Yesterday’s workshop

Yesterday’s workshop was “the art of shooting nudes”. Joseph Marranca and I and a roomful of students went through theory and practical tips first, then made a number of shots. Like this one:

Kassandra Love (Photo: Michael Willems)

Mono, Ont., 2 April 2011: Kassandra Love

This pretty picture makes me want to mention a few points, namely:

  • Yes. You can use a muslin background. It can be cool. A lot of people think “Oww, that’s Sears, and boring, and for old people. Not so… but you need to light it properly. That means “not light it all over”. You keep it dark, mainly.
  • Then you light a little with a gridded light. That’s the circle of light behind Kassandra.
  • That gridded light is gelled blue – blue goes well as a contrasty colour against white (really, “orange”) skin.
  • White balance is important. That skin should be the colour you want it. In this case I made it warm. A “desaturated” look (where, using Lightroom’s HSL pane in the Develop module you desaturate red and orange) would also have done well. Matter of taste.
  • The eyes must be sharp.
  • We shot at f/8, 1/125th second, 100 ISO.
  • Props and the subject are important also. The hat with the lipstick work well here.
  • The model is lit with softboxes, thus ensuring soft light and soft shadows.
  • They are positioned so as to give me a nice catch light in the eyes.

Simple light (three strobes: one on each side with a softbox, and one with a grid to light the background)can make interesting and artistic images.

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