Nudes In Simple Daylight
The photograph above is an example of how nudes in daylight can be done with the simplest of props, lighting and equipment. It was shot with nothing more than natural daylight coming in from a frosted window behind the model with the budget priced Canon 50mm F1.8 lens.
Any lighting you can see on the front of the model is simply reflected back from the white wall tiles and the image was shot at 400 ISO. The camera was hand held and rather unusually for me I relied on the camera’s built in meter, though in this case I knew it would do a fairly good job.
Just like with many other nudes I have photographed, for me this picture is all about the atmosphere and feel. It tells a story that is both sensual and natural but above all I like the way that attention is drawn towards the hands and the tiny drops of water splashing off the model’s body. Forget about the cheesy grins or forced sexy looks. With nudes in simple daylight you can do so much better than that…
There was no need here for a dozen lights, exotic lenses or even a makeup artist. In fact I think it works in large part, precisely because all those elements have been stripped away, so we are left with nothing more than an image which captures a moment in time like a piece of reportage. It shows us a glimpse of pure feminine beauty, rendering fancy Photoshop work and complicated lighting effects as nothing more than pointless distractions. The use of colour in this case wouldn’t have added anything extra either. Shooting nudes in black & white is generally more effective.
The only point of this particular blog post is to say that in photography and particularly when Shooting nudes, sometimes less is more and simple is better.