Soft, Soft, Soft

soft nudewebThere 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.

 

Janus Myth–The Challenge

januswebWhile taking a class from Karin Rosenthal ( www.krosenthal.com) I was challenged by her to create a Janus image.

According to the ancient Roman religion, Janus was the god of beginnings and endings. He marked transitions. He was often placed in doorways and always shown as having two faces–one looking backward and one looking forward. We were working with water, so the challenge was to use the water to create that kind of image. I came up with three that I like.

Note that some are more peaceful than others. How would a god of transitions appear to you?

BTW Janus is the god of January.

 

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Karin Rosenthal Class–WOW!

LadyofLakewebTook 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!

Crop, Chop, Can’t be too Careful!!

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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.

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.

 

Slice of Red

Extreme lighting can be good or very, very bad, but when it’s good, you get something like this.

This was done in the studio with one very bright light colored with a red gel. That means you only capture the parts of the body that find the light, but the resulting shapes can be extraordinary. I like how this shape tapers almost to a point top and bottom with just enough curve.

Red adds drama to the composition. The little edge of back on the far side also adds interest, as do the strands of hair.

This one is best about 7×10″ approximately with wide white mat and black frame. It can be bigger and also works as a small, intimate piece. It glows when placed near a lamp or light. I’d suggest bedroom, near the reading light. In series of 25 numbered prints.

Silhouette Times Six


I’m no fan of silhouette photos. Most of the time, I think the same image, not in silhouette, would be more interesting so why go the gimmick route? This is an exception because the plastic dress forms, on either side, create a second repeat of pattern and then for a bonus, the dress forms reflect the silhouettes (look closely). Result is six images with two models. Now, that adds up to an image that is more than just setting up some backlit lighting.

The other criteria is that the silhouette shapes need to be eye-arresting. I think these are because of the angled arms and slight hand movement. I like that one model is facing the camera, the other is turned sideways. Even the hair hanging down adds something.

This one is best big enough to show all the silhouettes, even the reflected ones, 11×14 or even larger. It does well matted black or white. It would be fun in a dressing room or walk-in closet. It is modest enough for a public space. Printed in series of 25 prints.