Normally it’s all about the figure. The figure in this photograph is good but the composition is all about the shadow. It’s a shadow that has been made complicated by the sun and water. Adds considerable interest. And because the photograph is mostly about that interesting shadow, black and white is my choice for presentation. Black and white emphasizes light and shadow. Perfect combination. BTW, this was shot at noon, not a photographer’s favorite time, but that high angle of light contributed to the shadow. Hope you agree.
There are some images that are best as hard, finely focused photographs. Some are better soft. In this case, both of these images were deliberately blurred. I like them this way. But I’m not sure I know how to explain it. I simply find them more pleasing somehow. Maybe you have the words to explain it. Leave a comment.
It’s not easy to be a model. Not only do photographers sometimes ask them to take off their clothes, sometimes we also ask them to get into water. I’ve had models work with me sitting in cold streams and ponds. I’ve had them work without complaint under hot lights and in cold drafty buildings. Here’s an example where the water wasn’t warm and wasn’t gentle. I was happy to be the photographer that day, not that I would ever try to reverse roles. I know my limits. Here’s the point: Besides writing a check–I always pay my models–I also appreciate my models. I never assume that the job is easy. I have the easy part.
Took a class from Karin Rosenthal (www.krosenthal) and wow! I think she is the woman photographer who is doing the most interesting things with nudes and water. Nudes and water–everything I love. I was excited and then found the class extremely challenging. Left thinking, I’d been pushed too far, too fast, and kind of lost my own point of view in the process. A couple of months later, when I had a chance to really work with the images I’d shot there, I suddenly realized I-loved-that-class. I was so much, so fast, I just had to have time to digest. Rosenthal is intense because she really cares about all the images.
This is one that I brought home. And here’s another.
If you have a chance to take a class from her—do it!
One teacher I work with regularly and another photographer that I admire both feel strongly that color is too graphic for fine art nudes. The teacher would have me believe that the photograph isn’t art unless it’s classically black and white. The photographer friend just likes classic photographs. What can I say? I like color. I like this image in color partly because the background colors are so vivid–the grass and the pond. Also I think it’s warmer and softer more fitting for the subject matter. Black and white begins to feel distant and old-fashioned for me.
Here’s the black and white version.
Ah, but there’s another problem with this image. What is our tolerance for photos of nursing mothers? I was thinking we’re more OK with fine art nudes than nursing mothers until my husband reminded me that Elle just did a cover photo of a mother nursing her babe. It’s a supermodel mother who looks ten times better than the rest of us when we’re doing the mom-thing but it is probably groundbreaking none the less. AND IT’S IN COLOR!!!
So here are the questions?
Color or black and white?
Nursing mom is OK? or are we still uptight about that one?
I’m hoping your join in this informal poll by leaving a comment.
It’s been a good year so far–lots of my photos going to shows. Wish I was going with them!!!
This is a photo that I’ve had success with before. It’s been in a couple of previous shows. It was taken in a swimming pool and gets it drama–it’s appearance of walking on water–from the fact that I flipped it. It was actually shot with her laying in the water on her side. See image below. Hope you agree that it’s less dramatic that way. How a photo is presented can make a difference.
I like color photos, in general, but lately I’ve taken some photos that are best in black and white. This one, for example.
Discovered that Denver has a wet studio. Just like a regular photo studio except that it can handle water. Water from the top like rain. Water from the bottom in a pool. Splash and flash and you get all kinds of fun photos. For someone, like me, who loves adding water to my photographs, it was like discovering candy or ice cream or ice cream sprinkled with candy. You get the idea. Here’s one of the resulting photos. If you want to have the same fun, Google The Old Studio in Denver and talk to Lewis Preston. Tell him I sent you.
In the first photo the model is lying in a puddle while it rains down on her. Warm water, BTW. Model claimed she was having fun.
Here’s a different image from the same shoot. In this case, no rain but milk was added to the pool to give it an opaque look–milky and wonderful.
This one has been invited to a photography show at the Peter Miller Fine Art Photography Gallery in Providence, Rhode Island. Show was juried by Rob Van Petten. Photo was taken in Vermont so an east coast outing seems appropriate. Show runs from May 21 to June 12, 2015 if you happen to be in the area.
Taken in the shade with light filtering through the trees, the play of light on the pond and body was what appealed to me. Works best in b&w because of that filtered light.
Hope you like it, too.
Don’t often to get accepted into shows in my local area. I’m blaming midwestern uptightness and my general subject matter. That said, I took a chance on a show called “Interpretive Landscape” that’s opening in Longmont, Colorado June 12 at 6 p.m. and got in!!! My idea of interpretive landscape is to add a nude–of course. Don’t know the gallery. It’s called DARKROOM at 515 Main Street. Could be big and impressive or small and intimate. Doesn’t matter, it will be showing my photo called “Lady of the Lake” and I’ll be at the opening. Hoping, maybe, you’ll stop by as well. I’m told June 12 is 2nd Friday in Longmont and lots of galleries will be open. You could make an outing of it. Hope you can make it. And, yeah, for a little Colorado love of my art.
PS the thumbnail here doesn’t show the whole photo. Check my galleries for the full experience or come to the show!
Here’s the cropped version of the same photograph. Both include a lot of environment, more than I usually like to include, but, in this case, I’m trying to show the figure as small in a larger world. The cropped photograph gives a bit more focus to the figure. In the uncropped photograph, the overhanging branch gives a rounded feel as if the environment is embracing the figure, but he’s almost lost in it. So much environment, that I’m not sure the eye knows where to go.
I’m torn. I’m not sure which is the better photograph. Cropped? Uncropped?
I’m taking opinions and votes. Leave a comment.
The point is, cropping a photograph is never an easy decision and I’ve seen crops that ruined the composition. I’ve cropped badly and had to go back and rethink. Good photography is NOT point and shoot. There are decisions during the shoot and decisions after the shoot. None easy.