nude photography recommendations

Discussion in 'Photographers' started by puketronic, Oct 31, 2012.

  1. puketronic

    puketronic Member

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    OK so I've been interested in nudes lately. I do not know much about this subject but I would like to start by observing some work of the "great" photographers, if there are any. Similar to the status of HCB for street, Avedon for Portraits/fashion, etc. I don't mean to copy their work because that would be boring. I would just like to understand this subject a bit better, perhaps adapt some concepts.

    So far I like the work of herb ritts, so I was wondering what are some other photographers that are similar to this. With nudes, I'm not so much into erotic but something more graceful.
     
  2. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    No, that would be a starting point. Look at the nudes by Andre Ketesz.
     
  3. Alan W

    Alan W Subscriber

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    I don't know about graceful,but I've always liked Bill Brandt.A different take.
     
  4. rhcgn

    rhcgn Member

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    have a look at Jock Sturges' work
     
  5. puketronic

    puketronic Member

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    Oh and I don't mind nude photographers with different styles. I might change my mind.

    I didn't like wide angles but then I stumbled upon Jeanloup Sieff (21mm shooter). I like his nude work too, but for different reasons. My tastes change.
     
  6. Chazzy

    Chazzy Member

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    I've always thought of Ruth Bernhard as the Ansel Adams of nudes. Maybe others see her differently.
     
  7. winger

    winger Subscriber

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    In one weekend several years ago, I saw nudes from Lee Friedlander and Edward Weston - VERY different. I doubt I'll ever shoot nudes, but seeing the difference was interesting. I agree that looking at ones you don't like can help you to figure out why you don't like them and what to avoid doing.
     
  8. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    Graceful, abstract or interpretive? Stylised, straight or textbook? Masters may make it look easier, but the biggest problem I have observed is photographers not getting along with nude models. The photographer should also be a nude.

    Try photographing either gender by a window with venetian blinds and the sun coming through. If you like zebra strikes, this simple and effective nude/interpretive/abstract affect has many, many angles to explore. Very especially with dark-skinned subjects.
     
  9. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    several years ago
    a fellow named frank petronio posted
    in a similar thread on the large format photography forum.
    he suggested the perspective nude photographer
    go to a school art class, and model nude
    for a life drawing class.
    he does a lot of nude photography with models &c
    but posed for a class so he could know what that sort of vulnerability
    was like, because posing nude for a camera is exactly like that.

    good luck !
    john
     
  10. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

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    Irving Penn, Harry Callahan, Alfred Stieglitz, Edward Weston, Bret Weston, all have great nude work.
     
  11. franny

    franny Member

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    I'm curious, did that prospective nude photographer listen to frank?

    At first I didn't understand that remark. I figured that anyone who is willing to pose naked was comfortable enough to be naked in front of the camera. I then realized that may not be necessarily true...most likely my subjects won't know how to model as this is my hobby, not my profession, so my models will probably be "regular" people.

    I think it would benefit me to learn how to model and feel comfortable in front of an audience so I will do just that.
     
  12. Jim Jones

    Jim Jones Subscriber

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    Yes, indeed. The Eternal Body by Bernhard has 50 examples. Image quality in the original edition of 1986 may be better than some of the later editions. Margaretta Mitchell's biography, Ruth Bernhard: Between Art and Life, nicely supplements The Eternal Body. Like her friend Edward Weston, Bernhard had to give up handling a camera late in life, but she continued to conduct workshops into her 90s.
     
  13. Stephanie Brim

    Stephanie Brim Member

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    Yes. And also, I think that you need practice photographing all types of nude bodies, not just the typical models. The real awesome artists and photographers can make anyone look good in a nude by making it show on the film that they were comfortable, relaxed, and happy. :smile:

    And actually, to elaborate on this, one of the things I've been thinking of doing is taking photographs of myself. I have issues with my stomach. Post-baby and post-surgery, I hate it. I'm hoping that maybe, by doing some black and whites of the area and exploring the reason *why* I hate it so much, I can come to NOT hate it. Heh. I know I'm not the only one who suffers from this type of thing. Maybe the pictures will help others, too?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 31, 2012
  14. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    All my nude photography has been on non-film, Ambo allowed to showcase that here?


    ~Stone

    The Noteworthy Ones - Mamiya: 7 II, RZ67 Pro II / Canon: 1V, AE-1 / Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  15. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    If you are a straight male, I suggest starting with photographing male models. That way one's gonads do not interfer with the appreciation of form and light.
     
  16. franny

    franny Member

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    I am a young straight male. I might start with some of my male friends that feel comfortable. I know some of them are. Most of my female friends objected, lol. They were cool about it but I am not surprised. Most of my friends, male and female, aren't comfortable naked. I wouldn't dare ask too many of my friends because they might think I just want to see them naked. I haven't tried to look for models so hard because I have no portfolio to show.

    I'm very comfortable with my body and I think I'm fairly good looking and moderately built. Perhaps if I start taking a figure drawing class and start modeling nude myself then I can find people who are comfortable with these types of things and go from there.
     
  17. Ian David

    Ian David Subscriber

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    I reckon this is great advice. So was the advice earlier in this thread to photograph different body types.

    It is apparently very easy to fall into the trap of thinking that a photograph of an attractive person naked is a good photograph. In my observation, the vast bulk of amateur nudes are really boring photos of pretty people. So, if you take the pretty person out of the equation, it becomes easier to judge whether you are producing good work or simply churning out bland soft-porn.
     
  18. Slixtiesix

    Slixtiesix Subscriber

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    Like winger said it would also be helpful to study some bad work. I´ve been around in some dslr forum recently and it´s always a strange experience to browse through the nude gallery there. Never seen so many nude photos that oscillate between tasteless, unintentionally hilarious and outright degrading. I cannot understand why both the photographer and the model can be proud of such stuff. In my view it is not so much a matter of camera technique with these pictures (which seems flawless, by the way) but of personal lack of tastefulness from both sides. It definitely helped me a lot to think about what is good and what is not in nude photography.
     
  19. Slixtiesix

    Slixtiesix Subscriber

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    On the other hand I really like the work of Sanders McNew, who is (was?) also around here on Apug.
    He is the one who created my very favorite nude photo! And it just proves that there don´t need to be any private parts in the frame to make a nude photograph.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/sandersnyc/874164585/in/photostream

    Thank you Sanders!
     
  20. MDR

    MDR Member

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    Frank Petronios advice is a good not only do you learn about the model'v vulnerability, but you also learn how a certain position feels. The later might be more helpful for drawing though. Modelling certainly helps understand the models.

    "I'm very comfortable with my body and I think I'm fairly good looking and moderately built. Perhaps if I start taking a figure drawing class and start modeling nude myself then I can find people who are comfortable with these types of things and go from there."

    Often models from drawing classes are also willing to pose for photographers. While in art school I prefered the non perfect or well built models. I really liked older models or models that were unique. Making a young good looking gal look good is easy, even though young models often lack character.

    Take a look at Imogen Cunninghams or Heinrich Kühn works both used models that are by most standards plain or not superbly beautiful. Sanders best works are the photos he made of his wife Melanie,there relationship shines trough. Or as David Bailey ones said. "You don't have to fuck the model but it helps"

    BTW. The easiest model to get is yourself. You can pose for yourself and do great work

    Good luck
     
  21. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    I'll have to start shooting nudes on film I guess...

    In the mean time, a short(ish) story..

    I was at a friends house who shoots a lot for Vogue Italia. I was contemplating going to school for photography (now I had been shooting with an SLR for 15 years or so by this point and 7 as a professional (including traveling the country shooing kodachrome for the end of kodachrome event) but I just felt I was lacking something. He had seen my work and knew I was good but I had felt like because I didn't learn from school that there were simple things that normal photographers knew that I did not and was embarrassed to ask. He got mad at me, went to his bookshelf and pulled out a book (Gregory Crewdson, to which my lighting style is similar) and he slammed the book down threw open a random page and said "Stone, you don't need school, you need this! This book is all you need..." Amd walked out of the room.

    Then I understood, I had the talent but I needed to understand more concepts in lighting, more ideas and to really learn from the greats.

    So my suggestion is simply to study some of your favorite nude images, really state at them, analyze the light and how it hits the body, try and figure out how many lights the person used, what kind, what kind of natural light etc.

    Then do some tests... If you can't find anyone, shoot some self portraits with a timer or get a long cable release. As someone pointed out, they don't have to be good subjects to be good, learn how to light yourself and you'll learn how to bring the light out in others :smile:

    There's a life metaphor somewhere in there...

    Good luck, I'll go shoot some nudes on film and post them in a week or two...


    ~Stone

    The Noteworthy Ones - Mamiya: 7 II, RZ67 Pro II / Canon: 1V, AE-1 / Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  22. Jim Noel

    Jim Noel Member

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    My favorite nude photographer is Anne Brigman. SHe was also a good photographer of nudes.
     
  23. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    I have about 10 rolls to process, this was a test roll so I won't say it's my best work but I like it enough to post, as promised...

    [​IMG]


    ~Stone

    The Noteworthy Ones - Mamiya: 7 II, RZ67 Pro II / Canon: 1V, AE-1 / Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  24. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    Look at Herb Ritts, Robert Mapplethorpe, Connie Imboden, Greg Gorman, John Dugdale, Duane Michals, Reuven Afanador, Sally Mann, Caravaggio, Michelangelo, to name a few, along with the previously mentioned Ruth Bernhard, Jock Sturges, etc.