PICSPIRATION SUNDAY: Artistic nude photography is a challenging type of photography – on different levels. But that is also what makes it fascinating.
Everyone who follows my photography – either on Sandvand.net or Facebook – knows that I usually take landscape photos. The last weeks I have also spammed you with photos of monks and temples in Myanmar.
So after weeks of landscapes and monks, I thought I this week would move into an entirely different type of photography: Artistic nude.
I am every second week in Krakow, Poland for work – and have the opportunity to use the studio of my photographer friend Pawel Wodnicki. He has connected me with several professional models I have learned a lot from working with.
Recently I had an artistic nude shoot in the studio with the model Magda. I have worked with her before – and she is very experienced and professional in the studio. All the photos in this article are from the shoot with her.
Why artistic nude photography?
For me photography is a passion – and I try to continuously challenge myself to improve my photography. That also includes getting out of my comfort zone.
Artistic nude photography definitely is out of my comfort zone.
There are several reasons for that:
- There must be a very close cooperation and communication with the model to make it work – and the fact that the model is nude makes it ekstra important that both photographer and model are comfortable with the situation
- It requires very high skills to do well – both when it come to composition, lighting and editing
- And then there is the fact that people around me have very different attitudes about artistic nude photography as such – and may even question my motives for taking these kind of photos
Maybe it is because of all this that I find this type of photography both challenging, rewarding and fun.
But also because artistic nude photography is one of the best ways to learn about light and composition. The human body is beautiful in itself and can take very different shapes depending on how the light is set and the figure is composed.
What do I try to achieve in artistic nude photography?
These photos are taken in a studio – where the background is either black or white.
I try to create photos that are sensual, and maybe even erotic, but not sexually explicit or pornographic. My goal is to present the viewers the beauty of a human body in an artistic way. I like if the atmosphere of the photo can have an element of mystique in it.
Taking artistic nude photos that are more than just another photo of a naked body is hard. In fact I find it much more difficult than to succeed with a landscape photo.
There are many challenges:
- To create the right lighting. How you use your light is everything in this kind of photography.
- The pose of the model is essential and it is a big challenge to achieve a good pose. It takes practice to see what can work.
- The face expression is also very important and often the biggest challenge. I find that even in artistic nude photography the eye will always lead to the face – and the face expression can be the one factor that determines if you succeed in creating the atmosphere you want or not.
I am still quite new to this type of photography, and by no means an expert. There for these photos are more snapshots of a learning process. But I am convinced if I can learn to master the light and posing, it will also help me be a better photographer in what I do most often: Landscapes.
Using low key photography
I prefer to take artistic nude photos with low key lighting. The background is black – and I use one light, sometimes two.
I find that this kind of lighting creates an atmosphere of mystique and sensuality.
All photos in this article are taken with low key lighting. The lamps are long softboxes with grids to direct the light.
Other artistic nude photos
Here are some of the other photos from the shoot with Magda in Krakow.