February 15, 2004

Sara in the Shower

The last session of my February visit to Halifax was a short one, working with a new model, Sara, in a shower. Since I moved from Halifax to Moncton, I hadn't expected to do any more shower nudes, as the beautifully lit shower in my old house was replaced in the new one by a corner stall. What made the shower at my old house so perfect to work in was the fact it was lit by a skylight - as long as the day was remotely light, I could work in the shower with beautifully even light, coming from the skylight.
Digital original
Photographing a model in a shower has some built-in technical issues. Working close to running water is always a concern, due to how much electronics are in modern cameras. The only answer to this is due caution - during the session, occasionally I felt the sprinkle of water on my hands, which caused me immediately to pull back and change my position. One way to keep this problem to a minimum is to angle the flow of the shower away from the camera angle as much as possible - as long as some water is striking the model, they will stay water-covered, and the camera will be sheltered from most of the water.
Digital original
The second technical issue has to do with all the steam and humidity in the air - the hotter the shower, the more pleasant it is for the model, but the more chance there is for condensation to build up on a camera's lens. The only way to overcome this is to keep an eye on the contrast of the image in the viewfinder (the image will drop in contrast as condensation builds up) and move the camera out of the bathroom to let the condensation evaporate. This is of course, assuming you wish to avoid the effect - for this session, with several images, I let the condensation stay, and ended up with some very dreamy results. Not necessarily better then they would have been otherwise, but successful in their own ways.
Digital original
Whenever you combine a Nude with water (in a shower or river), you add an extra layer of complexity to the image - light that is usually soft and subdued becomes specular and reflects off the water where it would normally just softly edge light. The results from the end of this session point out how much water can influence an image - when Sara lent back into the shower, and had water running over her torso, the light from the window picked up all the highlights on her body, and made them leap out of what would have otherwise been a subdued image.

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