Machine Shop Nude

A friend, who also does fine art nude photography, hates props. He thinks the human form unadorned is cheapened by the addition of mirrors, machines or almost anything else. Hard enough to make the skin tone right, capture the muscle tone and movement. I nod my head. He’s right, of course. And he’s wrong. When the prop gives contrast and interest to the composition, it’s hard to say it’s not important to the picture. I like these two photographs  because, in both cases, the prop is central and minimal giving the human form lots of room to be the point of the photograph.

Both were done in a machine shop with lots of grease and everything else. That can become an even bigger issue. You begin to include too much of the environment. Then the photographs begin to look like: “Oh, we have an undressed person in the machine shop.” The trick, I’ve always believed, is to use the environment, make it part of the photo, but not lose the focus which is the human form.

 

Fine Art Nude #2

Although this is a color digital shot, I thought it printed best as a classic black and white photograph.

What makes this a good photo? I think it’s the connection between the two models and the fact that they are both focused on something off to the left of the frame which creates both compositional interest and a sense of spontaneity.

What else do I like? The sense of motion, as if they might be moving rather than posed. In fact, the direction was for the models to both move continuously as if in slow motion, in-and-out, back-and-forth. I often give that kind of direction because it avoids the static, posed composition. That also means I have to work to catch the right moment rather than setting something up. As any photographer will tell you, every additional person adds additional complications. It’s twice as hard to get a good photo with two models as with one.

Digital camera; studio set-up, two-lights.

This one is called Hanna and Friend. It can be printed large but my preference is smaller 10 x 12 with a wide white matt and silver frame. It is in a series of 25. This is new work, and the series is just released–25 of the 25 are still available.

I think this one would work well hung in a smaller space like a hallway.