Posts Tagged: nude

Devious Beauty in Red Silk

Good scotch, a fine cigar, soft silks, a beautiful woman.  What more could a photographer possibly want?

It’s not often I get another photographer in front of my camera, but I was blessed with that opportunity this weekend.   Below the fold are the first few edits from a marathon 5+ hour session with this lovely lady.

Yep, they’re not safe for work. Nudity, tobacco and alcohol abound beyond the fold.   I’m not sure which is more offensive to the prudes, to be honest.

Beauty in Chains

What started as a simple lighting test to experiment with lighting angles, fabric textures and skin textures or muscle highlights ended up becoming a much more intense shoot than planned.  As you’ll see from the images below the fold, the look is intense, textured, detailed and appears to have a fairly complex lighting setup.

What i used, however, is anything but complex.  I used two speedlights inside 30 inch softboxes with radio slaves.  For most shots they were set to 1/8 power and set perpendicular to and about 6 inches from the wall and about 3 feet from the model.  They’re above the model’s head and tilted down to give a good wash of light over her body and still throw a soft hightligh on the wall.   Because they’re softboxes insted of grids, i got a good highlight on the chains and cloth as well.

I would have preferred either larger softboxes or stip boxes to give me a fully parallel light rather than the downward cast light I have now.  However, sofboxes large enough (72 or 80 inch would be perfect) would not have fit in the space we shot in and strip boxes that tall would have been almost as unwieldy and not given me the wash on the wall that I ended up liking very much.

The sescret to the complexity of the scenes is in the textures and contrast of the intricate cloth, the way it’s draped and the contrast with the wall behind it. The mix of hard chain with the soft silk of the cloth is mirrored in the intense textures in the model’s skin.  Even the smooth skin of the lower back has an unusually pronounced texture.

I’ve included a quick snap of the light and prop setup that shows the space we were shooting in (my bedroom, in this instance).  So jump into the comments and tell me how you’d shoot something like this or if this inspired you to shoot something, post it somewhere then come back here and etell us about it.

The images below are not safe for work.  The nudity is mostly implied, but it bondage and eroticism isn’t implied,  it’s right out in the open for anyone to seel.

A Calamity in Silk

The lovely Calamity Janet, one of my favorite redheads to grace my studio this year showed me how much fun several yards of yellow silk can be.

As usual, Not Safe For Work (NSFW). You’ve been warned.

Caught in the Web.

Jessica posed for an impromptu shoot with a fantastic iridescent spider web covered fabric back in 2009.   Only a couple of these shots ever saw the light of day until now.   She had no makeup, no hair styling, just her and the drape in front of a white wall.

Over the ensuing six years, my editing skills have improved significantly so I thought I’d see what I can do with them now.   This gallery is the result.   Enjoy.

NSW gallery behind the cut.

A night of low-key photography – part 2

With every shoot I do, I make an effort to revisit the shoot after some time has passed in order to look at the shots with a fresh eye.   I’ll also do this after developing a new technique or just to experiment and see if I can come up with anything neat or show worthy.

I added quite a few images to the gallery of my low-key experiment shoot with Corrie back in January.   Some of the new images are, in my opinion, my best low-key work to date, though there is one stunning high-key image included.  I just can’t seem to get away from bright lights and hard shadows.

So, sit back and enjoy the show.  I’d love to hear from all of you with comments, criticisms, suggestions or anything else you want to say or ask.

The gallery is behind the cut because, as you should already expect from me, they’re Not Safe For Work (NSFW).

The Stories Written Upon Our Skin

Billions of dollars a year are spent on advertising in this country to teach us one thing; that we are invariably Stupid, Ugly and we Smell Bad. That message starts when we are barely old enough to talk. We are taught what to buy and what to use to give us flawless skin with nary a blemish or a wrinkle; never showing a single sign that we’ve aged.  We’re told to go pay professionals to remove the scars that are the signs of our adventures and misadventures.   We’re told we must smell like flowers or citrus or spices, but not like people.  And most of all, we are told that we don’t get to decide what is pretty, or what smells we enjoy or what things we believe. The bright shining loud people in the flat box attached to the wall get to tell us that.  We’re too stupid to know, to decide, to live without their aid and comfort and most importantly, their products. The real sin in their message, though, is that it teaches us that our life’s story isn’t one worth telling.   We can write things down on paper or make movies or tell stories, but that’s only a description of a story.  The real story of our life is written in the blemishes and the scars on our skin.  The real story is in the textures and shapes of our bodies.  The real story of our lives is written on the parchment of our bodies and those blemishes and scars and shapes and stretch marks and baby chewed breasts are the words that story is written with.

The ultimate beauty of a person can only be seen when you can read that story and learn to love that story.  Why would we let some talking head in a box or manipulated lifelike manikin in a picture in a magazine keep us from letting that story show forth in our skin, our posture, every wrinkle and sag and roll and stretch mark and blemish?  Our life is sacred, our stories are beautiful, our lives are worth living and loving and sharing.

I have the incredible privilege of knowing a woman who has never been taken in by the bright people in the box.  Her life is a hard one that if written out in a script, it would make you weep.  But through that struggle to survive, she learned not just to cope, but to *live*.   She’s had spouses and divorces. She’s had children and struggled to feed and clothe them.She’s been as near destitute as you can get and nearly lost her life to a simple, common infection.  She survived all of that and lives today with that story written upon her body.   It’s as beautiful and as harsh and as soft and as stark as the marks and blemishes and scars she’ll carry with her the rest of her life.

I have attempted to capture a few short phrases of that story here to share with all of you. Her identity is hidden, by her request, and by my choice. Her name is not her story; it is a label. The photos exhibited here are purposely stark, textured, even harsh. No attempt to pretty them up and in most cases very minimal processing was done at all. Who is she? She is every-woman. She is your sister, your mother, your neighbor, your child.  She is you.

As you view this gallery of photos, look at her not as a model in photo studio, but as a book begging to be read, to be deciphered, to be experienced. I will not put my own labels on these photos. I want you, the viewer, to read this story and find your own symbols in the blemishes, in the scars, in the stretch marks.  Then, when you’re done, go find a mirror and start reading your own story and loving and experiencing your own life.   You’re too precious a being, too holy a person,  to divine a soul to do anything else.

The photos here are of the nude form and not safe for work in most places. View them at your discretion.

An experiment in low-key photography. – Part 2

I took some time recently to complete my finishing touches on the first shoot of 2015.  There may be a few more gems buried in the shoot, but I am extremely pleased with the results so far.  I hope you will be too.

As you probably already knew, the images past the cut are NSFW.

First shoot with a brunette Valkyrie.

2015 has definitely started off with a bang.  Two full days of shooting in a row behind me and now I get to edit and finish the sets.  In the mean time, here is a teaser for the several sets I shot of a new model; Valkyrie.  As always, nudity behind the cut because people are prudes.

(NSFW)

First shoot of 2015 – A Low Key Shoot.

I’ve been experimenting with low-key lighting and trying to achieve a very soft, body-molding look for a while.  Regular readers have seen some of the results of that experimentation in previous posts.

All of that experimentation came together for the first shoot of 2015 tonight.  The setup is deceptively simple with a black cloth backdrop, an SB-910 speedlight in a 24inch softbox to the right (photographer’s right) of the model.   I set the speedlight to 1/4 power and shot at F/22 or F/18 @ 1/125 and ISO 100.  This gave me a completely dark room with the only light showing up on frame being the speedlight.

The results were everything I had hoped they’d be. The model was very fun to work with and I’ll be shooting her often over the coming year.  With the exception of the image labeled ‘Fire Down Below’, the only editing on these is cropping and b/w conversion and, when needed, a touch of sharpening.  ‘Fire Down Below’ had a bit of color bump, clarity and sharpening to get the look I wanted. I also brought the exposure up slightly on it.

As you probably already guessed, these images are NOT safe for work.  Click the ‘continue reading’ link to see the photos.   And as always, enjoy and I look forward to your feedback.

A Study in Stark Contrast.

Back in June of 2011, I had a fun couple of hours in the studio with two of my favorite models from that year.   I’ve gotten a higher percentage of good shots out of that session than just about any other that year.   A couple of those images even became the centerpiece of three different gallery shows.

As anyone who follows my work knows, I’ve spent a good portion of this year going back over my entire body of work and pulling out those gems that just did not have the tools or techniques to polish at the time.   I also have been revisiting the “finished” pieces to see if I can get just that little bit of extra shine from them.   This shoot is one of those that I have gotten both new images to show and been able to really refine the quality on some of the ones already deemed “finished”.

Only one of the shots I worked on tonight is work safe and you can see it up top.  The rest are behind the fold.   As always, use your discretion when viewing.