Shooting Simple Nudes With Daylight

Nudes In Simple Daylight

Nudes In Simple Daylight

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.



8 thoughts on “Shooting Simple Nudes With Daylight

  1. Richard Bailey

    A great point you make about shooting uncomplicated nudes with the minimum fuss and proving that it’s more about the subject and feel than trying to get too clever with special effects in Photoshop.

  2. Katherine Taylor

    A beautiful picture and a stunning girl. I love the sense of emotion in this image. You make women look beautiful and not cheap, which is why I love your photography Ashley.

  3. Keith Morgan

    I agree about trying to make nudes sensual and natural. It’s so much better to look at than all those forced hard looks you see on many photo forums these days that are full of amateur wannabes. This image illistrates the point perfectly.

  4. Katherine Roberts

    I love this blog post. It’s just about pure photography and creating beautiful simple images.

  5. Pat Bloomfield

    Fantastic photograph! I think what makes this work so well is it has narrative telling a story. Also using a shutter speed that’s captured the movement of the water splashing off her face is critical to the success of this image.


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