I have had a few people tell me my photography is pretty good. I know i have long way to go before im "professional". there are aspects i am still learning. However. A am really intestest in shooting nude photos. I have done a couple of 'Shoots' with my patner and a couple of friends, as well as a couple of nudist events ( I had my camera and everyone wanted photos). but they have all been very spur of the moment things.
How do you go about arranging / talking about nude photo shoots with people?
I love taking nude selfies, but due to my limited area and times I find they are getting so repetitive. A few times, when I had some alone time I was able to brake out the good camera (not just my phone on timer) and take more ambitious pictures, but the opportunities are rare. I think I just need to get my creative juices flowing again. The lack of ability to get outside for pictures is part of the limitation. No sure if this is a rant, or lament or just rambling...
The Professor has curated an exhibit of “Modern Art Nudes” that’s excited me almost as much as this website itself has. Twenty varied examples of how an artist might treat the naked, mostly female, body have helped me think about my own picture making. I’m a beginner, but the pictures he’s chosen have helped me think about where I want to go…and shown me that there is a company of artists who are already showing us the electric animal that we are.
“Belechenko Nude Master.” This is a bravura example of painting’s version of orchestral music. The drawing is precise. Every little shape has to agree. In fact there probably is a pencil drawing that took a day or days under the paint. Over that, Belechenko painted the entire composition in gray or other monochrome—a “grisaille”. After that layer dried, he painted several transparent layers, each one drying before he painted the next. Light penetrates to the grisaille and bounces back, mixing the colors in the various layers to give us the colors we see. I’m not good at recognizing the distortions of photographic lenses, so I looked at the grout lines to see if they were bent—evidence of the artist’s using a projection in his initial drawing. They don’t bend, but you can see that they do not converge at the same vanishing point. This might be a mistake, or it might be an element of design. This is a picture by somebody who knows what he’s doing, and took months to complete.
Couple Making Love. I can’t tell for sure what medium this artist used, oil, acrylic, tempera, but it was done more quickly than the Belechenko. Still, the artist knew how to draw, and to paint surfaces that give us a sense of the figures’ masses. He or she intelligently minimized the heads’ detail and weathered the edges to show us what’s really important, the naked, loving bodies. I’m a little disturbed by the position of the woman’s ass; the models must have been cushioned in a way that lovers wouldn’t to give us this view.
Summer Days 2, Sedai Temura. A statuesque woman, by a mountain lake. I can’t help but feel that the model posed in a studio, and the artist inserted the figure into the landscape. Not cheating, really, but I’d rather I couldn’t tell. The woman’s staff appears to be a dried weed, which clashes with her monumentality. I’m quibbling, though. I like this image and the story that it’s telling.
Redheaded woman on a mossy stump. This is a stunning example of hyperrealism. The colors are great, and the depth of field spot-on.
This is my favorite piece in the collection. Eight (or nine if you include the hand entering the picture via the left margin) happily nude people, women, children, and a man, with deer, and a french horn, in a fantastic mountainous landscape. This is by Susannah Martin, and American living in Germany. I’m guessing this is a large picture, executed over a grid—or maybe several grids—working from several photographs. Her gallery’s website says she paints “Adams and Eves, freshly banished from the Garden of Eden,” but I think they’ve got it wrong. These Eves and Adams are still in the Garden, as might we be.
Another Susannah Martin, Eve dazzled by the beauty of the feeding birds, who, unthreatened, allow her to approach.
This is a late-career Phillip Pearlstein. Pearlstein is a contemporary of the Pop Artists. What I think he was doing (is doing? He’s alive and 97) was using objectively painted figures to make compositions like the Abstract Expressionists. I’ve usually found his figures bloodless. Like this one, they are often cropped to keep faces from robbing interest from the composition.
Woman with bare breasts and large necklace in front of Tibetan Buddhist iconography. The fore and backgrounds are nicely balanced. I wonder whether this is meaningful—perhaps a memento mori—or just exotica.
Another Pearlstein. This time, he’s included two faces and a penis. The ring and little fingers of the man’s right hand are folded under, as well. All of these are things that draw the eye, reducing the strength of the composition. I like this.
Pretty naked virgin with roses. My least favorite, but the artist has chops.
A strong studio nude with violin. Once again, I’m impressed by the artist’s ability. The model looks like somebody I’d have the opportunity to draw.
Yet another Pearlstein, Model with Speedboat and Kiddie Car Harness Racer. There’s something I don’t like about the model’s head, and the poor woman’s foot!
Reclining Nude in a Sunny Upper-Story Room. I like this. It makes me think of Edward Hopper, but the woman is contemporary. The two bowls tell me somebody else is in the room.
This is an Eric Fischl, and I identify with this close contemporary. If Susannah Martin paints us still in Eden, Fischl grieves our loss of Eden. I’ve never seen this one before, but the way Fischl works is to tell himself stories. He photographs a figure he likes, and paints it, juxtaposing it with other figures until something clicks. He uses Photoshop now, but originally he would make drawings on glassine and place them on the canvas. He’s not coy about what his stories are, but he wants viewers to create their own. Dig the little dog’s ear.
Eve? She’s wearing a skirt, and caught in a tangle of vegetation. This has to be after The Fall.
Extraterrestrial Nymphs Withdrawing the Broken Body of an Astronaut from His Crashed Capsule.
The drowsing-lion sculpture places this one outside of time. Oh! for a world in which naked cheerleaders have nothing to do but lounge in fabulous ruins playing chess.
Another Hopper-ish picture. Good composition, interesting color scheme. I think the pose is actually borrowed from a Hopper, but in that painting, the model is wearing a tight shift of camisole, and no pants. I'd like more of a story, to keep me from paying attention to the artist's references.
I think there’s a similar scene in From Here to Eternity. Lovemaking is too seldom portrayed. Imagine telling a couple who are fucking like bunnies, “Hold that.” A woman who hosts a drawing co-op once told me a story about having fired a model who had suggested that he “stroke himself.” This was a guy whom I knew as a nudist, and who would stay nude during breaks for wine and conversation. My thought, though I didn’t say anything, was that it would have been enough to simply decline, and that I probably didn’t have the skill to draw a man masturbating. Art has the right, in fact the duty, to examine all of human behavior.
Notice how your eye jumps right to the pomegranate, and you have to pull it back to examine the nude torso. Pretty good trick! The fruit’s red is the only saturated color in the picture. The rest of the composition is a play between warm and cool grays, but close to neutral. The model’s hair hides her eyes, so there’s no distraction there. The black and white drapery is pretty bold, and masterfully handled. You’d think that would be a distraction, but it’s only late in life that I’ve begun noticing all the silly sheets flapping in Renaissance and especially Baroque breezes. This artist could afford to put his fabric in the picture because nobody looks at it.
If I were to make an erotic video, I would want to document a sexual encounter between an attractive couple in a beautiful outdoor setting. I am thinking of a man and a woman, but the method could—and should—be used for portraying sexual pleasure between same-sex couples, groups of lovers, or fetish play.
The man and woman would be an actual couple. They should be in the greedy, honeymoon stage of their relationship. Each should be sexually experienced, a sexual enthusiast, familiar with the other’s body and desires, but still discovering new things about the partner's body, desires, and responses.
I said the couple should be attractive, but they should, more importantly, be interesting looking. I would rather film character than idealized beauty. Makeup would be minimal. I’m thinking of a forest setting with contrasts between dark and light, vegetation and stone, water and earth, and with the strong sense of space that comes from enclosure. (In "A Pattern Language," #106 Positive Outdoor Space, Christopher Alexander says, "Give each (space) some degree of enclosure using trees, hedges, fences, arcades, and trellised walks, until it becomes an entity with a positive quality and does not spill out indefinitely around corners." Nature does this randomly, but the videographer should be alert to the phenomenon, and use it to stage the lovers' arousal and climax.) The video would lovingly study their naked bodies as they stroll and explore their Eden, and follow them to the place where they make love.
This space could be a clearing on a little hill, mossy and surrounded by mature oaks. There would be beautiful views and pools of sun and shade. There would be richly patterned fabrics and outsized pillows waiting.
The couple would know that they are contributing to a work of art, but they should be artless and spontaneous. Their pleasure should be the absolute goal.
To this end, they will be surrounded by hidden cameras and microphones, and there would be long-lensed, human-operated cameras on the opposite hills, and a drone overhead. The point would be to photograph the event of the couple’s lovemaking, as it unfolds. This would not be the finished product, but the skeleton of the film that is to be.
Afterwards, the lovers and the director would view and discuss what they have produced. They will come up with a plan for shooting supplemental video. Then all would return to the forest setting, and the couple would reenact their lovemaking, working with the camera to give detail to the story of their fuck, to flesh out the skeleton. Crew would work inside the space where the lovers fuck. Necessary video would include closeups, different angles, faces during orgasm, etc.
The rest of the project would happen in the editing studio, using the various videos to tell the story of a couple’s joining.