November 30, 2008

Two Models in an Unusual Session

This session was quite unusual for me (I can't actually recall the last time I worked this way); the two women I worked with both sought to create images for a holiday gift, but were uncertain if they would be comfortable posing completely Nude.
Digital original
When the three of us met before the session, there was a great deal of discussion about how I work, and what the women sought; in the end, we agreed to work together and see what happened. The models knew what I was aiming for, and would see where their comfort levels would take them.
Digital original
As it turned out, with both models, full frontal nudity was a level they weren't comfortable with; both women posed for a great number of portraits with discrete coverage, either using cloth of limbs to prevent any censurable nudity showing.
Digital oroginal
When we moved to working on an antique couch, some of the most pleasing images of the session were made, but overall, it was less a session for me than for the two models, who ultimately ended up with images that met their needs.

November 23, 2008

Three Models in the Afternoon light

After presenting a demo of working with the Nude at the local college, I still had a morning at Kayla's place to create some more focused images - when demonstrating I am often more focused on discussing the logic behind the process than the images I am creating. It was a pleasure to simply photograph for myself.
Digital original
I began this session working with M_, who'd been introduced to modeling nude two nights earlier. I was very surprised at how easy it was to make an image that worked with the thin, spindly plant and M_’s torso. Much of the success comes from the soft diffused light, but the colour, something that has only really been part of my work since I began working with digital in 2003, contributes a lot to the feeling of the image as well.
Digital original, 2 frame stitch
When working with two models, I usually take the tone of the session from the model’s relationships to each other; with couples, I tend to focus on images of intimacy and touching, with friends or siblings, I tend to make more stylized “body-as-landscape” compositions. With Kayla and M_ however, though they were friends, there was a significant comfort level which permitted a much more flexible range of images to be made over the session.
Digital original
The third model in this session was another friend of Kayla's; like M_, he had no prior experience modeling Nude, but was really happy to just jump in and give it a try. I really enjoy the way the window light wraps around the body in this image; the pose is modest and quite delicate, too, which seems to suit the quality of the light.
Digital original
The session ended with a series of photographs of Kayla and her friend; as the bond between the two was friendship as opposed to sexual, the images focused more on line and form, compare and contrast than any intimation of a relationship between the models.

November 22, 2008

Kyla Poses for a College Demo

Digital original
Since 2004, I have been visiting the New Brunswick Craft College photography department, to talk about my work with the Nude, and provide a demo of photographing the Nude. This year, Kayla was kind enough to work with me during the demo - which opened up with the lovely portrait above - made with Kayla facing away from the window, which is counter to my usual approach.
Digital infrared original
The room we were working in had wonderful deep window sills, which were the perfect size for Kayla to relax upon. I am always amazed at how rich and beautiful window light is, even when the model is right upon the window itself.
Digital infrared original, 2 frame exposure blend
The last photographs of the demo were the most adventurous; there was a grand piano on the stage in the room we were using, and Kayla agreed the rich glossy black piano would look lovely with a Nude upon it. Initially we had some challenges with the pose, but once I raised my camera well over my head, I was able to (standing on a step stool) make a composition that fit Kayla's figure to the piano perfectly.

November 21, 2008

2 Models by Candlelight

Digital original
I arrived in Fredericton, New Brunswick, late this afternoon, visiting to do a presentation and demonstration of Fine Art Nude photography to the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design. Kyla, who I was staying with while in town, had modeled previously, and had introduced my work to a friend, M_ who specifically asked about working with me. As a first session, we photographed by candle light, which often has a very comfortable, intimate feel, which is perfect for first sessions.
Digital original, 5 frame exposure blend, 2 frame stitch
After a couple of images of M_ on her own, Kayla joined in the session. This permitted some very interesting compositions to be made, playing one figure off against the other, and creating some very engaging images. Part of the pleasure of working with candles is being able to include the light-source in the image; in this case, the tea-light was balanced one model’s belly, lighting her and the model behind her in a most unusual way.

November 17, 2008

Pushing the Frozen Flowers Forward

Digital original, 5 frame stitch
As I continue to work with freezing flowers, I am discovering more issues to the process; I have been pouring warm water over the ice to clear the surface, and help create a sharper image...but I have come to realize that the warm water often causes the ice to fracture, as it did above.
Digital original, 16 frame focus blend, 7 frame stitch
The introduction of focus blending has made all the difference to this work, and when combined with stitching for higher resolution, the results are really pleasing...if only the freezing process could be more predictable.
Digital original
I experimented with a broad rang of flowers, but have decided that translucence is the most important factor overall - with the above flower, I had to focus on the petals, as opposed to light, which makes the result quite different from the other images I have made to date.

November 12, 2008

A First Session

Digital original
I was quite surprised by Lisa’s suggestion to work with a flower; I seldom work with props, but given my recent exploration of frozen flowers, I decided to give it a go. Not fifteen minutes later, I was totally engaged by the interplay between the two forms, each enhancing the other.
Digital original
The flower turned out to be really engaging to work with, and stayed the focus of almost 1/3 of the session. Towards the end, Lisa broke off the stem, and worked with the flower alone.
Digital original
The sub-theme of this session was the props that Lisa had brought - the end of the session was spent working with a huge leaf she'd thought might provided a rich mirroring of the lines in the sheets behind her in this image.

November 09, 2008

Nicole & Evan Pose Together

Digital infrared original
I have always enjoyed working with the interplay between two models (either friends, or in this case, lovers) but there is something extra-magical about this image, with the beautiful glow coming off of Nicole’s body, and the confident placement of her hand upon his.
Digital original
I have created this image time and time again, but it never fails to please me, and with each couple it is different, due to the dynamic between them.
Digital original
For the most part, when working with couples, I am always seeking the same thing; an image which speaks of the unspoken between two lovers. From this session, this image is the closest I have come.

November 02, 2008

Mia Returns

Digital infrared 
Often, I focus more on hands than bodies - they can set the tone for an entire image, and while the focus is on the body, the energy is coming from the hands!
Digital infrared original
I spent almost this whole session working with a long lens; something about the light lent itself to details, as opposed to images of the body as a whole. This composition was born as Mia was taking a break - I caught the light on her feet, and how wonderful their texture was in contrast to the smoothness of her bottom.
Digital infrared original
I have always loved high-key images, but the final image in this set, with Mia relaxing in the soft afternoon light, is one of my favourites - the delicate highlights and luminous tones overall have a nice counterpoint in the couple of rich, black shadows.

November 01, 2008

Ryan & Jessica Indoor

After an outdoor portrait session on a brisk fall day Ryan and Jessica were more than enthusiastic to begin their first nude session with a hot shower - both a great way to warm up, and a wonderful space to be Nude together (often couples find familiar environments like beds or baths/showers more comfortable to begin a session in, as opposed to standing naked in an empty space.
Digital infrared original
To light the bathroom, I set up a single studio light, and directed it at the bathroom ceiling, flooding the room with soft, even light. The tenderness in this image is almost painful to see - such bare intimacy is rare to behold.
Digital original
After the shower images were finished, Jessica and Ryan moved to working on a futon, surrounded by white sheets. I actually have two versions of this image - one with Jessica's eyes open, looking at the camera, and this one. I love the fierceness in the first, but it reinforces the voyeuristic nature of the viewing experience, where the above image works better as a window into the tenderness of lovers.
Digital infrared original
For the last images of the session, I asked the couple of stand and work against the long wall in my apartment - the afternoon light was just beginning to fall across it, and provide some beautiful highlights and shadows. I really like the dynamic quality of this image, with the energy from Ryan’s hands flowing over Jessica’s torso flowing through the entire image.

Ryan & Jessica Outdoors

Digital original, 3 frame stitch
After their first portrait session, Ryan and Jessica decided they'd experiment with a session working together nude; as a preamble, we had another outdoor portrait session, though the day was much cooler than the first.
Digital infrared original
One of my favorite images of the session was a moment before a kiss. This is the kind of photograph I love making - magical and impossible to direct - it just has to happen.