was relatively pleased with the results of the shoot, however when Sian looked at them she thought that she could improve on some of her expressions so we are planning another visit to the falls. I also still have a list of other models who want to take part so this series will run for a whole yet.