Basics of fine-art photography/Creating works in nude photography (art)

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Etude, artwork from album NUances of fantasy

Nude photography — a genre of photographic art whose subject matter is the artistic representation of a partially or completely nude human body.

In Russian, the word "ню" (nu) used for this genre, probably borrowed from Latin or French.

Where to start?[edit | edit source]

Realization of ideas is possible both in the studio and in nature. As the studio shooting requires special skills in the arrangement of light sources, beginners are recommended to make their first steps in this genre using natural light — sunlight or moonlight (about the latter — a separate article).

Selecting a background and subject[edit | edit source]

As a background, you can use any natural landscape - coastal cliffs, grove, sandy beach, rye field, sunflowers, or vice versa — the ruins of an abandoned building (nude photography against the scratched walls of the abandoned building, seemingly contrary to common sense and logic, may look picturesquely).

It is desirable to choose female persons who have reached the age of majority as an object for photography in the nude genre. Photographs of nude male representatives can be ambiguously perceived by society, so it is better to leave experiments with extravagance for the future, when your debut works will be appreciated. The use of persons of both sexes who have not reached the age of majority for shooting in the nude genre can lead to unpredictable consequences; in particular, someone may find it a illegal actions. Therefore if you really need something original, it is better to negotiate with elderly people. However, the result will not be perceived by society as artistically as similar works of painters due to the inherent realism of photography.

Timing[edit | edit source]

It is desirable to allocate a separate day for the photo session. If you don't live in the wilderness, you will have to go to the suburbs. Some time will be needed to adapt the person (model) to the upcoming process. There is no need to rush, this can have a negative effect on the result. Don't forget that the genre of nude — is not only the nudity of the body, but facial expression, — result should not be like a image convict before the execution. Also you should not prolong the process: more than three-four hours of continuous work will reduce your and the model's capacity for work, the first signs of fatigue will appear, and they will be noticeable in the pictures.

Choosing the angle, lighting and location of the person being photographed[edit | edit source]

One of the rules for photographers in the analog era was: "Minimum of takes!" It's understandable: the large-format film used by professionals was cost some money, and regular 35mm film was not free either. Modern digital technology does not limit the number of takes, which allows you to make a selection by reviewing the footage on the computer and, eventually, learn something in practice.

Advice[edit | edit source]

Sometimes it happens that with a well-lit background, the foreground (model) is in counter-lighting (the sun is behind). In such cases, the inclusion of a forced flash will give a good effect. By the way, there is a separate direction in photography, which can be considered a subgenre: Nude Silhouette Art. This type of shooting implies a wide range of the author's imagination and promises interesting results. One of the advantages: can't see the facial expressions of the people, which can bear the imprint of hard everyday life. Because you are not yet so eminent author to hire a fashion model of ideal shapes and proportions, isn't it?

Gallery[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]