Monthly Archives: November 2013

Liz Ashley

A few images from my recent shoot with Houston based model Liz Ashley:

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She was traveling in my area last April to shoot a pin-up project with some  vintage aircraft.

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I was happy that we could arrange some time during her visit to do a shoot together.

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Liz is primarily a classic glamour model, but she is equally talented when shooting art nudes.  It is the latter that I wanted to explore with her.

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Never having worked with her before, it was difficult to predict how she would do with what I had planned.

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A few of my ideas would require strength, flexibility, grace and even getting wet!

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Liz took to each concept with creativity and enthusiasm, making our time together a real pleasure.

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There is no doubt that Liz is in good shape, but I was really impressed by her incredible strength and sense of balance.

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This made it easy to expand upon some basic ideas beyond what I had hoped for, resulting in some very successful images.

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In all, it was a fun project and Liz did a great job.  My only regret is that we didn’t have more time together.

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Perhaps our paths will cross again one day!

Posted in Artistic Nude Photography, Figure Study, Nude In Water, Studio Photography Tagged , , , , , , |

Rain Set; Behind The Scenes

One of my favorite set designs has been the “Rain Set”.  It is a rather simple set up, but it has yielded some dramatic images. DSC_9377

To work with water, I had to move out of my studio into the garage.  There, I assembled a 10 foot high canopy made of PVC pipe on which a soaker hose was wrapped around the top.  To keep the water from spraying in all directions, I placed a plastic tarp over the top.  This helped confine the water spray into a mostly downward direction. DSC_0550

For the model’s comfort, I attached the soaker hose to a warm water source from inside the house (much better than the cold water spigot from outside!). DSC_9409b

The rest of the set consisted of a black background and floor.  In some cases, I used a shallow pool on the ground to capture the falling water and create interesting ripples.  This was constructed from wood planks and lined with plastic tarp material (as seen in the photograph below). DSC_0961

For lighting, the key sources were mono-lights fitted with barn doors off to each side and slightly behind the wall of “rain”, One soft box was placed in front of the model at about a 45 degree angle to act as fill light.  In some cases (although not shown in the image)  I placed a portable flash directly behind the model.  This produced the most dramatic lighting of the water droplets and created a halo around the model. DSC_9365

Of course when working with water, my biggest concern is safety.  I made sure there was no way for the lights to accidently tip over or even get near the water.  To ensure this, I had each mono-light on sturdy tripods and reinforced with heavy sawhorses to act as blockades.  These were positioned far from any source of water. DSC_0584

The final element of course is the participation of the model!  My primary thought was to use models with a background in dance and ask them to move, leap and play as dramatically and gracefully as possible.  Without these skilled models, the results would not have been as successful.  Thanks to models Marlo, Kate and Heidi for all your efforts!

Posted in Artistic Nude Photography, Behind The Scene, Dance, Figure Study, Modern Dance, Studio Photography Tagged , , , , , , |

Waiting For New Life

On my commute to and from work, I drive past this sad little plot of land.
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It can’t be any more than a couple of acres, but I always notice the abandoned structures just rotting away.
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The structures seem to collapse a little more each day and become less recognizable as a once vibrant and useful property.
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Soon, I imagine that nature will reclaim this land as it’s own.
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I often wonder what this place was like during it’s prime.
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Who owned this land, and how was it used?  Why was it abandoned and what became of the owners?
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Spring is just around the corner and soon this land will be overtaken by a field of tall grasses, flowers and wildlife.  This atmosphere of renewal will be a welcome reflection of better things to come for this land.
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Meanwhile, I wanted to spend some time capturing this land at perhaps it’s darkest hour.  I’ve been meaning to do this for some time, thinking that some day I will not remember what it was like.  As with the natural consequence of suburbia, I imagine there will be a gas station or convenience store there before I know it.
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At least now my memories will not fade.
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Posted in Landscape Photography, Natural Light Photography Tagged , , |

April-Lea

In May of 2011, I had the pleasure of working with talented model April-Lea.
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She is well known in the art community, not only for her modeling, but also for her superb skills as a fine art photogapher.
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Her work in both fields has been published throughout the world.
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What strikes me in her modeling is her innate ability to draw the viewer in.
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There’s a sensual component to her emotive poses that I find intriguing as well.
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I feel that this style is also reflected in her photographic work.
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I’ve always admired April-Lea’s skills on both sides of the camera, and it was an honor collaborating with her.
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April Lea’s photography can be found here:  http://aprilleaphoto.carbonmade.com/

Posted in Artistic Nude Photography, Figure Study, Natural Light Photography Tagged , , , , , |

Location vs. Studio Projects…

When it comes to art nude photography, I have traditionally been a studio shooter.

There’s something to be said for the comfort of the studio environment.  I have control over my lighting and there are no surprise weather changes.

My equipment, props and other niceties are right at my fingertips.  I can plan for the shoot in advance, testing for the best lighting, exposure and perspective.

Perhaps the most important comfort is that the model enjoys plenty of privacy, with no risk of an unwanted audience.

Everything sounds perfect, right?  Well, not exactly.  Often times there’s something missing.

That’s where location work comes in.

It’s an entirely different process for me that I really enjoy.

There’s a certain thrill to shooting on the fly, with little expectations of outcomes or preplanned visions to get in the way.

You have to be flexible with the changing lighting conditions, weather patterns and even what props or backgrounds are used.

I have found that the results are often just as successful than a carefully orchestrated studio shoot.  So I ask myself, which approach is best?

I guess it’s a matter of style and preference for each photographer to decide.

I have come to realize that I really need both approaches to keep my mind fresh and creativity flowing.   To find a balance between the two will be my goal for the foreseeable future.

Hopefully, both approaches will be rewarded with renewed perspective.

Posted in Artistic Nude Photography, Figure Study, Studio Photography, The Nude In Nature Tagged , , , , , , |

Geometry And The Nude?

For those who follow my photography, you may notice the inclusion of geometric shapes into many of my images.

There’s something intriguing to me about the human form juxtaposed against these mathematical elements.  

The energy I sense from the flowing lines of a figure can often be constrained or at times even amplified by the shapes of its surroundings.

To explore this relationship can be quite rewarding.

Rather than having a specific outcome in mind, I love to start with a basic concept, then have the model freely interact with the geometric element.

Allowing the model’s spontaneity and creativity to take over often times yields the most uncommon results.

This approach is a true collaboration in which every participant contributes creatively to the end result.

Is it possible that the inanimate prop also plays a role in the collaboration?

I believe so, because this object has allowed all participant’s imagination to thrive!

Posted in Artistic Nude Photography, Figure Study, Geometry in Art Tagged , , , , , |

Underwater Figure Study

The figure photographed underwater.  This is something that has intrigued me for quite some time.  When done right, there can be an otherworldly quality to the images.  It reminds me of a dream-like state.  Although the effect is different, it somewhat reminds me of what one can achieve with infrared photography.  It’s almost surreal.  Having seen some of the beautiful underwater work of photographers such as Howard Schatz and  others, I have been inspired to explore this direction myself.

The following images are from my first attempt at what hopefully will be a new direction for future projects.  Models are Lea Dodson and Unbearable Lightness.

 

 

Posted in Artistic Nude Photography, Figure Study, Underwater Photography Tagged , , , , , , |

A. Marie

Internationally published cover model A. Marie is a stunning example of classic beauty.

I first noticed her work in a 2008 issue of the art magazine “Carrie Leigh’s NUDE-The Art Of Women”.  She graced the cover and had several pages dedicated to her work with accomplished photographer and publisher Carrie Leigh.

While viewing her work, I was struck at how timeless her look was, ideal for what I like to create.

When I learned that she had moved from New York back to her hometown in Michigan, I knew I had to contact her for a project.  Alicia liked the concepts I had proposed, and she was happy to schedule a shoot.

With the help of talented hair and makeup artist Kelly Decoste, the project really came to life.  The results were amazing to me, just what I had envisioned!

A. Marie’s background as a classically trained dancer (15 years in ballet, jazz, tap and modern dance) was just another facet to our creative options.

I feel she brought so much to the shoot, beyond her beauty, that really made it a success.

A. Marie’s accomplishments as a print, runway and cover model are well noted, and for good reason.

It is her work as an artist’s model however, where I really feel inspired.

My hope is that perhaps one day, our visions will come together once again for another amazing project.

Posted in Artistic Nude Photography, Dance, Figure Study Tagged , , , , , |

A Contrast In Altitudes

On a recent visit to Palm Springs California, I spent a day hiking and photographing the local landscape.  In the morning, I started out on the desert floor.  The temperature was already in the 90′s and quickly got hotter.  By the end of that hike, it was well over 100 degrees.  The topography reflected this harsh environment with dry river beds, dusty trails and desert plants struggling to survive.

I did eventually come upon an oasis of sorts, a waterfall and shallow pond with cool water from the mountains above.  I had been to this location before, and knew this would offer some relief from the heat.

After spending several minutes cooling off and enjoying the magnificent views, the arduous task of hiking back was underway.  The second half of this journey rewarded me with wonderful photographic possibilities to the point where I almost forgot about the heat!  I loved the way the light fell on the incredible rock formations lending to such visual interest and shadow play.

Later that afternoon, I took the Palm Springs Aerial Tram up into the mountains.  It’s a two and a half mile ride, elevating 8500 feet above the desert floor to pristine wilderness.

Here the temperature was at least 30 degrees cooler, and the topography was much different.  Pine trees replaced the cactus.  Lush grassy plains replaced the dusty desert floor.  The wildlife was abundant with birds and squirrels galore.  It seemed like Spring was in the air.

Photographing this area was a much different experience than what my morning hike produced.  It was fun to experience such a contrast in a short span of time, and I was rewarded with a diverse set of images.

Posted in Landscape Photography Tagged , , , , |

Heidi

Some of my favorite projects involve working with athletic models.  It’s fascinating to me to document,  in an artistic way, the human form in top physical condition.  For the model, to capture the results of their training and dedication can be quite rewarding as well.

I have worked with body builders, runners, dancers, gymnasts and the like with wonderful results.

When you have an opportunity to photograph a subject who is not only athletic, but also possesses natural beauty and abundant enthusiasm, the results can be magical.  That is the case with my recent project featuring Heidi, a wonderful model referred to me through a mutual friend.

As a runner and yoga enthusiast, Heidi has honed her physique into a lean and statuesque form.

Capturing classic figure studies was a given as part of our project, and I feel the results were quite successful.

I also wanted to challenge her with some emotive portraiture (something that can be difficult for new models),

and even a water set (which she took to in a spirited way!).

I really enjoyed our creative session, and feel there is more to accomplish in future collaborations.  I certainly look forward to our next project.

Posted in Artistic Nude Photography, Figure Study Tagged , , , , |
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