Take your nude imagery a step further by adding some unique elements and effects
Adding a little creativity to your nude imagery can be very effective. Think of the body as a canvas and let your imagination do the rest. The most straightforward way of adding a little artistic flair to your shots is to play with the shadows and create some that will fall in interesting ways across the model’s body.
Projecting patterns onto the skin is another interesting effect. Schmitz uses the projection technique to add a new dimension to his nude photography. “The projections were done with a Light Blaster, which is basically a device accepting a compact flash, a lens and a slide or gobo. For creating the parallel lines, I used a metal gobo (basically a metal slide consisting of parallel metal lines). For some photos, text was projected with the same device, but using a glass gobo. The Light Blaster is used off-camera and the flash is triggered remotely; by placing it away from the camera, it emphasises 3D structures, which works wonderfully on a woman’s body.”
Similarly professional photographer John Gasca (johngasca.com) projects stunning lace patterns onto his models. “I used a single 1K constant light called a ‘Baby-Baby’ (made by Mole-Richardson), and for the shadows I used gobos like lace, palm fronds, plant vines and a thin shawl. A gobo is an acronym for ‘goes before optics’ or less commonly, ‘graphical optical blackout’. It is a physical stencil, template or object that is placed inside or in front of a light source, to control the shape of the emitted light. In this case it was used to create the shadow. The style I was going for was very defined shadow edges. To accomplish this, you actually need a small, hard light source placed very far from the subject. That is exactly the opposite technique that you would use if you are trying to light a typical portrait. Then to create the shadow, the gobo is placed as close as possible to the subject, without actually being in the shot. I normally light with strobes, but with this style, I needed to see where the shadow was going to fall for composition, so a constant source was the best choice. I think it adds tons of interest to the image and is even more striking with Cassie’s light skin. In some instances the patterns look like tattoos, but made with light.”
“In this case a gobo was used to create the shadow. The style I was going for was very defined shadow edges”
AboveUse reflectionsUse a mirror to create a reflection of your subject for a more artistic shotRightBlack and white“some images work better in colour, and others in black and white,” says gasca. “i shoot all images in colour and always try black and white versions of the final selects. this particular image works in both colour and black and white, but for this project, we agreed that black and white was best. it reminds me of a classic film noir look”