Nude Photography In Movement
The above nude image is was taken as part of a beauty editorial I did in Italy on the coast of Tuscany with a beautiful white sandy beach. The model was a crazy Brazilian girl with a lot of personality and she was great fun. I remember we set out early that morning in a borrowed Alfa Romeo (which later broke down) together with another model from Iceland.
This is the kind of photography I really love doing, where you just have a basic idea, but the details haven’t been nailed down with over strict limitations, so you just jump in a car with a model, drive to a location and shoot images spontaneously without the need for a team of helpers, a dozen rented lights and every detail pre-planned for what will be done in Photoshop during post production. In fact there is no Photoshop involved with this image. I shot it almost 15 years ago on film using Tri-X and a low end Canon SLR.
Although this was very much a job, we were able to shoot it rather like a model test and I greatly enjoyed it. This is what photography should be like and I do believe that many photographers have become slaves to a regime of technology and pre-planned images where every last detail is decided before they even choose the model.
In a commercial environment, following well rehearsed steps in technique and a strict shooting plan is often unavoidable and helps ensure you get the job done on time, according to the brief within the budget. Unfortunately it can and does lead to a degree of “production line” style boredom that will eventually take the edge off your passion for photography and your willingness to experiment as a creative artist. Very often when you are able to liberate yourself of all those technical hangups and other constraints you will emerge with the best images, especially if you are a master of technique and know how to break the rules.
In a time where digital technology should have theoretically liberated photographers to shoot more freely, many have become obsessed with reviewing every single image as they shoot and plenty of photographers find themselves scuttling back to the laptop instead of shooting spontaneous images and hopefully creating a little magic because they have ironically become insecure and fail to trust their own abilities.
In the days of film we used to shoot blind in the sense that there was no instant feedback from an LCD screen and yet we knew when we had caught the right image because of the instant adrenalin rush when all the elements were in place. Shoot digital but don’t lose sight of the essence that makes photography special.
This particular shot was done at around F16 with a slowish shutter speed. I ran backwards as the model ran towards me holding a long piece of lace curtain that blew in the wind, so it’s actually in sharp focus but blurred by the fast movement and slow shutter speed. The lens I used for this was my Canon 85mm F1.8 with the USM focussing which is wonderful for the fast tracking of movement. Remember that nude photography should be fun 8-)