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.
I found out today that my image “Naked Art Class” which I entered into a recent exhibition at the Odlin Gallery in Lower Hutt won the “peoples choice” award. Doesn’t actually come with any prizes or anything tangible, but just the knowledge that the public appreciated the work.
Every 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Last year I was invited to submit images for an exhibition at the Hutt Art Society that combined paintings, drawing and photographs of the naked body. It is intended to be run every two years and so I have started making images for the next one.
I really like producing bodyscapes so I approached Jaimee via Model Mayhem to see if she was interested to assist. We met some months ago and I went through what I was looking forward. She was willing to take part but with other commitments it was not until last Sunday that we finally managed to get together to do the shoot.
When she arrived Jaimee admitted that she had been wearing her bra all day and that it was likely to have caused marks in her skin.
Normally I would request a model remove any tight clothing at least an hour before a shoot starts so that such marks have time to fade. I had forgotten to do this with Jaimee which was a big oversight on my part. While you can easily remove the marks in Photoshop, it does slow down the overall processing as so I generally try to ensure to limit the effect.
While the intention was to shoot bodyscapes I also wanted to try some other images so actually started the evening with a mask and petticoat. We then moved onto using lengths of fabric.
Doing the shoot in this way where we moved from essentially clothed to fully nude has the advantage that it gives time for the model to get comfortable with the session. It is very important in the bodyscape shots because quite often you are shooting close to your model. It also had the advantage in this case because it allowed time for the marks to fade.
When it came time to do the bodyscapes I was using a large stripbox as the main light positioned to the side of the model. A second light with a small honeycombed grid acted as a fill light.
Towards the end of the session I had Jaimee apply oil to her body and we then sprayed her with water. It creates a really neat effect.
Jaimee was a real champion because the evening was not that warm but she did not complain.